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Leveling Up Self-care: Helping Yourself to Help

Updated: Jan 18, 2022




Why do we need to talk about postpartum support? Some mommies, first time and beyond, may be thinking they do not need postpartum support; or, at the very least, they can make it through without it. Hopefully this will be an eye-opening conversation, and a heart opening for leveled up selfcare.


Whether you choose to have a postpartum doula, family support, or support from your tribe, the early postpartum period is the time to tend to your well-being as if your life depended on it. Many of us are not as aware of the dramatic changes our bodies undergo to grow life and birth life; and increasingly to nourish life through breastfeeding. That work results in fundamental shifts in hormones, organ position, blood volume, temperature, and significant depletion. Addressing these impacts of pregnancy, labor, birth, and nursing, requires that we sit down…just sit down.


Interestingly, the medical profession sort of acknowledges that the early postpartum period (the first six weeks) is significant. You are scheduled to return for your postpartum visit at six weeks, unless an issue arises that requires immediate attention. However, equally puzzling, they do not give any prescription of care during this period. And though there may be some advice regarding physical activity, oftentimes it is inconsistent with an understanding of the state of a mother’s body during this period.


Rachelle Garcia Seliga, creator of Innate Postpartum Traditions educational curriculum, has dedicated her life to enhancing women’s health in the postpartum period. She provides a blueprint that serves as a prescription for care. Rest, warmth, food, massage and other body work, and community are the five pillars of health and selfcare during the early postpartum period. Of these, community is the foundation upon which the others are actualized. Any objection to rest for six weeks, in a way that promotes health, can always be answered by community. The food you need can be provided through community. The trusted hands who will care for your baby, while you receive body work, will be found in your community.


So why do we need to talk about postpartum support? Because you don’t know you need it. Because you don’t fully understand that it provides a base for what you need to regain health and wellbeing. Because you need to understand why you may be avoiding it. Because opening up those conversations with yourself, your partner, your family, your friend group will help you and them to prioritize your health during this period of time.


It is a conversation that is long overdue. Understandably some moms may feel they need to assert their authority over their home and their baby, and not lose control to perceived overbearing family members. Or often I have heard this idea that the tribe is not responsible for the choice you made. Make no mistake this is not a conversation about abdicating your role as primary caregiver. During this time your body is your baby’s natural habitat. You are the primary person, their person. Your community envelopes you as you envelop your baby.


Much of their support will be provided while you care for your child. But there will be times when you need to take a shower or have a massage, or just have a moment, that you will entrust them with your baby’s care. Tackling your unique resistance to the idea of requesting or accepting support is the first step in leveling up your selfcare and the state of your health for years to come.


Visit our home page to book a free consultation or contact E*Powered Doulas at epowereddoulas@gmail.com, to discuss options. Virtual Services are available.


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"...early postpartum period is the time to tend to your well-being as if your life depended on it." We must normalize this!

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