One caring person can help women make a joyful, rather than stressful, transition to new motherhood.
Amarillo, Texas (PRWEB) June 29, 2013
Giving birth in the 21st century is a complex experience. The simplicity of natural birth has been replaced with routine hospital technology. Once home, parents are faced with continuing dilemmas of social expectations and the latest baby-training fad. Parents are not encouraged to listen to their own inner knowing, or to trust themselves to care for their babies. There is an expert at every turn waiting to advise them on the right or wrong way to raise a baby. Parents may find that some of these ideas have merit, while others seem to require going against the wisdom of their hearts.
These and many other contradictions come up for new parents today, and they need support in maintaining what is innately best for themselves and their babies. It will be some time before the mother-and-baby couple is ready to introduce themselves to the community outside the home.
In her book, the Gentle Art of Newborn Family Care, Salle Webber, a postpartum doula in Santa Cruz, California, beautifully describes the dilemmas new mothers face. She offers suggestions on how to care for new families in a way that is supportive, effective, and empowering.
Unfortunately, new mothers in our culture often do not get this kind of help and support. Mothers may exist for weeks in a blur of sleep deprivation, lack of companionship, insufficient food or drink throughout the day, limited ability to attend to their personal-hygiene needs, confusing demands from their babies, and in some cases, depression as a result. The outside world is going on without them. Their partners are back to work after a week or two at most; their friends are busy and seem so well-dressed when they drop in. The mothers' clothes don’t fit, their breasts are enormous and dripping milk. They haven’t had a conversation with an adult in hours--or days. Their focus is on putting the baby to breast, milk let-down, burping, pooping, and spitting up. The modern world is less than interested, and they may feel isolated and alone.
According to Salle Webber, it doesn't have to be this way; one caring person is all it takes to change all that. Daily attention and companionship are therapeutic. Sharing the wonder of the child is a lovely experience for all. Salle recommends that people who support new mothers remember the miracle that this new life represents, and know that it is an honor to be part of this circle. Approach the mother with kindness and encouragement, and give her the courage to tap into her own internal wisdom about how to care for her baby.
The Gentle Art of Newborn Family Care is now available on Amazon and at Praeclarus Press. Praeclarus Press is a small press specializing in women's health.