40 Days Postpartum Around the World

I have recently been doing a lot of research about postpartum care and how it relates to women getting postpartum depression.  It is fascinating to me to find that cultures from all around the world, throughout the history of the world and seemingly independent of each other all advocate some kind of 30-40 day resting period after birth.

Most of them include the following:

  • warm foods
  • foods and herbs to build immunity, heal body, encourage milk production
  • avoiding all cold things- windy weather, etc.
  • hot baths, but no showering
  • intense resting
  • focus on breastfeeding
  • total quarantine
  • belly binding
  • wonderful pampering including massages
  • HELP FROM FAMILY MEMBERS AND OTHER WOMEN

It is the help from family members and other women that enable this time period.  Without extra help, it makes it much more difficult, especially when it is not the first child of the woman.  The point is- this whole practice is about women loving and supporting other women at a time when they need it most, AND women being humble enough to acknowledge that they do need it.  Americans, for the most part, simply have no exposure to this practice and we like to consider ourselves super women when we can bounce back 2 days after having a baby.  I know that I have certainly felt that way in the past…..but to be honest I am convinced that it dramatically increased my recovery time.  I have talked to 3 women just in the last month who had significant prolapse problems after their births, and 2 other women who had bleeding for 7 weeks plus after birth.  It has been my observation that these were caused in all cases by women not resting enough- not taking care of themselves, not accepting help.  These things, in my opinion can much more easily be avoided if we will just stop trying to disprove our insecurities by showing the world how strong we are, and instead do our best to taking care of ourselves. This study has totally changed my perspective on the postpartum period.  I know after my next baby I will be doing something very similar to this, and I will be much more aware of other women’s needs after a birth.

Here are some links to learn more about it:

http://www.kindredmedia.org/2011/10/how-other-cultures-prevent-postpartum-depression/

http://www.natural-motherhood.com/mother-roasting.html

http://www.tyckledtales.com/2012/12/03/postpartum-recovery-care-new-mom/

http://www.peggyomara.com/2014/01/22/ayurvedic-postpartum/

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2006/11/12/2003336078

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-murray/care-after-birth-different-moms-different-realities_b_2970981.html?

I LOVE this one… I have to include a quote:

“I hear many mothers say, “Oh, I don’t need to lay around. I’m fine to bounce back into my regular routine.” You know, we are fine to do lots of things that may not be the most healthy for us. We are fine avoiding exercise, we are fine drinking Coke, we are fine not taking supplements. But what if staying in bed for an extended period of time after giving birth is beneficial? Even if you don’t need to, it may be better for you in the long run. Just hear me out here.”

That ^ is from: http://www.middlewaymom.com/the-case-for-a-real-postpartum-rest-period/

“If Someone Peeked In” by Dear Kids

This was written by another very good friend of mine ;).  A clear and honest perspective of giving someone the benefit of the doubt.

“So when you are the “Someone Peeking In” during the middle of someone’s day and life experiences, just remember to pray a little bit first so you can see them the way God sees them. If you see someone in the mall and they are being snappy with their kids, maybe have a little sympathy because perhaps they are the parent who just lost a business, is getting sued, lost a loved one, or trying to make it through a divorce.”

http://www.dearkidsblog.com/2014/03/if-someone-peaked-in.html

“Why I Love My Stretch Marks” by Women in the Scriptures

This post was written by a friend of mine.  She has such incredible insight on an array of religious subjects, I encourage you to take a minute to peruse her blog.  It is truly wonderful and has been a blessing in my life.  This post in particular was emotionally nourishing to me after having babies and feeling like my body would never be the same.  Enjoy.

http://www.womeninthescriptures.com/2010/04/why-i-love-my-stretch-marks.html

3 Immodest Women by Kimberley Suchta

This needs to be shared with everyone I know.  I tire so quickly of conversations related to this.  Even for someone who is not Christian, this so poignantly describes how important it is to look a little deeper before judging someone.  Let’s please just love each other! I cannot say, “AMEN!” enough to this!!

“Let’s start praying that the gospel so invades our hearts that we are able to give to others, what we so undeservingly have already received. Only when that happens will we truly be able to demonstrate gospel modesty.”

http://www.kimberleysuchta.com/2014/07/14/three-immodestly-dressed-women-walk-into-a-church/