6.14.2011

Postpartum Rituals


We talk a ton about pregnancy and birth, and even a lot about after birth/postpartum options. But what about rituals and postpartum care for the families healing/lying in time?

This is a great article about postpartum traditions around the world. You could easily adopt one of these or help arrange for something similar for women in your community who are having babies.

I know one of the 'traditions' in my community is to set up a list of women willing to bring meals to the new families every evening for the first 14 days. We deliver ready-to-serve meals that nourish the body and soul, and, as they sit down to eat, we do the day's dishes, sweep the kitchen and clean the counters, fold a load of laundry, or any other number of things. This is a small way in which to ease the transition into familihood.

One of the things I have considered doing for awhile is making a postpartum basket for moms and bringing it to their homes after baby is born... Perhaps this will even become my staple gift for mom's baby showers. Regardless if they choose hospital, home, or birth center births, I think that the items lovingly chosen in this basket could help them on their way to a speedy recovery:
  • Homemade herbal sitz bath - this is an awesome recipe I found online
  • Natural Nipple Cream - this can be made by combining equal portions of coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter, then storing in old baby food jars.
  • Homemade Mother's Milk Tea - this is a great one. Every breastfeeding mama wants to make lots of milk.
  • Lactation Cookies - yummy, nutritional, and easy to snack on when mama needs an energy boost.
  • Washable Breast pads - a great alternative to disposables, with less risk of getting mastitis or thrush.
  • Mom and Baby Massage Oil - This can easily be made with two simple ingredients. 8 ounces of oil (olive, almond, apricot, or sunflower) and 1 ounce calendula flowers. Place the oil and calendula flowers in a crock pot on low temperature for about 4 hours to extract the beneficial properties of the calendula into the oil. Check very carefully that your oil is not getting too hot! Allow the oil to cool and then strain it using cheese cloth, store in a canning jar. Attach to the lid or the body of the jar instructions on mom and baby massage.
All of these projects combined would take me around 4-5 hours in one afternoon to make, and they are so beneficial and healing.

Let's get creative. Who else has good ideas for home made postpartum gifts?

5 comments:

froggie08 said...

wow I love the postpartam basket idea!!!

hillary said...

One of the great gifts we got was a CD of lullabies. My daughter is five and she still goes to sleep listening to it. It is a single-artist CD but I think a homemade mix CD would be even more special.

Sarah @ Ilithyia Inspired said...

Great post :) I like to make slings for the mummas, give an item of clothing for the baby and I've just learned to sew pads so I'm excited about being able to make postpartum pads for women from now on. I'm working towards having a great basket. After self-healing a graze with manuka honey, I'd be sure to throw that in the basket too.Though I'd probably not include the nipple cream, I worry we are too quick to apply something when time, support and a little breast milk can take care of nipples ;)

Do you know about Julie Bell's herbs? She does them for pregnancy, relaxation, postpartum healing, blessingway ritual. They are the best gift, I've used them for years and always feel treasured when given them.

Blissful herbs

Sazz said...

I had an unassisted birth late last year and wrote about how I cared for myself on my blog here: Postpartum Healing

Can't stress enough how great using one's placenta and arnica is!

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