I recently had dinner with two friends who were born in countries other than the United States. They shared with me something very interesting about their view on becoming a new mom – a view that we definitely do not share here in the United States. Their cultures believe that new moms need to rest and heal from the strain of pregnancy and child birth. They are both from different countries, but their experience was the same – after they had their babies, for the first month, other than maybe breast feeding, and cuddling with the baby to bond, they didn’t do much else. They recuperated, while their families came in and did everything else.
My initial thought was, “What?!? That’s crazy. I wanted to take care of my baby – not have someone else do it.” And then I had another conversation – this time with a friend who just became a new mom. She’s hormonal, she’s exhausted, she’s in pain from delivering her child, and she’s stressed because she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing (sound familiar?). Talking to her brought me right back to that place. I remember all too well feeling all of those things. Becoming a mom is freaking hard!
I started thinking about how I had postpartum anxiety and how many people suffer from that, along with postpartum depression after having a baby. Maybe my two friends from different countries are onto something. Maybe new moms do need time to heal – maybe if we had that time, postpartum issues would be less prevalent. I’m not saying families need to come in and do everything – I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that many new moms are struggling and we need to do something – at the very least, a conversation is in order. [Read more...]