Postpartum is an important time - a sacred time - of integrating your rebirth and the presence of your baby into the family - a delicate time of oh-so-special hormonal shifts, of vulnerability, of openness and of energetic permeability. We see this in our mammalian sisters, who instinctively find retreat and seclusion for their birth time and these early moments with their babies.
This intuitive call to safety and seclusion supports the parasympathetic nervous system, which then allows - & is further supported by - the exquisite pervasive hormone cocktail that protects and provides for a safe, easeful birth and postpartum experience.
As humans, our physical needs are no different.
Some hormones, such as oxytocin actually peak AFTER birth, the time of codependent bonding and regulation between a mother and her newborn, and when a breastfeeding relationship begins. The birth high that comes from this surge of hormones can be blissfully rode upon for MONTHS following birth, in the right conditions.
I am so glad to see a resurgence of wise women in the global community, and particularly in the United States, ready to serve postpartum women with their whole hearts. I have also noticed a collective call to community action for postpartum families. This is amazing, as the relationship between community action and postpartum restoration is evidently symbiotic.
However, like all good things in life, there is a point where overindulgence no longer brings joy and satisfaction.
So, how can we marry this physiologic wisdom of the body with community action?
Let's explore some options:
Get clear on what type of support you are looking for, and what your available resources are. Consider what your daily roles are in your household, and what can be delegated or set aside, then who can help pick up the most important roles (like cooking).
Secondly consider your emotional needs - what possibilities await for your intimate needs to be met without compromising your peaceful nest? After all, you want to receive support so your sacred window is a time of deep bonding and rejuventation - not so you can spend your quick-moving days managing your social circle.
Invite only people who feel truly safe and understanding into your space after birth. This includes care providers, family, and friends.
Make a thought-train of all the people who come to mind, then one by one narrow down who could best support your vision. Reach out to them during your pregnancy to discuss their viewpoints and get a deeper idea of what is realistic for them to offer you.
Remember, you can add or eliminate people from this role any time if the fit isn't quite right.
Once you know what you need and who your people are, keep the gates to joy open by being transparent about what your support people can expect in the early days and weeks after you give birth. This may include unanswered phone calls, an unkept house, and them preparing refreshments in your home when they come by for a shorter-than-usual visit.
One common concern is the role of well-meaning family and friends wanting to share their experiences and suggestions with childrearing and family wellbeing. Consider how you can address this early on and maintain your mothering boundaries.
Think Outside the Box
I think it's fair to assume we all know at least one person that doesnt quite fit into our vision for our sacred window, who means a lot to us, or who cares tremendously about us.
Think creatively about how this person might be able to contribute to your well being without coming directly into your space.
This could be simple - like dropping food off at your doorstep, picking your older siblings up for a date at the playground, or helping your partner with an outdoor project that needs finishing.
This is really the fundamental piece to the art of balance.
If you feel like nesting, nest. Be gentle. Enjoy the slowness, the easefulness and rely on the supports you have activated to take on the busy stuff.
On the contrary, if you feel restless and your breathwork, abhyanga and other support tools just aren't taking the edge off - go with that. Bring your easefulness into gentle movement, enjoy some heartfelt company, a dance, a stroll, or some time with the garden.
If what you're feeling called to do isn't feeling realistic, determine what is a MUST and what can wait. Keep coming back to this, as the sacred window is so beautifully short.
You know what you need best. You are the only person who can tune into your body and act on what it is telling you. The rest of us are simply here to witness that with soft guidance. By activating your support circle, you will have a team of caring people who, in times of doubt, can support you in coming home to your center.
All My Love,
Ayurvedic Postpartum Sister
Looking for Support Navigating Your Sacred Window?
Schedule a private session, where you can get clear on your anticipated needs and formulate an action plan that supports your personal values and your physiological process.
Our time together can be used for
Individualized conscious postpartum care through an Ayurvedic lens
Support Circle Clarity & Activation
Birth Preparation - Aligning your Vision with Birth's Wildness
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