It Takes A Village – Early Postpartum Life

I meant to write this article when I was pregnant as there were so many times that I felt a deepening call to be circling, weaving lives, and in joined forces with a solid group of conscious awake women as I grew my child within. It’s best that I waited however, as now with a new baby (celebrating 5 months today!), I understand this concept at a much greater level. Though, the call will be present when you’re pregnant and likely at all stages postpartum. We are social creatures, and bond during times of transformation!

EPvillage
Being a mom is a huge responsibility, and we are given this gift without manuals (haha, but for real – moms will say this) and there are big decisions to be made that make a long-lasting impact on your, your baby, and family. How do you parent? How do you talk to your little one? How do you raise this being in this world? What values will you impose? This all makes for an awesome discussion, and when we have the community around us to gather in, we are golden. Without support though, our time is less easy & more stressful.

THE VILLAGE
What continues to come up for me, and my fellow new mamas – is that we desire a real VILLAGE, like what it must have been like in the old days. A real longing for it, and almost an aching for it especially in those early months. My friends feel this way, and even people whom I don’t know are posting about this on Instagram, and for good reason. So many questions come up in the first couple months!

There needs to be a place to talk with others, as well as having balance and (at least for me) keeping to yourself to a degree – to hone your new mama skills. I really am glad that I was committed to trusting myself in this process. I wanted to figure things out myself without first asking others, as opposed to relying on outside word for how to get thru our days. There were times that I checked in with my closest posse of girl mama friends asking about something, and we NEED to have that. It’s mandatory 😉

Whether it’s in person, or online, it’s not up for discussion – one needs this in place when having a child.

WHY? For starters, right out of the gate, something many women will deal with if they plan to nurse their own child is that breastfeeding is hard – whether it’s an oversupply or undersupply, – or any of the dozens of factors that influence your nursing relationship, you need close friends to talk with about all this. The internet is fabulous, and being in person with friends (or over the phone) is amazing so you have a soft loving voice, and  compassion. Women want to share stories, ideas, dreams, visions, problems and resolutions …. what are the best ways to do this in the early postpartum months?

There are opportunities where the mama could feel overwhelmed, and wants to share responsibility with another wise woman (in addition to an epic partner in love).

Many new moms are home alone for at least a few hours a day, maybe even most of the day? Some women have partners who travel where their mate is gone for days. We need our friends, our tribe online, or SOMEBODY who can chime in to give you the time you need to re-group, re-boot, regenerate as best you can (bathe / self care / eat / exercise).

Women need help, other hands to step in and gift their energy, wisdom, time, compassion, skills in the kitchen, and more. I’m loving the idea of having a few intentional families come together to raise conscious children. Not just any families, but ones you deeply resonate and align with – that you’d feel comfortable leaving your children with for an afternoon while you and your partner share some time away, trusting + knowing that they are in good hands, and that they will treat your child with respect and make the same choices you would as well.

You’re learning how to feed your baby, and you’re learning how to be a mom. Of course you will want connection with other people who can advise you! This is what the concept of the village is all about.

Currently, I’m dreaming of how I can have more of that tribal vision, in real life – here in northern California. I haven’t attended any new mom’s groups, and am feeling that is in store for me next week at a local pre-natal yoga + massage center. I could be missing out on a connection that I’ll be super grateful for later, and definitely don’t want to do that.

A problem that I see is that most people always assume that everyone else is ALWAYS busy. Yes, it’s a busy life – somehow the days fill up quickly & seem full as you move thru the new baby routine. And yet at the same time I feel like I have all the time in the world. Really, I set my day as I want it to be – no one is scheduling for me, we just go with the flow and can often make time to gather with friends. It’s all about prioritizing it, and working together with your partner to make these things happen if they’re important to you!

It’s necessary to share your ideals and values, if you’re raising kids together. You want to relate with each other, have a strong bond, and know your group well. Sharing lifestyle values, dietary values, mindset and attitude values, conscious language values, drinking water values, movement values, sustainability values, etc. It’s all important 🙂 Although any support and relating feels good, it feels even better when you are true like-minds! You can go deeper with these women.

It’s too easy to fall into isolation, and feel lonely (if you’re all alone). To wonder – are other women going thru this? What are other mama’s lives like? We question, because it’s natural. I’m sure we used to know these things – way back in the day – we’d share openly and actually live our days together. But now, it’s a quick catch up in text or following each other on social media … because that’s what’s convenient. That’s amazing to have, and definitely a go-to, but it is by no means a solid village with the same feeling as in person.

Wouldn’t you agree? We’re supposed to be laughing, crying, celebrating, falling down, and rising together.

We’re supposed to have mothers, grandmothers, aunts, neighbors and cousins sharing the everyday moments, guiding us, and helping us see the sacredness in the perceived mundane or moments of chaos.

We’re supposed to be nurtured for months postpartum, and supported during potentially challenging transitions.

There can be scary moments that arise, where the baby does something that a new mom does not know if it’s considered normal, safe or healthy (breathing funny which is not uncommon in the very early months, making weird baby sounds, having an aggravating skin reaction perhaps in response to a food the mama ate, or even noises that indicate a disturbed digestive system). To be alone in these times can be brutal – and although it builds your mama strength ultimately, it can rock your ship very intensely depending on the circumstance.

There was just 1 time where my girl breathed a little funny, making an odd sound, and my heart nearly stopped in fear in that moment – like what the hell is going on!! Absolute takeover of fear and being out of control. It’s a NORMAL thing for babies, as my midwife explained to me – their breathing patterns are different than ours as an adult and the tricky thing is knowing when it’s a cause for concern, or just a random funky breath and then back to normal. Phew! It’s a lot to handle. It’s a full on rite of passage, that is FOR SURE.

Remember – you are not alone in this. ALL mothers have have stories to tell 🙂

WHAT IS A MOTHER? This came to me in the very early days after birth:

Magnificent
Opportunity
Thankfully
Holds
Eternal
Reverence

What were some things that helped you in the early days after having a child? Was it a new mom’s group, a yoga mom + baby class? An online support system? Your extended family? Did you live on a communal property with other families? How can we collectively create this shift and move toward less isolation in motherhood, and more in partnership?

StrollerWalk
Check my blog in this next week – National Breast-Feeding Week – as I’ll be writing about my breast-feeding experience! 🙂

And, JOIN ME ONLINE so we can chat about our experiences, share stories, and help one another out. I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 



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About Bethanne Wanamaker

Bethanne Wanamaker is a certified holistic nutritionist, conscious living expert, and the founder of Edible Goddess, an international health & lifestyle brand that cares deeply about your empowerment. She teaches progressive strategies that awaken you to your highest potential by following the body's inherent wisdom and aligning with an intentional mindset, holistic approach, self nourishing practices, and high self value. Bethanne advocates gradual yet significant shifts of upgraded dietary choices that ultimately lead you to the freedom and confidence of eating intuitively. By living in harmony with nature, you can have what you want. Bethanne is known for getting results quickly with committed clients who want to live a wildly rewarding, super fun, truly healthy and happy life! Her specialty is working with entrepreneurs, success coaches, and women who desire to prepare for an easy, supremely healthy and happy pregnancy, and postpartum experience.