“Overnight the woman can change from being the blooming focus of everyone's attention and love, the "pregnant queen" whose every whim is met, into a shattered shadow of a servant, whose well being is only of interest in so far as she is the giver of nourishment and comfort to the baby who now becomes the absolute focus of attention.” Uma Dinsmore-Tuli
After birth I was only asked:
how is your milk?
how much does she sleep?
Was she a ‘good’ baby?
When really what I needed to be asked was:
Do you need nourishing food?
How are you sleeping?
Do you need to talk about your birth or is there anything on your heart?
My baby had everything she needed. But I didn’t. How we are seen, held, cared for, and loved during our postpartum affects us for decades later.
Postpartum in Latin means “bringing forth” or “after birth”. Thus as mothers, we are forever postpartum, never returning to what or who we were before giving birth. This can be hard to integrate, and even harder to imagine when you have not crossed that threshold. But once, on the other side, you know it. For some, the postpartum time is considered the length of time it takes for the uterus to shrink back to its original size (9-11 days) our first check-up with our doctor (6 weeks) or a period of confinement, the ‘golden month’ (which can be up to 60 days) Others believe it is when we complete the 4th trimester, or 9 months as many feel 9 months in and 9 months out is an ideal time frame and for others 2 years if they choose to breastfeed that long. But truly, our postpartum time frame is as unique to us as each pregnancy, labor and our children are. And perhaps postpartum really is forever.
But how do we create a nourishing postpartum? We focus on the 5 Postpartum pillars: