What sort of support will you need after your baby is born?
One of my roles as a postpartum doula is supporting you to prepare for early motherhood by helping you identify why you might need to receive support after giving birth and for quite some time afterwards.
Because whilst our culture assumes women ‘bounce back’ after giving birth, the reality is that many mothers struggle.
So often people assume that mothers can and should manage alone as independent and self sufficient units of mamamazing efficiency.
But expecting new mothers to be ‘independent’ and ‘efficient’ is inaccurate at best and dangerous at worst. As women are left with no choice but to attempt to embody an ideal of what it is to be a mother. All without understanding the deep healing required after giving birth, the demands of caring for a newborn baby, and the long term impact that not being able to ask for or receive support at this time might have on the health and happiness of her body, heart, baby, and entire family.
Mothers who have to manage alone miss out on the nurtured and nourished love and care they completely deserve and absolutely require in order to recover from pregnancy and birth whilst navigating all the challenges of early motherhood.
So why will you need support after your baby is born?
Because if you’re a mother you need to heal after giving birth. This means you need to rest. Whilst also caring for a small baby who will take at least eight hours a day to feed. You need support to ensure you rest well. Eat well. Heal well. You need support to be completely relieved of any of your usual responsibilities so you can focus on recuperating, bonding with your baby, and learning to breastfeed. It’s smart to receive support after giving birth. There are no medals for pushing through, carrying on, and returning to normal faster than fast. More likely that’s a recipe for exhaustion, depletion, and depression.
And sometimes you’re just stuck under a sleeping baby for hours and hours. It can be hungry and thirsty work cuddling a sleeping child. And sometimes you want that child to stay asleep muuuuch more than you want to get up to make a cup of tea.
So if you don’t have support, who will bring you a cuppa and a snack when you can’t roll away?
What sort of support will you actually need after your baby is born?
Warm date milk and almond cookies delivered to them in bed of course!
As well as plenty of delicious food. Snacks and meals. Nourishment. Love. Connection. Kind words. Grocery shopping. Dish washing. Dog walking. Help with the baby so you can shower. With breastfeeding so you feel supported. With normalising ALL the feelings. With older children. With general housework and housekeeping. With healing and recovery. With putting on the laundry and then hanging it out and then putting it away. And then doing it all again. With taking some time out and not feeling guilty. With allowing yourself to not be perfect. With asking for and receiving help and support when it’s offered. With being so very kind and gentle to yourself.
Mothers of newborns are hovering in a liminal space which needs protecting and caring for both together, at once.
I wonder what sort of support you imagine needing when your baby is born?
And so who can support you after your baby is born?
A partner. Family. Friends. Sisters. Aunts. Cousins. Neighbours. Midwives. Doulas. Lactation consultants. GP’s. Counsellors. Maternal child health nurse. Naturopaths. Osteopath. Chiropractor. Acupuncturists. Psychotherapists. Psychologists. Women’s health physiotherapists. Somatic Experience Practitioners. Cleaners. Nannies. Dog walkers. Baby sitters. Food delivery services. Pilates teachers. Yoga teachers. Shiatsu therapists. Massage therapists.
And of course mothers. Mothers can also support themselves. By knowing this is a fleeting period in your life. By respecting that recovery takes time. By being so very kind and gentle with yourself. By being both clear in identifying your needs, and fearless in protecting them.
Because whilst our culture assumes women just ‘bounce back’ after giving birth, the reality is that many mothers struggle.
Because too often new mothers disappear behind a snuggly baby, a polite smile, and the expectation they can and must manage alone.
When actually, no mother was ever meant to mother alone without love, deep consideration, and abundant support.
Of course not all of these support people are available all of the time. But some are.
So who do you hope will support you when your baby is born?
And if you’re just not sure, I can help you figure this out. I can help you identify what sort of support you’ll need after your baby is born, and who can support you. I’d love to help you to prioritise the care and consideration you’ll need as a newborn mother to ensure you heal better and more completely.
I’d love to help you.