23 Sep Nourish the Roots
We talk a lot about Self Care in our culture, especially for women and new mothers and this emphasis on self is often transferred directly to our babies. No sooner are they born and they are encouraged to Self Soothe, put themselves to sleep, sleep ‘independently’ and so forth. The take home message is that ideally everyone should be able to take care of most things by themselves or at least be moving in that direction. This outlook is both unrealistic and denies our human need for CONNECTION, and like all extremes there is a middle ground between dependency and independence and that is INTERDEPENCE. The moment a baby is born Self Care temporarily goes out the window. In those first weeks and months after giving birth if mama needs to take a shower there’s usually someone else who will have to care for baby. The same is true for all of the practices that replenish a new mama from yoga, meditation, a massage or time with friends. So what can you do? If you’re still pregnant reconsider the ‘ boundaries’ directive so many pregnancy books give. Sure no one wants a combative colleague showing up at your house the day after giving birth but make a list of the people you do trust enough to support you in the vulnerable and intimate time after birth. Create a list of friends who will bring warm food, pick up around the house or bring flowers. If your support system could use some strengthening whether you’re a couple of months or years post partum you can write a Community Care Plan similar to a birth plan. Ceremony creates Community so planning any type of ceremony post partum is good for strengthening your community.
Plan a baby naming ceremony, a placenta burial ceremony, a birth story circle ceremony ( that you can hold months after the birth) or maybe for you it’s a religious or cultural tradition like a Brit Shalom or Baptism. Check out all the existing activities for mama’s and babies in your area, and get into the one that suits your interests. Taking a Doula, Childbirth or Breastfeeding Counselor course is a beautiful way to get out of your house, often with baby, meet other like minded women, become certified in something that can support you financially and immerse in a healing experience. Organize a group of breastfeeding women and see if a local photographer will take your pictures. Look into wellness speakers who would be happy to give a lecture to a group of mothers. Any interest you have can be developed into a circle of women with similar beliefs, hopes and dreams. In the meantime as youre building your local community don’t be shy on social media platforms. Ask advice, share tips, reach out in forums and never forget we are truly all in this together.