RETREAT: Oh how far we’ve strayed from ancient wisdom for postpartum. Somehow, a pervasive idea has spread in modern times that the mom who is out and about soonest with her baby is somehow the strongest, like an episode of Survivor. But that’s all upside down – in a healthy postpartum period, it’s she who stays still that wins the prize!
Along with underestimating the need for stillness, modern families also underestimate the need for the space and time it takes to get used to life with a baby. Closing the curtains and hunkering down for much more time than you think you need is key to making the transition. ~ First Forty Days, Heng Ou
Mercifully, I’m having a very gracious postpartum so far. My new daughter is 7-days old and we are in bed together 20+ hours a day learning all about each other; skin-on-skin, figuring out our latch (ahem, so my nipples stay in-tact), and sinking into a gentle nursing rhythm.
I’ve been rather pampered (if we can call it that), which has made for a fairly graceful emotional ride.
I was keenly reminded though, how intense the first 24 hours can be; even as a third time mom having a newborn maintains an impressive amount of focus, diligence, and attention.
If you’re going to be a new mama for the first time, please bear the following in heart + mind;
- Things won’t always feel so intense, and it gets easier with time. You’re going to need to be brave, resilient, and allow yourself some time for the learning curve.
- Be gentle on yourself, let yourself be raw + open, and ask for help even if it feels hard to do so. Be clear about your needs. Accept gifts of food, love, service without obligation to entertain or even invite guests in, if you don’t want to.
- Put your OWN needs first, because your baby’s needs are in YOUR hands, no one else’s. This isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
- ‘Let your monkey do it!’ Your primal instincts are as fierce + knowing as they’ll ever be – they will not lie to you. Perhaps, put down the phone, apps, Dr. Google, grids or graphs, and outside voices. Listen closely to your baby, and that quiet voice from within cheering you on. These are the moments that show us what we’re made of, and you my love, are strong as a mother.
- Breastfeeding takes time to figure out, but it’s worth it. Breastfeeding, although as primal and natural as it comes, can take a lot of WORK. As a society I feel we are ill prepared for our first weeks of establishing a nursing relationship. Mamas, please don’t underestimate this. There is a whole new dance for you and your baby to learn, which will undoubtedly be easier for some than others;
- Being able to feed our babies from our bodies can feel incredibly emotional. Navigate the pressure by being as prepared as you can, in advance, with breastfeeding classes, books, and a network of professionals whom you can reach out to in the early days or weeks of nursing. (Resources below).
“Many women seem not to produce enough milk, but could produce enough if they were given the help and support they need.” ~ Dr. Jack Newman MD, Canada’s Foremost Breastfeeding Expert.
Books / Websites
- Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
- Dr. Jack Newman MD
- The First Forty Days, Heng Ou
Chiropractic, Osteopathic, or Cranial Sacral Care
- Dr. Jessica de Nooji, The Wellness Studio
- Dr. Gillian Sawyer, Mama and Me Chiropractic
- Dr. Stephanie Moody, Holistic Fertility Institute
- Dr. Patti Hort, Dr. For Moms
Lactation Support / Breastfeeding Classes
- Healthy Birth Choices Breastfeeding Class
- Dr. Lamond, The Alex Breastfeeding Clinic
- Jennifer Hammer, Sacred Nest
- La Leche League Canada
Nutritional / Naturopathic Care
- Lisa Hewitt Holistic Nutritionist, Bright Beginnings
- Dr. Andrea Beaubrun ND, Integra Naturopathics
- Dr. Hillary Dinning ND, Marda Loop Naturopathic
- Dr. Stephanie Moody, Healthy Little Bites
Quality Products for Nursing Mothers
Cherish every moment Sweet Mama, because these first days are fleeting + gone too soon. Now let the most beautiful romance of your life, begin!