M A T R E S C E N C E:
The psychological birth of a mother, similar to adolescence, involving hormonal and identity shifting. -Dr Alexandra Sacks
I recently watched a webinar that Kimberly Johnson (@magamamas) & Keli Garza (@steamychick) taught on the benefits of vaginal steaming in the fourth trimester. I’ll save that info for a whole other post (because there’s a lot to share on that—HOLY AMAZING)! I made a few notes throughout the webinar, and here are the ‘5 Universal Postpartum Needs’ as taught by Kimberly Johnson. Check out her life-changing book, The Fourth Trimester for more on this.
image by Wylde Photo for Mother Bees book The First Forty Days
5 UNIVERSAL POSTPARTUM NEEDS
1. EXTENDED REST PERIOD
Also known as confinement, sitting in the month, the golden month, the sacred window, the first 40 days where the mother-baby unit need to be sequestered. The mothers nervous system needs to be protected. Mom is to be attended to. People + the community come to her.
Warming + nourishing foods. An abundance of collagen rich, nutrient dense + high fat foods. Hydration.
3. CONTACT WITH WISE WOMEN
Extended family, Midwives, doulas, friends + community. Women must not be left alone. Just like you would never leave a new baby, never leave a new mom.
4. LOVING TOUCH
A therapeutic medicinal modality like massage will assists in flushing the body’s tissue. This is especially important if medication was used in labour. Hydrate postpartum to assist in flushing the tissues. Massage should be the first “exercise” for the postpartum mother. Contact + receiving is needed. Since the mother is giving SO much, she needs to receive. Touch is a way of coming back into material reality.
5. CONTACT WITH NATURE
Coming into contact with the larger forces in life. Grounding + cleansing.
How different would our world be if all postpartum people were cared for and nurtured in this way?
If you are reading this and didn’t receive the things on the list above, take heart. You are not alone. It’s really sad how most people go with these basic needs unmet. It’s up to us to come together and support one another. Please spread the word!