What is the first thing when it comes to your mind when you hear the word Postpartum?
I went on a quick Google search for the word Postpartum, and the first pages were links about depression. Many moms worldwide use the name “Postpartum” as a synonym of “Depression” that happens after the baby is born.
But it is no the same! Postpartum is a time frame from when the baby is born up to one year, and it is not only about the one who is giving birth, but about the family as a unit. That means both parents are going through a Postpartum period for 12 months after their baby is born.
The second thing I noticed from my search was that most of the postpartum related images and videos are about weight recovery. From when you learn you are pregnant and all the way after the baby is born, you are bombarded with ads and magical formulas to look “perfect” after birth!
And I firmly believe WE NEED TO CHANGE THE CONVERSATION! I would like to read more about how incredible mothers are during the Postpartum stage and how much they deserve to be celebrated and supported during those first days. I want to read more about how her body is perfect, that it is normal to be tired, and that, yes, there are many challenges she might struggle with, but it is not what defines her as a new mother.
And I would like to see how to celebrate a new mother on the top of the list! We celebrate weddings, baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, and why not take our time to celebrate that we become mothers. After all, for most women, it is one of the most important days of our lives.
Let me be clear, Mother´s Days is a great idea, but it is not what I meant with a Motherhood Celebration. In many cultures worldwide, becoming a mother gives the person a special place in society. Therefore, rituals and gifts are offered to honor her. The women of their families and closest female friends come together to support her during the first days. There is nutritious food, unique clothes, herbal remedies, and many other things to give the mother a beautiful experience. Unfortunately, those rituals are now diluted in our modern life. Not many women know about them or follow them as it feels old-fashioned.
Why is it important to take the time to celebrate Motherhood?
I am not asking you to dance naked under the moonlight (if you don´t want to). On the contrary, you shouldn´t stay in bed without moving for weeks. It is about taking some hours or even days to mindfully acknowledge and celebrate your new role as a mother; you are owning your history. You deserve it for all you have accomplished and for all that is coming on your way. You are saying yes to your identity and giving yourself time to absorb all that is happening to your body and mind. You are owning your right to heal.
Indeed, you are not sick, and having a baby is not a condition that needs to be healed. However, it is essential to remember your uterus grew from the size of a small orange to a watermelon!. Maybe you are in pain, and you are bleeding. Or perhaps you have major abdominal surgery, aka c-section. You need to give your body time to heal. This is when you can take the time to embrace your new role and celebrate it.
5 ways to Celebrate Motherhood
The first couple of weeks are for you to slowly connect with your baby and your new self. Eat well, rest as much as possible, and talk to people around you. Talk with other moms. Let your family and friends help you. Sleep more. When you feel stronger, it is time to celebrate.
Reflect on how you are feeling through art.
Use your creative mind to express your motherhood identity through painting, a photo, collage, an album, or whatever you can think of.
Pamper your body with a massage
Book it even before your baby is born and asked them to send you a reminder a day or two before.
Ask help for organizing a “Postpartum Party”
Invite someone from your family or a close friend to organize a mini party for you. Gifts must be for the mom (and partner), not for the baby. From body creams, chocolate bars, books, gift cards, or even hand-made coupons for cleaning the house, making some food, etc. Nowadays, all can be done virtually, so no excuses!
Explore your culture’s rituals
Suppose you have no idea how becoming a mother is celebrated in your culture or how they used to do it. In that case, you can always ask your grandma or someone more familiar with the local traditions. You can always search on the internet. Select some activities that you feel identified with and plan before the baby is born so you can get help from friends and family.
Celebrate the Mexican Way!
Yes, as a Traditional Mexican Doula, I know all about how to celebrate new mothers. We take the first forty days to honor here in many ways. We use herbal baths, vaginal steaming, rebozo massage, belly binding, body massage, and delicious food and drinks. It is a unique experience that gives the mom all the energy and healing she needs for those first days! If you want to learn more about it, just send me a quick message!
Change the conversation! Let´s stop looking at the Postpartum stage as a difficult time. Let´s start looking at it as a time for healing our body, gather our strength, and allow ourselves to accept help from others.
Why? Because we deserve it.