A funny thing happens when you get pregnant: suddenly you know every other pregnant mama in the world. If they aren't pregnant, then they just had their baby. It's fascinating and there is a lot of solidarity in this time of growing a baby. Plus, people generally adore pregnant women! Pregnancy is simply magical!
But here's the thing: once a woman actually gives birth to the baby, she is practically forgotten. Her body has just experienced the intense (albeit natural) trauma of blood loss, massive hormone disruption, extreme physical demands, and even loosing an organ that she grew just for the baby (placenta). Plus that baby that she was growing WITH HER BODY is now on the outside and requires 100% of her attention to thrive.
She is expected to leave medical supervision within 36 hours of having her baby, her body only barely beginning to find its new normal shape. Her former medical care (monthly and weekly doctor's appointments) dry up and she gets one quick visit when the baby is 6 weeks old. Those sweet baby showers that she enjoyed are expected to be the lasting form of support for her. As if cute baby clothes and baby hygiene products are all she needs to learn to become a mama to this new life. When people come to visit, it tends to be to hold the baby then leave. Then our culture expects her to just bounce back into her pre-pregnancy life and self within 2 months.
It is no small feat to become a modern American mama.
But motherhood is not required to be so depleting, exhausting, and isolating. How about we spread out the attention and let some of the wonder and magic linger BEYOND pregnancy?! Instead of putting so much emphasis on baby showers and birth plans, let's ask mamas about their POSTPARTUM PLANS, provide meal trains, and help around the house.
How could our families and culture be strengthened if mama is ENCOURAGED to rest and recover, to tap into her intuition with her precious new baby?
How can we all support the new mamas in our lives? Leave a comment below to tell me your favorite recovery tips or how you enjoy supporting the new mamas in your life. I'd love to hear from you!
Yoga Teacher. Thinker of things.
Sometimes I just need to empty the contents of my brain into words.