The Missing Village
Updated: Feb 5
Between our cultures epidemic of busyness, and the waves of the pandemic, birthing families are often left to fend for themselves. This can be very isolating and lonely and can have a long lasting impact. Families need support, but ultimately the birthing mom is my biggest concern. Her body, her emotional well-being, and her mental well-being have been through a huge transition, that changes her forever.
When I start supporting my clients one of the first orders of business is creating a postpartum plan. I ask them to imagine the weeks and months after the baby has arrived. I ask them to be intentional about creating a healthy beginning for their family.
We work together to build a Village that will be there to nurture the family for the next 12 weeks, and beyond.
I use these 5 Universal Postpartum needs as a template to guide us to create a solid plan.
The 5 Universal Postpartum Needs.
1. Extended Rest period. Let’s talk about why it’s important to rest. Our tendency is to get up and accomplish things. Let’s talk about how we can plan to make sure you get plenty of rest for at least 8 weeks.
2. Nourishing Food. Let’s do some meal planning. Freezer meals prepared in advance, meal train, take out. Easy, and nutritious, and healing. Planning ahead is key.
3. Loving touch. Sadly, touch is lacking in our society. Massage, back rubs, hugs, these things give us a good hit of oxytocin aka ‘the love hormone.’ It helps heal the body and soul. You cannot overdose on this!
4. Companionship. Having someone that you trust to hold your baby, and spend time with you is worth planning for. Being able to openly share your thoughts and feelings has huge benefits for mental health.
5. Contact with Nature. Spending time outside reduces anxiety, stress, and blood pressure, and it increases calmness, dopamine production, and our overall well-being. It’s a breath of fresh air!
By 6 weeks postpartum I want my clients to be thriving, and thoroughly enjoying this special time. And my hope is that the Village they've created will continue to support them forever.
(These ideas were inspired by a book that I read in my doula training that I highly recommend, called, The Fourth Trimester-by Kimberly Ann Johnson)