Organizing Your Postpartum Support Network – Part 1
A postpartum mother is as physically and psychologically fragile as her newborn babe. Her mind may be scattered and she may feel otherworldly. Rightfully so—she has just bridged worlds in bringing new life onto Earth! She needs all of her inner resources to rejuvenate from pregnancy and birth and to mother her baby.
Postpartum support truly aims to mother the mother. A layered support network ensures her needs are met immediately after birth and on into motherhood. First, let’s explore what support looks like in early postpartum and where to find it.
The first three days after birth are very tender. You will undoubtedly want loving helpers whom you and your family feel deeply comfortable with as they will be entering into your intimate space. Call upon those closest to you for support at this time. Six weeks is considered the standard “postpartum period” as this is how long it takes all bodily tissues to rejuvenate after birth given that the mother is well cared for and nourished on all levels—body, mind, and soul. Focus on securing help for the first two to six weeks.
Postpartum Support Ideas
Early postpartum help includes:
- Providing fresh nourishing food and herbal teas
- Soothing the baby while you do self-care or bond with your other children
- Deeply listening
- Giving your other children ample attention
- Taking up your usual housework
- Running essential errands
I encourage you to enlist your best friend in organizing your support network. She/he can really get things going at your blessingway or baby shower, and navigate helpful online tools such as Volunteer Spot and Take Them A Meal. When considering who to ask, think outside the box! Beyond family and friends, look to:
- Your church or yoga studio
- Women’s circles in your area, such as the Red Tent
- Your prenatal fitness class
- Any mom’s groups nearby, such as your local La Leche League chapter
- Parents of your children’s playmates
- Other parents from your childbirth education class
Remember that people love the opportunity to help, and to know that they are an integral part of welcoming a new being to this planet. So don’t resist asking!
Nena Complo offers women and families holistic support throughout the childbearing years. She is a holistic birth & postpartum doula, yoga teacher, and midwifery student. Nena lives with her sweet husband and their two radiant daughters in LoveLand, Ohio.