Creating your Babymoon : A Guide for a Healing Postpartum

 

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BEAR MAMA MEDICINE (3)

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39 thoughts on “Creating your Babymoon : A Guide for a Healing Postpartum

  1. Mindy says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. I hope you don’t mind I took an excerpt from it and reposted it on my blog with links to your post. Your words are so insightful and I felt they deserved a share. Please let me know if you don’t want it on my blog and I will take it down immediately. Thank you for all that you do! Also, I am beginning to compile a database of doulas and birth educators on my zero-profit site. It’s simply a resource for women. Can I add you as a resource? If so, please email me the region or area you service, including a list of services you provide.

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    • bearmamamedicine says:

      Mindy, I’m more than happy to see myself included in your blog post! Thank you for being so thoughtful. I would also love to be included on your database- however, I’m no longer am serving as a doula. I do offer holistic women’s health coaching and education to clients across the U.S., so if that’s something you’re interested in including, let me know!

      Much love,
      Stephanie

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  2. Laura says:

    This is marvelous. I work as a doula in Chicago, where the expectations of most of the mamas I’ve served & have known has been to overextend, overtax, & exhaust these already tired gals. Even though I know these simple things, it is nice to have something to site. Especially one written with humor & caring.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bearmamamedicine says:

      Ah! Thank YOU. It really is a lot of simple stuff, but I think that’s what makes it so easy to neglect or take for granted. I’m pleased you find this a suitable resource for your clients! Warms my heart. πŸ™‚

      -Stephanie

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  3. Amy says:

    I love the ideas here but how do you do it at home alone with a toddler? I can’t possibly stay in bed for a week…and she needs to be lifted too. I’m worried!

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    • bearmamamedicine says:

      Hi Amy! Thank you for your comment. I understand you fears completely- I have a wild two-year-old and a six-week-old right now and my partner went back to work on like, Day Three. Since I don’t know the particulars of your individual situation, I’m just going to throw things out there and you can decide what makes sense for you πŸ™‚

      -Get creative with help. Can you ask a neighbor or friend to come at the same time each day to lift her into bed? Or spend an hour or two with her so she has the undivided attention of an adult she loves and you can rest? Start putting the word out now that you will be alone and see who steps up… You might be surprised.
      -It was hard to not lift my toddler up that first week, but I did it. Was she very happy with me? No. But I’m the mama and I put my foot down about it. Again, I got creative. Can you camp out on the floor or couch somewhere? Of course, newborns + couches isn’t so great, but during the day it works.
      -Prep now some activities that will keep your toddler busy, and be okay with letting her watch a little bit more TV/movies than you would otherwise be okay with. Another thing I also did was keep on hand special snacks for my older kids that made them feel like I remembered them, too.

      Above all else, when you’re out of bed, TAKE IT EASY. Move slowly. Do not go up and down stairs one foot at a time (you should take each step with both feet so that you’re not twisting at all). If you MUST lift her, find some assisted way of doing so (can she climb up a chair?), make sure you don’t valsalva or close your throat and create pressure in your chest/abdomen, and bend at the knees and not the waist.

      It stinks but it’s possible. I hope this helps at least a little. Good luck to you… and congratulations πŸ™‚

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      • bearmamamedicine says:

        Oh! Also! You must (I’m telling you what to do here) NAP when your toddler naps. This is key to basic survival!! You have to resist the urge to do housework in that first week and view sleep as critical medicine, as completely non-negotiable. Okay?? πŸ™‚

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  4. Tash says:

    What a beautiful article! I’ve never had a baby, but at 29, and recently married, we’re hoping to conceive next year. I’ve read do many articles about what to expect, blah blah, and this is by far the most fulfilling and realistic. I am a student in my third year of acupuncture school, and I’m all about how to do things naturally. I look forward to discovering more of your articles! !

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    • bearmamamedicine says:

      Tash! Thank you so much for your feedback. Many, many blessings to you on your motherhood journey and with going after your dreams as a healer! You’ll have to stick around to let me know what questions you have as things move forward for you. πŸ™‚

      -Stephanie

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  5. Clare Calver says:

    This is a really interesting article, and quite different than the conventional wisdom taught in hospital. My concern about staying in bed apart from toilet breaks would bet be the possibility of dvt from lack of movement. With both of my births I was encouraged to to get up and move in small amounts frequently. In fact the hospital would not serve breakfast to rooms unless you were simply too ill or on complete bed rest, one had to take your baby with you to a breakfast room. Would you see this as a potential risk for some women? Or is it conventional medicine being over zealous?

