The weeks and months following your birth are a powerful time of transition for you and your baby.  It is a magical time I commonly refer to as your babymoon, in which you are falling in love with your baby and forming the deepest of bonds.  You are learning your baby’s cues, learning how to nurse, and establishing new rhythms.

Physically and emotionally your body had to do the work of opening to give birth to your baby and it takes time for the body and emotions to regain a sense of balance.  Tissues need to heal.  The body needs to be nourished and allowed to rest so that it may then be able to nourish another life. Taking herbal sitz baths, sleeping when your baby sleeps, eating warm nourishing foods, are just some ways that you can support yourself during your babymoon.

It is important that this time be honored and not rushed.  I cannot stress enough the importance of this period for a mother’s short and long-term health.  Rushing out of this phase or experiencing excessive stress during this time depletes a mother’s energy and emotional resources and can lead to a weakened physical and emotional state for months and even years to come.

A key for postpartum bliss is to slow things way down and allow others to support you.  Your partner, your family, and your close friends can help take care of YOU so that you can take care of your baby.  Here are some things I strongly recommend that you do for a peaceful and blissful postpartum:

  • Ask a friend to set up a meal delivery/chore assistance chain for your family.  This is not the time to entertain visitors but if they are coming to meet the baby they might as well bring fresh food and throw a load of laundry in.
  • Eat plenty of warm nourishing foods and keep your body covered and warm.  Remember that your body, heart, and spirit were opened up wide to give birth to your baby and they are still very much open after birth.
  • Limit your guests to certain hours of the day.  Your midwife will place a sign on your door kindly asking guests to limit their visits to 15 min in the early days following your birth.  This is a time for your partner to be the guardian of the home and protect you and your baby’s sacred space.
  • Schedule some postpartum massages, in home if possible, or allow a friend to give you regular warm oil massages that are firm using long strokes.  See the Resources page for my most highly recommended postpartum massage therapist.
  • Take at least 2 naps in the daytime for the first 2 weeks after your birth and at least 1 each day in the weeks after.  Sleep when your baby sleeps.  Resist the temptation to “get things done” when your baby is sleeping.
  • Co-sleep with your baby.  This can mean bringing your baby into the family bed (please read about how to safely do this) or simply bringing the baby into your room.  You will find that you will nurse more frequently, which establishes a good milk supply, yet you will sleep better because you are not wasting energy walking to a different room and sitting down to nurse.
  • Take an herbal sitz bath twice a day followed by a nice warm shower at least once a day.  Ideally you will have your warm oil massage followed by a warm shower and then tuck yourself in bed with your baby to nurse and sleep.  This can happen at anytime in the day or evening.
  • Incorporate gentle, restorative yoga poses at home to start regaining your strength and flexibility after the first 2 weeks postpartum.  In the following months, when the time feels right to you, you can venture out to a mama/baby yoga class at a studio.

Each culture has it’s own postpartum traditions.  Unfortunately here in the U.S we are expected to get “back to normal” as quickly as possible, six weeks being the maximum time allowed for this powerful transition to take place.  It is my hope and intention that every family honor this very special time in ways that support the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of both mother and baby.