During my pregnancy, I spent a lot of time learning about the first 40 days after birth. In many cultures, this is a very sacred time for mom and baby but in short, it’s a crucial time for mom to fully rest and allow her body to be nourished and replenished. Traditionally, the mom is taken care of by her immediate family, allowing her time to solely focus on her new baby (and herself) without needing to think about doing the dishes or what to make for dinner. A wild difference from our cultural norms.
Our culture glorifies women for “bouncing back” as quickly as possible. Most notably in my mind are the headlines I saw growing up that celebrated Heidi Klum for being back on the runway within six weeks with a body that showed no trace of birth. Beyond media, even our personal relationships have a twisted way of showing up for a mom after birth— we don’t. While a mom to be receives a ton of love, support and attention during pregnancy, she is usually completely disregarded once her baby is born. Our culture focuses on the baby, and very often forgets to acknowledge the completely life altering experience that a mom undergoes during and after birth. People, including loving and well meaning family members, can be incredibly selfish by focusing on their needs before considering the new mom. And I won’t even touch on the insane work expectations and lack of lengthier mat leave in this country. It’s all insane.
I really hope our generation drastically changes how we show up for moms post birth. But in the meantime, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s on us to learn how to over communicate our needs, while allowing ourselves to truly rest, a skill most of us have to relearn. A lot of this requires self-work and a shit load of self-love. But in a society that expects and demands so much from new moms, we have to learn how to put our needs ahead of everything else. Future moms— our daughters— depend on us to create anew in a society that was not built for them.
Post by: @alexfdamour