Your Babymoon Supported by a Babymoon Shower
So what's a babymoon anyway? It's a protected time of about two to four weeks, mindfully established and well-planned, to ensure a healing time for the new mother, a calm, nurturing environment for the baby, and a bonding time for the father or partner. Ideally, the babymoon is organized during pregnancy. Tasks and responsibilities are delegated to others, and sweet spaces of time are kept open for the new family. It’s a time for parents to get to know the new baby, holding, observing, and feeding in unhurried ways; time for the mother to stay in bed and rest; and permission for the partner to slow down and be a part of the emerging family.
Work and social engagements are put on hold. Nourishing foods have been prepared in advance and are supplemented by meals from family and friends. Visitors are kept to a minimum, stay for short periods of time, and provide meaningful help with household chores, like folding clothes, sweeping the floor or washing up some dishes. But how realistic is this? How do we support a babymoon?
What about starting with a "babymoon shower." In our culture we put a lot of effort into organizing baby showers, often resulting in a clutter of underused baby items and an over abundance of “really cute” outfits. What if we shifted our focus away from the baby shower and organized a babymoon shower for the parents. Gifts would support healing for the mother, like a certificate for bodywork or an acupuncture session, specific offers of household help, organizing a meal train, and hiring a postpartum doula.
In traditional cultures a well-established system of support exists for new mothers. For example, the Chinese call it "sitting the month", and Latina women experience "La Cuarentena." New mothers are not allowed to cook, clean or care for older siblings; family and friends are in place to take over these responsibilities.
Contrast this with our culture where women are expected to be independent and resume responsibilities shortly after giving birth. In the time of what could be postnatal recovery, new mothers find themselves with the additional burden of asking for help and cobbling together support. Imagine if support was a given and already in place. What a difference this could make in postnatal repletion and recovery!
Where to begin with this radical idea? Perhaps simply start by letting your family and friends know you are starting a babymoon registry with information about your preferred bodyworker, acupuncturist, or postpartum doula. Pass around a few of your favorite, nutritious recipes and ask a close friend to organize a meal train. Provide specific ideas about how people can help with household tasks and shopping. I'd love to hear your ideas about how this would look for you. Want more ideas about support during the postnatal time? Register now for our Workshop: Babymoon and Beyond, Rebuild, Replenish, Recover.