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    • bearmamamedicine says:

      Hi Clare! This is a really great question to which I’ll give you both my anecdotal perspective and the empirical insight there is on the subject. First, deep vein thrombosis is much more associated with Cesarean birth (and surgery in general) than vaginal birth. It’s also more prevalent during the antepartum period than it is during postpartum. (Here’s a full presentation from ACOG that I found on this very subject.)

      With this in mind, assessing for DVTs is still definitely part of the postpartum assessments I did during my OB preceptorship, but it wasn’t the emphasis. Hemorrhage is always a much bigger concern- globally, it causes 25% of maternal mortality cases and the risk for PPH exists for up to 30 days. I was really curious about your question because the global norm for postpartum recovery includes some form of strict confinement and DVT has never come up as an issue in any of the literature specific to postpartum that I have found. I’m always way more concerned about PPH. In fact, my very first doula client was placed on bedrest 2 weeks postpartum because of significant breakthrough bleeding.

      That may be why my views come off a little heavy handed to STAY IN BED. Realistically, you’re shifting around to care for you baby, changing diapers, etc. and stretching your legs a bit as you adjust to your non-pregnant body. Of course, I do think we are a bit overzealous about starting back up too soon, and the culture in the hospital is very focused on promoting patient independence. I want to add that there are a lot of reasons that nurses want to see patients up an moving, and a lot of risks associated with immobility- pneumonia, skin integrity, constipation- and getting up to walk also helps bladder distention and organ replacement which prevents PPH. With all things, there has to be balance, and here we’re trying to strike a balance between risk vs. benefit. In my mind, the benefits of lying-in postpartum are far greater than the potential (and rare) risk of DVT. I don’t mean to try to minimize that, as everybody’s risk factors are different, which is outlined really well in the ACOG link above. πŸ™‚

      I hope this was helpful!
      -Stephanie

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      • cardenuto says:

        I was wondering the same thing, because I embraced the “do it all, you’re not sick” mentality with my first 3 kids, and had a very hard recovery each time. With my 4th, I followed my new midwife’s adviceto do this, and my husband used all his year’s vacation time to give me 3 weeks of rest with him home. BUT then I got a dvt that time!! It was so painful, so scary. The nurse at the midwife’s office did tell me, though, that being sedentary like that probably didn’t cause it, since I did get up for the bathroom or to make tea.

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  6. goingtoeatworms says:

    I love this. I had a hard pregnancy, emotionally and a 3 day long, challenging labor. It was hard for me to connect with my babe inutero.

    In the first week after birth even though a friend came to help me, a single mom, she had no children and didn’t really know what to do.

    Everyone expected me up and walking. I was so exhausted and overwelmed and confused by whatbwas happening with my body….lots of tears…. Too many activities….I ended up tearing my stitches, I bled for almost 10 weeks, I had a very hard time breastfeeding…

    I adamantly wish I had done what you recommend here….wish I had somebody who understood this and could have supported me in it.

    I feel I would be healthier now even… 15 months later..this is my biggest advice to all new moms.

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    • bearmamamedicine says:

      Ugh, huge big mama bear hugs to you. I hear stories like this way too often and it enrages me slash breaks my heart.

      It makes a huge difference that your support person is a parent themselves. HUGE! I hope that if you end up having any more babes, you’re able to access and plan the resources you need and deserve. All my love.

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    • Meg says:

      As a mom pregnant with #6 and with many friends who have #5-8, my thought Country Christian and Crunchy! is to get those big kids to help! Your oldest 2 are your biggest allies helping with “their” new baby. I haven’t emptied or filled my dishwasher more than 5 times or put away kids clothes in 3 months, and my oldest is 9! You have a great resource right there with you!

      Like

  7. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says:

    Love this so much! One of the best articles I’ve ever read about the babymoon! Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m grateful to have amazing midwives who also believe in this. Loved my homebirths and the time I got with my littles after they were born.

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  8. Carol says:

    Excellent and insightful article and very inspiring.
    As a practising herbalist, I have made versions of the pregnancy tea and sitz bath ideas.
    I agree — great choices. Lemon Balm also for uplifting, soothing carminative and my favourite with Motherwort. So relieved to see good solid info. Thanks!

