In many cultures, the first six weeks following birth is a key period of healing, resting, and bonding with baby. New mothers (and fathers) are supported by their ‘village’, whether that’s family, friends, doulas, a church group or even an online community of mothers. These people carry the mother and family through the intense transition into parenthood. As Heng Ou, author of The First Forty Days, puts it:
Though brief, [the first forty days] are a time of amazing intensity and adjustment.Your body transforms – again – and your heart throbs more feelings than you even knew possible. Your internal rhythms ping-pong as days and nights merge. Your stamina and serenity get tested like never before. Your connection to the world you knew before loosen, or even come undone, and your sense of who you are begins to change and morph. – Heng Ou, The First Forty Days
I’m forever grateful for the people in my life who have helped me and David through this transition. The support we received over the past six weeks has allowed us to focus on getting to know our baby, and has given my body a much needed break from nine months of pregnancy and several hours of labour. Below are some things that I found extremely helpful and comforting during the post-partum period.
10 Ways to Support a Mom (and family) After Birth
1// Clean the house. Take the garbage out, clean the washrooms, mop the floors, do laundry, and change the sheets.
2// Do groceries. Essentials include milk, eggs, cheese, bread, yogurt, granola, fruits, salads, and meats.
3// Make meals and healthy snacks. Soups with bone broth are great for healing. Healthy snacks for middle of the night hunger pangs include: Lara Bars, granola bars, banana bread, muffins, nuts, etc.
4// Bring some treats for the harder days, like dark chocolate, homemade cookies, pies etc.
5// Make tea or coffee (and give her a chance to drink it hot)
6// Give her a break from holding the baby
7//Give her a back, arm, foot, and/or hand massage
8// Make her a perineum bath soak
9// Listen to her vent about sleepless nights, and reassure her that it gets better and that she will sleep again
10// Tell her she looks beautiful, and is doing an amazing job
Photography by: Yellow Brick Road Photography