When I talk about the tender, yet magical time during postpartum, I always use the visual of being on a boat surrounded by mist that is in-between two lands. The one behind you was your old life prior to birth and the other land is your new life. At first, you might not see it because there is mist blocking the view. Soon it will start to clear and you will see new land ahead and eventually get off your boat and walk solidly onto the new land. The trick is to be on the boat and not try to paddle back to what was, as much of that is gone. If you push too hard to get to the other side, you will miss out on the important steps of learning about, forming healthy attachment, establishing breastfeeding, and bonding with your baby. Your body also needs time to heal, not just from birth, but from all the changes it went through to make and carry your baby.
How long will you be on the boat? Some women a month, others 3-6 months, and for some, a year or more. Don't compare yourself to others as they are not you and they are not raising your unique child. I can promise you, if you allow yourself to just be, and drop-in, you will come out the other side a more healed, confident, whole, and vital mother.
Here are my top 10 tips for that special time transitioning into motherhood:
- It takes a village - put together a postpartum support plan! This will look different for everyone based on needs, resources, etc - but here are a few ideas: hire a postpartum doula or arrange for a trusted family member to help during those first 6 weeks. Set up a meal train (friends and family can help). Have a few trusted friends on speed dial if you need to chat, cry, vent. Get on the same page with your partner and be open about your feelings, needs, and boundaries!
- You just gave birth to yourself as a mother - You just gave birth to a new part of yourself, a mother. With that you are learning a new way of being. Everything will feel different. Things that mattered before wont as much and things that never mattered do now. Allow the time and space to ingrate and get to know this new part of you.
- Don’t compare yourself to others- there is no right way to raise your baby or look or be in postpartum. Focus on your own family and find what works authentically for you.
- Receive - sadly we are taught to do it all and yes many of us know we can but this is time to slow down, receive and allow others to help you.
- Allow time to heal - not only did you just birth a baby but you need to allow your body to balance out recover from all the work it did during pregnancy. There is amazing book I love by my girl Heng Ou called “The First Forty Days.” I highly suggest getting this and you can bookmark your favorite meals for others to make. She has amazing recipes and things to do to help heal post birth.
- Drink our Seedlyfe New Mom/Postnatal Blend. It's filled with superfoods and supplements that help heal post birth and increase milk supply
- Hire a lactation consultant - the breastfeeding journey is different for everyone. Some have it easy, and for some it can be challenging. Always work with one from the start to set you up for success.
- Find a tribe of likeminded new mamas to support one another. Bonus babies get to hang! I have a new 12-Week Mindful Mom-To-Be Virtual Group Coaching Program starting Sept. 13th!
- Put the oxygen mask on yourself - carve out time everyday for you, even if its only 15 minutes in a bath taking a few slow deep breaths or doing a 5 minute meditation, or standing outside in the sun. Find some time for you!
- You’ll never have this time again, slow down. Be present. They'll be off to school before you know it, so even on those rough days ,know this is just temporary and try to find the gratitude in the small things in life.