    Like

  9. Erin says:

    Thank you. I just had my 3rd 3 weeks ago. I was able to get most of a week of almost 100% relaxing, and have been trying to ramp it up as slowly as possible. I was starting to feel guilty about how much time I’m still spending on the couch. Reading this has made me feel much better πŸ™‚

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  10. Nella says:

    Thank you so much for his, such a shame I didn’t read this before I gave birth! I had absolutely no idea what to expect and I’m a very educated person.simply no one ever told me ands the books I read all focused on labor and delivery, not recovery. Thanks again!

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    • bearmamamedicine says:

      Naturally! I had the very same experience with my first baby. It. Was. HARD. I had a doula that disappeared shortly after I gave birth and you’re right- none of the books dive into this deeply enough to help anyone feel prepared.

      Thank you for your kind words. ☺️

      Like

  11. Relationship Coaching of Cary says:

    Thank you for this article! I’m expecting my first in February and have been receiving many mixed messages about what to expect postpartum (many negative and unhelpful from other mothers who don’t share/value my beliefs surrounding birth and recovery). I feel encouraged by what you shared and have a some great resources now. Thanks again!

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  12. Elena says:

    Great advice, absolutely helpful, lovely piece. A fellow midwife posted the link to this because it resonated with her too. Can’t read all the comments right now so not sure if anyone has mentioned it but many midwives I’ve learned from and worked with (in Ontario, Canada) are also proponents of side-lying nursing to allow mom to rest and keep pressure off of her healing skin or deeper tears and not have her perineal floor fighting gravity (even if she didn’t tear). I find it harder to keep my clients who don’t tear in bed. It is a harder latch to learn and get good at, but so worth it to keep trying. One final suggestion, for if one cannot keep everyone at bay for two weeks… visiting hours at home. So a small window (1-3hours Max) during which people who absolutely cannot be put off can visit (and do helpful things and not interrupt feeds or naps). Then they absolutely must leave.
    Thanks for your great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Anna M says:

    What if you feel pressure to be up and around after three days? My SIL has had several kids, super easy pregnancies and deliveries, and prides herself on how none of it is really as hard as women make it out to be. She thinks women who stay in bed for a week basically just use pregnancy/birth as an excuse. Women who are emotional during pregnancy or after baby is born – using pregnancy/birth as an excuse. She was up and about and making her husband breakfast in bed 3 days after baby was born. Because of how she is, and how little anything affects her, my husbands whole family expects this and thinks I should be able to do the same. “Well so-and-so said it’s really not that hard.” Being that as it is, I am nervous to talk to my hubby and see what he is thinking/expecting, or to talk to him about the kind of help I may need. This is our first, I don’t know what to expect. I can’t make many freezer meals ahead of time due to lack of space – and I am picturing needing to do everything myself. I will do what I need to, I just feel so pressured into not resting/asking for help/ etc.

    Like

    • bearmamamedicine says:

      I’m sending some fierce love your way because I hear this so much and it makes me so angry that women do this to each other! We were actually discussing this the other day in the chat during one of my webinars, so I’ll just share the thoughts we discussed then.

      1. You have to stand in your power and advocate for your needs and desires. Someone else’s experience has nothing (NOTHING) to do with you. I know it’s hard, but do your best not to internalize what you think your in-laws and husband think based on one other person’s experience or judgment. Default to reminding them, “I’m not her.” OR “That has nothing to do with me.”

      2. If your husband is more of the analytical type, there is a significant body of evidence that shows how the majority of postpartum mothers regret not getting more rest and believe they would have benefited from more healthcare after birth.

      3. If he’s more of the heartfelt type, remind him that you’re never going to get this time back with your tiny baby. And also that you understand his loyalty to his family, but that you need him to be your partner in this. Stand in your power! Tell him that your wellness is non-negotiable. But YOU have to believe that and stand strong in that.

      And chances are, your husband’s not really going to “get it” until after the birth, especially if this is his first, too. Fathers usually have a harder time conceptualizing the reality of things until there’s a baby in front of them.

      Also, if there’s any way you can reach out to friends (long-distance, even) to help you out by setting up a mealtrain, visiting with the expectation of offering help with your normal duties, and to create sacred space for you, do it. I’m not sure what kind of dialogue is possible with your mother-in-law, but if she’s open, there’s a lot of resources out there to offer up her way as well.

      Your sister-in-law’s decision to place her self-worth in diminishing the needs of other women should NOT be your burden to bear.

      Like

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