This is a great article on the need to take the postpartum time to REST.
I often see or hear of women pushing themselves
to return to normal as quickly as possible after birth. In a hurry to
get their life and body back they jump into a myriad of activities at
warp speed, often just days after giving birth. Riding on the birth and
baby high, pumped full of adrenaline yet restless from the last few
weeks of pregnancy, particularly if they felt like a watched pot, these
women fill their schedule, attack their house, and find new projects
determined to not be slowed down, impatiently trying to control and
master this new version of normal. These women are often viewed with
admiration and awe and the media highlights celebrities that are back to
their prepregnant weight by 6 weeks or were spotted out jogging at 3
weeks or were back on the set of their TV show at 10 days. This is held
up as the epitome of a strong woman, give birth, bounce back, conquer
After the birth of the author’s fifth child, she finally decided to actually put the car keys and the dust pan down and rest. Needless to say, she found it difficult:
The biggest obstacle I encountered in trying to
rest? Not my children, not the house cleaning, not the cooking, not
anything I was missing out on. No, the biggest obstacle was the voice
in my head and a tiny handful of other people (including the company
that came to “help”) saying I couldn’t let this “keep me down,” I was
strong and there was so much to do. Stupid voices.
Please read the rest. I know a good many postpartum moms right now (there were a lot of us at once!) and we could all heed this advice.
And here is a good article on the need for the “Forty Days” after childbirth, traditional in the Orthodox Church.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church women have a 40-day period following
childbirth when they do not attend church. Instead, they are expected
to spend those days bonding with their newborn, healing and adjusting
to the awesome responsibility of caring for the child. At the end of 40
days, the woman and child are welcomed back into the community
through a short set of prayers — called “a churching” — and the baby is