One of the reasons I wrote my book, Why postnatal recovery matters, is because I got fed up of witnessing new mothers struggle and blame themselves for it.
As a society we are blind to the needs of new mothers. When they struggle to adapt and adjust to the intense demands of new motherhood, new mothers tend to think that something is wrong with them, rather than placing the blame where it belongs, which is in a culture that totally fails to support them.
We also place an abnormal value on independence, which means that new mothers often hide their struggle as feel shame and guilt, mistakenly believing that they are the only ones who struggle. It’s a vicious circle.
Since I published my book, I have been heartened by positive stories about it. One second time mother in particular, said that because of the book she didn’t feel guilty letting other people look after her after the birth this time around. But there is still SO MUCH we need to do to change things. In my doula work I still witness new mothers blaming themselves for their struggles, and who feel guilty asking for help, who feel guilty at having me to supporting them even!
We need to normalize rest and support after birth. I believe than when as little as 15% of new families get given the support they need, this will become. I need your help in doing this.
Please share the message that resting and being looked after the birth isn’t selfish but that it is the norm for our species.
Encourage expectant families to plan for the postpartum as well as the birth. It’s easier to have support when you put plans in place in advance.
Play your part in the revolution by giving gifts that actually support the new family, like food delivery, vouchers for a postnatal doula or mother’s help, or voucher for a postnatal massage.
The more people experience true nurturing postpartum, the closer we will get to the goal of transforming our culture.
If you’d like to read more, I started blogging about this topic in 2016, and you can read more posts below: