We have been having babies forever…why does it seem so much harder now?
Our society is not set up to support the postpartum.
Recovering from growing a body and birthing a body requires TIME, REST, WARMTH, INTENTION, COMMUNITY SUPPORT and ADEQUATE NOURISHMENT.
Our go-go-go, profit-driven culture is in direct opposition to this.
Slowly, we are re-orienting ourselves to the importance of honoring the postpartum time, because what we have been doing is not working.
Rates of postpartum depression have increased by 105% in the last 10 years and at least one-in-three US women suffer from one or more pelvic floor disorders (including urinary incontinence, bladder prolapse, uterine prolapse, fecal incontinence…etc.).
These conditions used to be considered rare, and are now increasingly common, and almost to-be-expected for women as “just what happens” when undergoing a birth experience.
Our bodies are not meant to fall apart. Our bodies are designed to heal. Our bodies require adequate rest and nourishment so that we can heal from giving birth.
Our ancestors, across time and space, understood the importance of the postpartum time. They understood that how a woman moved through her postpartum experience set her up for how she would move through the rest of her life. How we recover from this experience implicates how our bodies will move through the rest of our lives.
So- what can we do?
We are swimming upstream against a culture that does not value the long-term health of women. Postpartum care is not valued, so seeking it out will probably be difficult and/or cost money.
But, spending resources on your long-term health is worth it- better to let someone come help with your children or kitchen now than be unable to run and play and jump with your children as they grow-
The simplest, yet often hardest, tool a newly postpartum mother has is: REST. Rest your body, don’t trudge up and down the stairs. Don’t try to get to the store, don’t drive your big kids to school. Don’t scrub your kitchen or your toilet. After giving birth the body is healing. Actually, the nervous system is getting re-wired. If we do this right, we could move through the postpartum with MORE vigor and health, but, as much as possible, allow your body to rest. Light stretching, bodywork, breastfeeding is all that should really be done for those first two weeks.
REST your mind. Get off of social media. Don’t allow people over who don’t respect your boundaries. Don’t invite people into your space that make you feel small or unworthy of parenting in the way you feel is right. Focus on nourishing, supportive relationships and if you need help finding support, check out my RESOURCES page or send me a message. We NEED community for our own mental health, sometimes it’s hard to find it when we are drowning postpartum.
NOURISH. Get enough calories. If you want to breastfeed, you need to eat. Breastmilk actually sucks from our own bodies to give to our babies, so if you don’t want to have brittle bones and teeth, EAT!
We often say: It takes 9+ months to grow a baby, so it is going to take some time to come out of that experience. Give yourself grace, give your body gratitude, give yourself compassion and let things be messy. Leave the Legos on the floor, the dishes in the sink, the text messages unanswered and snuggle with your baby- this time is oh-so-brief.
PLEASE reach out with more questions or concerns- There are many, many resources here and if I can’t be one- I’d love to connect you to one.