The first 5 days at home with your newborn
Over my years of supporting women through the incredible life transition of becoming Mother (no matter how many times you give birth this is new every time) I have learnt so much about the needs of her during this extremely sacred and pivotal time that will shape her mothering and recovery.
Here is what I have learnt and observed and am sharing for all women, partners and family so you can see how you can implement these observations to support her (the newborn mother) in her journey.
The first 5 days:
A newborn mother should have physical and emotional support on tap during these early days as she is going through a gamut of feelings and emotions on all levels (not to mention the spiritual shift that has occurred).
She should be on complete bed rest for those first 5 days regardless of her birth experience. If she has experienced tearing, bruising, excessive bleeding or any kind of surgery this should be extended to 10 days - complete bed rest. Why does she need this? I have observed that women who have this time in bed doing skin to skin with bubs for 5-7 hours per day with no clothes on so bubs can easily access the breast have not only a higher success rate of reaching their breastfeeding goals but develop an attunement with baby that provides a peace and secure attachment. Also recovery - rejuvenation of energy expended during the birth process.
Grounding - Allows her to re-enter her physical body in fullness, I say this as she will feel away with the fairies. Her energy system needs to come back after being opened up wide. Getting time standing on grass barefooted for 5-10 minutes a day whilst getting some sunshine is great medicine and the only movement outside of the bedroom that I would say is going to add value to her recovery.
Being on bedrest gives the newborn Mother to reflect and bask in her experience whilst not expending energy in tasks that take her away from her primary role of learning to breastfeed and bonding with her baby. Anything else is a disruption to her very vulnerable state. She is developing her sacred bond with her baby.
Healing of her physical body is accelerated as she recovers and is only expending energy for healing and feeding.
Only having visitors who you are happy and comfortable seeing you in your bed without clothes are those who are invited, keeping privacy and intimacy intact as your baby's sense's are firing and you want as little external disturbances as possible.
Oxytocin Oxytocin Oxytocin!!! Keeping the oxytocin flowing and staying in this bubble promotes so many positive things for your Mothering. Here are a few of the benefits - promotes healing of your uterus, supports breastfeeding and relaxing into this journey, bonding with your baby, supportive of your neurology and leaning into your Mothering. If you are not in the love bubble then your likely to be feeling overwhelm, stress, anxiety, exhaustion beyond coping, hypervigilance and sometimes confusion just to name a few.
If you are expecting a new baby as the Mother-To-be you may be wondering how do I create my environment to do this? It sounds amazing but how do I do this!
Never fear Mama, this is about receiving and having your support team ready for once bubs arrives so you know that once bubs has been born everyone goes into action to take on the roll they have been assigned.
If you are a support person for a new mama, I hear you saying what can I do? Ask the mama to be what you can do before she gives birth? Provide suggestions of what you feel you are up for doing for her to see if that lands for her and always check in without expecting a reply #newbornlife
If you want more information on how to create your postpartum environment to optimise your healing, recovery, breastfeeding, bonding with baby and adjustment for the entire family join me for one of my #postpartum planning workshops. I have 3 coming up in August or you can connect with me to discuss a private session.
Of course this is the first 5 days of bed rest, setting you up for the next 5 which is extending to around the bed. So a bit more movement with rest, recovery and continued bonding and learning to breastfeed to be the main theme. Post to come about what these days can look like with planning and preparation.
You won't get a re-run of this postpartum period Mama.