I have had this book recommended to me several times since being pregnant and so I am so happy to have them here sharing their tips for nurturing your post-partum self.
They open the conversation about important the first 40 days are. I know of so many cultures that truly take care of the mother like you would the newborn. I don’t know if its just the culture here, or maybe a pressure I put on myself but it seems like life just goes on when you have a baby and I love all this book’s concepts of truly taking care of yourself!
Welcome to them! xo – Emily
5 things pregnant moms can do now to prepare for the First Forty Days postpartum:An easeful, restorative postpartum period begins before the baby even arrives. Taking some simple steps in the third trimester will give you the space and assurance to sink into The First Forty Days with a light heart and a calm mind.
Here are five easy things you can do to prepare before you’re swept into a vortex of baby bliss and sleep deprivation.
1) Ask four relationship-saving questions
A new baby is one of the greatest stressors on a relationship. Beat the statistics—two-thirds of couples experience a negative shift in their relationship within three years of having a child—by asking some key questions before your new addition joins the family.
1. How will we divvy up baby-caring responsibilities?
2. How will our finances be influenced by baby’s arrival? (This includes the time, if any, that the mother will be taking off from work and any professionals that will be hired to help.)
3. How will our sex life be affected by the addition of a newborn?
4. How will our social lives change once baby is here?
2) Create a System of Help
Whether you receive assistance in the form of food dropped off to your door, or have someone take your older child to and from school, or get regular help with laundry, dishes and general housecleaning, asking folks to commit to supporting you and your family during the First Forty Days is essential postpartum preparation. You can pass a sign up sheet around at your Blessingway (see #4, below) or email friends and family a spreadsheet with the areas of your life that will need attention while you’re busy recovering from birth and bonding with your baby. Don’t be shy to ask for help! People want to support you. Help them help you.
3) Design Your Postpartum Nest
Spend less time worrying about the color of the nursery and more time considering your postpartum landing pad. You will be spending the majority of the First Forty Days lying or sitting down, resting and breastfeeding, so be sure that you’ve got a super comfy, incredibly supportive spot in which to do so. Your arms and breasts are a newborn’s entire universe so turn your nesting attention to the pillows that will be holding you up and the view that you’ll be taking in while you remain perched for hours. If you don’t have a pretty vista to take in consider hanging an inspiring piece of art or bringing in a striking plant. Lighting’s important, too. You should be able to reach a lamp without getting up and ideally it will have a dimmer to keep things nice and cozy when baby is dozing.
4) Honor Yourself with a Blessingway
In most cultures, the transition to motherhood is a significant rite of passage in a woman’s life. Taking some time to honor your own journey to motherhood—or motherhood again—influences the ease you will experience on the other side. Tell a close friend that you’d like to have a small ceremony or gathering (it doesn’t have to be a big party) or simply take some time to consider all your body has accomplished in pregnancy, pampering yourself with a prenatal massage. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it, just be sure to honor yourself in some way.
5) Make and Freeze Rejuvenating Broth
In China soup is revered as a preventative and curative elixir. During the First Forty Days new mothers are encouraged to sip healing bone broths to enhance warmth throughout the body, a key step in rebuilding the blood that was lost during childbirth. During the third trimester make vats of broth and freeze for easy cooking after baby arrives. Revitalizing broth can be sipped alone (try it instead of coffee or tea in the morning) or used in soups and stews. Get a simple, delicious bone broth recipe at the Mother Bees site!