The first few weeks after giving birth…..

I have had more than a few discussions this week with first time parents about the first few weeks after giving birth and what that should really look like.  I have pretty stringent “rules” for my home birth mama’s about what they should be doing postpartum. Staying in bed and only getting up to use the bathroom for the first few days is a big one.  This may sound difficult but I explain, once we leave that space, life changes.  In the womb-space of the bedroom, you are getting to know your baby.  Learning each other and figuring out breastfeeding.  These early days are so precious.  Once we leave that space, life changes.  We may not think twice about doing a few loads of laundry or picking up around the house.  When women give birth in hospitals or birth centers are “free to go about getting back to life sooner”, but is that what we need to be doing?  Do we really need to stop at Buy Buy Baby on the way home from the hospital?!  NO Please?!

When I had my first baby 26 years ago, my very Greek mother came to help us.  She told me I shouldn’t go out for 40 days, that I should stay home and just be with my baby, only to leave to take the baby for a check up.   She came to help us with our next 2 babies and set the same rules for me.  At the time I resisted but looking back, I cherish that time I had with my babies.  In the Greek religion, a woman is considered unclean during the first 40 days, as she is still bleeding.  On the 40th day, she and her newborn are invited to the church, for her child to be welcomed into the congregation.  This practice of rest and seclusion is common in many cultures surrounding the first 30-40 days following birth. There are similarities that include a period of rest and pampering for the new mother, and isolation from those outside the immediate family.

In China, women adhere to 40 days of rest after birth, known as the confinement period. During this time, new mothers consume lactation-promoting soups and herbal tonics and stay away from cold fluids. In Mexico, this practice is called the cuarentena, and again rest is the rule and only certain restorative foods are permitted.

Yogis recommend that a child remain within the mother’s aura (within nine feet of her physical body) during the first 40 Days. Because of the child’s subtle sensitivity, a child is not left alone in a room during these weeks. If the mother needs to leave the child, then the father or another loving support person is with the child.

We need to remind ourselves to slow down.  We need to rest, breastfeed/feed our babies, eat nourishing foods and fall in love….  These things can’t happen with a house full of visitors, or lists of chores that need to be done.  We need support from our partners to be in this space.  I have many clients who will have no visitors for weeks after the birth.  This is difficult for family members friends but so important for the new parents learning how to be in this newness of life.  Cherish this time, because it goes by fast.

“He was inside where he was warm, cozy, and well contained. He came out and now he needs that touch, that feeling, that oneness within the nine feet of your aura. You are a modern woman. You want to go to a movie theater. When a child is born, you must stick with him for forty days and for two years you and your husband must keep him near the, breast and the chest. That the most darling God born in innocence to two people who believed in love.”
~ Yogi Bhajan, Women’s Camp, NM, 1989 ~





A midwife-mama relationship

I have been thinking a lot lately of the relationship between a midwife and her clients.  When a woman is looking for a midwife to attend her birth at home, I believe she has the expectation that this person she is looking for will help to educate her about her choices and empower her through her… Continue Reading

Support for your home birth

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Postpartum home visits

There is something so very special about caring for a woman and her baby in her own home.  There is a sense of peace and sacredness in her own space in the days following her baby’s birth.  No matter if this is her first or fifth baby, that energy is still present and revered. I will… Continue Reading

Welcoming Caleb

Sunday night we went to our church’s youth group meeting, It was a final goodbye to the youth pastor and he wanted to go out with a prayer and worship service. So I spent the evening losing myself in worship, getting prayed over and reconnecting with God. My relationship with God has suffered a lot… Continue Reading

Welcome to My Office

Welcome to my “offices”! As you can see, these are maybe not the typical offices you expect to find for a midwife? My “offices” are very far from the clinical environment women are used to. These are places that I try to make comfortable and safe for women during their prenatal visits with me. There… Continue Reading