The First 40 Days: Postpartum Plan
One evening early in our pregnancy I was beginning my preparation for our 120th-day celebration with kundalini and pregnancy which lead me into learning about the 40-day sadhana post childbirth. This of course lead me down a journey of discovering how interested I am about postpartum. Everything from nutrition, spiritual practices, the somatics, aura building, physically, mentally, and what we did years ago to support mama’s in our community. Many cultures share simple concepts around postpartum. Some call it “lying in” other call it “confinement”. Essentially this is a period of time where you do absolutely nothing but bond with your little one, snuggle, feed, rest, heal, and deeply nourish you and your little family. Each culture/lineage looks a bit different so I encourage you to explore and see what feels the most aligned for you and your family.
A book I couldn’t get my hands off was The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou (Author), Amely Greeven (Author), Marisa Belger (Author). This book has everything you will need to know about postpartum. It’s quite fascinating and also very eye-opening just how far society has strayed from raising children as a community (this has a lot to do with postpartum depression/anxiety and disconnection). We were on our baby moon in L.A. and I was able to share space with a couple teachers while at Rama Institute who are moms to little ones. From there I ventured out to listen to more stories from women who kindly shared so openly with me about their journey. The journey still continues and I am always in awh of the transition from pregnancy to postpartum.
I began to see a thread appear while I was “information gathering” of what women really struggled with, what they needed help with, what worked really nicely, what they wish they would have known/done, and how they felt overall. I know each person has their own experience but there is a theme happening in the world right now with new mama’s and postpartum.
I feel as though this has given me a huge amount of support and internal validation of what I was feeling called intuitively to focus on for postpartum. I feel grateful that my intuition lead me to research, explore, and connect with women who have been initiated into motherhood.
I am not going to go into detail about postpartum itself but what we are doing to prepare and what postpartum will look like for us as we welcome in this new chapter. I highly recommend focusing on this area for any new mamas-to-be and talk with your health care/medical provider about what you can do to ease this transition. It is SO incredibly important for you, the health of your little one, your relationships, your self-connection, healing, and your mental and spiritual being. Beyond what you already feel.
What our first 40 days will look like for our growing family:
40 days of nesting. We will begin a sadhana (daily practice) to welcome in this new chapter.
As little technology as possible. All of the frequencies that are roaming through the air now are very invasive to the new little beings body. This can stress the baby out along with aggravating their system right from the start. We will be keeping our wifi unplugged as much as possible, cell phones away from our bodies, little electronic sounds, and small doses of cell phone use. As an online entrepreneur and someone who works from their computer this is a huge shift for me. I am already preparing now.
Warming and hearty food that isn’t “air/ether” aggravating. In Chinese medicine (also ayurveda**) it is thought that after childbirth the mother has excess air and ether from labor. They believe that postpartum depression/anxiety can be a result of these two elements being out of balance. To balance the elements (we have all elements within us) warming foods that are hearty and easy to digest are the most nourishing and healing to the mother’s body. This means steaming and mostly cooked foods. Limiting harder to digest or raw that could prompt more air/ether in the body. (lots of information about this and recipes in the book above). Also, limiting wind or very cool temperatures externally is recommended.
Household support to alleviate tasks so we can bond and heal together as a family. Years ago the whole community and family would come together to support the women who had her baby. They would take over every task possible so she could simply bond, rest, feed, and heal from childbirth. Removing all tasks from her plate so she could simply integrate for the first while and regain her balance and energy before taking on all the tasks of the house, business/work, and other day to day items. We often see the exact opposite in today’s culture where women are left alone to do all the housework, care for the new baby, and heal her body…. and even go back to work immediately.
Baby will stay within the mother's aura. Since the babies entire system hasn’t fully developed yet the baby and mom share the same aura. It is believed that this is why babies will have a fuss or become stressed/aggravated when the mother leaves beyond 6 feet from them. The aura can extend further than 6 feet depending on your practice but generally speaking keeping the baby close to mom is very soothing and comforting for the little one. This builds a strong and confident little one. Research is showing why it is recommended to have your baby as close to you as possible at all times (I share them on FB lots!). Imagine you’ve spent 10 months hearing your moms heartbeat, tummy sounds, breath, and voice…. then all of a sudden weeks/months later you're in a dark quiet room and no one is around. That would be terrifying for a little one. Keep those little ones close.
Meditation + Kriyas for postpartum. Meditation and breathwork will most likely be the first two rituals to come in postpartum. Followed by kriyas that are safe for postpartum to balance and strengthen my entire 10 bodies post labor.
Justin will be with us! This is very special because I know many men have to go back to work very soon after childbirth. We are blessed with the lifestyle and work that we do to have the ability where we can all be together for the first 40 days.
Placenta encapsulation and tincture. I will be consuming the placenta post birth and have a tincture made to have in my cabinet for the future as well. If you're interested in the benefits I would read up on ingesting the placenta and speak with a doula/midwife/health care practitioner. This has shown to reduce postpartum blues, hormones imbalances, and assist the uterus back to its normal size and strength.
Doula. We have a doula pre, during, and post birth. She will be with us during labor, in the birth and after when we are home with the little one. This added support and help will give us the comfort of asking someone who solely supports women and families with any questions we may have as new parents.
Now our plan is a little bit more intensive than these 8 points I shared. With supplement support and other tidbits that I feel empowered to bring into my life postpartum. If you are interested I am happy to share! Let me know in the comments below or pop me an email.
Overall, our intention is to create an environment for the little one to come into that is relaxing, filled with love, safe, supportive, and slow. There will be a lot of time for adventure, socialization, technology, business, and tasks in the future.
For now, we are choosing the slow life.
This isn’t for everyone and you may or may not resonate with anything we are doing here. But I urge you to become curious about what you are doing and WHY you are doing it in your postpartum chapter. A lot of time we make decisions based on what others outside us are saying is best but the deepest and most transformational answers come from within. Never underestimate your mama intuition. You are ALLOWED to do it however you feel and know that everything can pause. Nothing will crumble or run away from you- only old patterns.
Everything can wait. You’ve been welcomed into motherhood and your little one deserves the most intentionally designed transition and integration onto this planet just as much as you do. Don’t forget about yourself. Ask for help. Take care of your body, mind, and spirit. Allow yourself extra time before hopping back into all of the things. You will be thankful you did.
The thread; to pause and allow yourself space.
I am curious- are you a mama to be? I’d love to hear your postpartum journey or what you are doing for your postpartum care! Let's connect :D send me an email or comment below and share!
(photo taken at 34 weeks)
(disclaimer: please consult a medical physician or health care practitioner before adding/removing/trying practices. I am not a doctor or advising you to do anything. Although, this is what has been working well for me! xxx)