How are you Spending your “Baby-Moon Bliss”? Honoring the Post-Partum Period

January 13 2013 by Kelly O'Brien Pahman

In most cultures there is a significant lying in period for new moms. Often extended family would come and care for the mother and help with daily chores. In many cultures the minimum amount of time for recovery is forty days before the new mom slowly resumes normal activity.

In Hmong culture the women of the family come and care for the new mother and her family for forty days (if she isn’t already living with her in-laws). Cooking for her only flavorless rice the whole forty days and absolutely no heavy lifting is allowed. They have stories that prove their point. Sit with a new mom and it won’t be too long before you hear of the perils that came to women who ate food that was too spicy or who were too ambitious in their chore load.

At my Greek Orthodox church there is a strict understanding that you won’t be at church until the churching ceremony where the community welcomes you and your baby into the church. This was awesome! I was even scolded to go home and be with my family when I snuck in for a second, a week before my forty days were up to get a cook book!  It felt like such a privilege and it was a fantastic way of ushering me into motherhood. (Honestly. Find a local Greek Orthodox priest and see if he’ll just let you do this so you can feel welcomed into motherhood [and the church too of course!] it was fantastic!)

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Our-Family-Brendans-churching.jpg

These traditions are hard to come by in today’s mainstream culture. The daily demands we place on new moms make it nearly impossible to honor this sacred time of bonding with your family and allowing your body to heal and strengthen for the journey of parenthood.

In my training we were taught a wonderful, strict recipe for honoring this period.

1 week IN the bed

1 week ON the bed

1 Week NEAR the bed

All other times keep a bath robe handy to ward off any chore requests or exceptional demands from well-meaning guests.

Following this recipe and observing other baby-moon honoring traditions honors the emotional space of those first few weeks of parenting; this is the season for your love feast. This is the time to “hunker down” with your cozy new family and then slowly enter the world as a new parent. This is the time where your only responsibilities should be to sleep and feed a baby … and sleep some more.

Comments
Kelly O'Brien Pahman
Thank you Shelli!
You're right a bit more of an explanation is needed.
"In" the bed is obvious, under the covers, if your breastfeeding maybe you have a button down top on but you're resting.
"On" the bed, the bed can be made and maybe you're a bit more dressed but your mostly still in the bed spending more time on the bed than around the house, being sure to sleep when the baby sleeps and maybe venturing out of bed a bit more.
"Near" the bed allows you to have more freedom to be around the house but you can easily and quickly take several naps a day as needed.

Hope this helps, I am working on some follow up posts to help make the baby moon period go more smoothly.

I am excited for you and your little one! Enjoy your baby moon bliss!
Much love
Kellyop
1/29/2013 7:40:31 AM
Sheli Wood
That was a great article! I love the Greek Orthodox tradition of family time and then a wonderful celebration when you return back! Beautiful :D I want to figure out how to out this all into practice when my baby comes :) I was wondering though, what's the difference between being 'on' the bed and 'near' the bed?
1/14/2013 8:11:10 AM
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