The Creator knew that a woman would need rest, caring, and a time of rest to recuperate from the intensity that 40 weeks of pregnancy brings. Leviticus 12 talks about having forty days (aka six weeks) of rest for a boy and twice as long for a girl (perhaps longer recovery is needed from all that extra estrogen). Being set apart or as it states it in Leviticus ‘unclean’ (as in, “unclean” for her husband to take her sexually *wink*wink*). Our society rarely honors those six weeks of rest. This is usually because we have no supports like family that will watch older kids, cook, or clean and care for mama while she’s healing. The media shows actresses popping back to the red carpet after 2 weeks of giving birth with perfectly flat bellies and no baby around. What rubbish! (My new favorite word.) This is so far from the truth! And as moms we feel like we need to give in to that aura of ‘perfect mother’. It is sad that we are so far away from family now and so isolated that we end up at the point of post-partum depression. One good alternative for moms would be to hire a post-partum doula.
(Prepare for rant…)
So I heard a couple of women in their mid forties to sixties the other day. They jokingly said, “tst.. everyone now a days has post-partum depression– yeah, of course I was sad and cried about things more than I usually did after I’d have a baby, but then you go back to normal, eventually.”
I can understand that from their perspective it seems like the modern mom is so whiny and weak because they did just fine without having doulas, medications, or therapists for help with dealing with the management of motherhood and life stressors. But I’d like to posit that now a days it is so different! Now more than ever we see families living apart, women in jobs, lack of good role models from other women. We don’t live near our mothers, aunts, family friends that are available to come and take care of other household duties like they used to back in the day. (And even if they live near, Grandmas are working past retirement age and can’t help out as much or have the idea of “Oh, I have served my time- I’ve raised my kids, I’m just going to be the fun grandma now and watch the kids when I can.)
Now a days we have a small circle of friends that will sometimes make it to our baby showers and if they can’t, they have their gift mailed from our Amazon wish list with a cute little note. Hardly do we see them offering them a week of their time to come over and serve or share with us:
“This is what you might expect that the books don’t tell you”
- Even if you buy breast pads, you might still leak through
- ‘After birth periods’ are intense… like ‘just buy Depends and the most giant pads you can find‘ intense. And even then you will feel like you may die with loss of blood
- After baby is out, you may walk and feel like your insides are going to fall out and you will want to wear a wrap to help you not feel as ‘loose’ due to your abdominal muscles being all stretched out.
You go about your days, stress turning into anxiety and depression. With these weird questions that you feel embarrassed of asking like…. “Is it normal to hate the fact that this tiny human is keeping me up at night?” and you wish you could just turn him/her off to keep you from being so sleep deprived and semi-paranoid, that you’re certain the birds outside have turned into the fictional Mockingjay birds from the Hunger Games and are talking to you.. (Agggghhhhh!!!!)
Post-partum support is very important and if we can’t have family around due to living states away, or being sent away thanks to the military or whatever, then yes. We find the professionals. We find those that are willing to dedicate their lives to help those women prioritize the six weeks after birth. To ensure that the women who don’t have support or education on the ‘weird questions’ get help. We must keep the biblically commanded six weeks of rest; stay home from church, resist the pressure to display your baby to the cheek pinchers. This is “baby bonding time”. God puts in place certain ‘commandments’ in His wisdom. It’s not until later, with “scientific research and data”, that we realize (*suprise*suprise*) it is actually necessary for the overall health of both mom and baby to observe and help mommas keep those six weeks of post-partum rest and nourishment. I hope to bring awareness and knowledge on this subject and I hope you share with your neighbors, friends, and gal pals about the importance of support toward one another. If you are a dad, try to help as much as you can to prepare for post-partum support for your family. If you are an older woman with experience, don’t feel shy about telling us the mom hacks you found helpful. And if you are currently a mom of smallish kiddos, don’t mom bash or one-up each other, be empathetic and understanding. Consider child care swap (it’s awesome and everyone wins!). And if you aren’t a mom yet- just wait, you’ll see how much it can suck bwua haahhaahhaaa!!!!! (semi-kidding) 🙂 No, if you’re not a mom yet– we need you! You have the strength, energy and sleep that we don’t. Help a sista out! 😀
So.. Prioritize post-partum, God does