Without helping hands in the early weeks, new mothers may struggle in silence. One in four Australian mums suffers from postnatal depression and many more feel overwhelmed and anxious about their new role.
Ideally, the only thing a new mother should concern herself with is proper rest and recovery from childbirth and caring for her baby. A blissful babymoon of getting to know each other.
Mother nature in her wisdom gives us plenty of resting opportunity while feeding our baby. But without proper care and nourishment ourselves, both mummy and baby can suffer. In some cultures, family members take care of all housework and meals to support the new mother for the first 40 days!
While every mother would love nothing more than the leisure to bask in her baby’s gorgeousness while everything else is taken care of, someone needs to commit to “mothering the mother” to make this a possibility. A real challenge since many mothers lack community or proper support and fathers are normally back to work after the first week or two.
Spare a thought for who is going to help once baby arrives – even if it means hiring help. Then go easy on yourself. Once we get the help we need, learn to slow down to live in baby-time compartments and let go of extra demands, we can relax and enjoy this precious time.
A new mummy gift I will never forget: A home cooked meal delivered by a kind hearted friend. It was this simple act of kindness from the heart that made me feel like someone cared and understood. She never asked if I needed help but just arrived like an angel on my doorstep and then promptly disappeared.
In all my busyness I never got the chance to return the kindness but now I just “pay it forward” whenever I can.
Imagine if each of us gave back to a new mother in need, the beautiful ripples that could spread. It’s not always obvious either; Mothers often put on a brave face to the world when the inside is a mess. (not just the state of the house!) Don’t ask if they need anything, just do it!
Who do you know that may need a delivery of fresh produce or healthy meal? Or simply hold the baby for five minutes so she can take a shower! You’d be surprised how the simple things are most appreciated. Together we can make a difference by caring enough to lend a hand – so let’s bring back the sisterhood!
As seen in Holistic Bliss Magazine by Katrina Zaslavsky as a former birth columnist.
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