Nurturing Life Giveaway – After Birth

Nurturing Life

These two words define and drive everything that Motherlove does, from their organic farm in Colorado, to their herbal care products, the educational classes taught by founder Kathryn Higgins, to the Nurturing Life Foundation, Motherlove’s non-profit which supports mothers and children all over the country.  So it’s no surprise that Motherlove has had such a beautiful, long-standing relationship with The Leaky Boob, extending their support of mothers and children to our Leakies and their breastfeeding journey with their babies.  The Motherlove website sums it up well:

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.06.13 AMWhat is Nurturing Life?
It is fostering an environment where development, growth, and health are encouraged, and doing so in each facet of our life, including each stage.  True beauty can emerge in your life and others’ as you nurture life in yourself, your friendships, romantic relationship, through pregnancy, birth, in your relationship with your children, and more, and yes, even your garden.

“At Motherlove, we use Nurturing Life as our mission statement because nurturing moms and babies together is essential for both to thrive.  During pregnancy, moms are reminded minute-by-minute of this relationship and we typically focus on our health and wellbeing because it’s tied to our child’s life.” (Nurturing Life – Self Care for Mothersby Motherlove Herbal Company)

Last week we focused on the stage of life that creates new mothers: pregnancy.  Ushering new life into the world is such a beautiful thing, but is often accompanied by challenges and changes.  With the many changes and new sensations that new mothers experience, it can be such a natural time for her to focus on her health and well-being.  But what happens once the baby is born?

It is so easy to think that, other than adjusting to caring for a new person in the family, everything else immediately returns to normal.  But that is often not the reality of new mothers.  The parts of their body involved in growing a baby do shift back toward the way they were, but some of them will remain forever altered.  Others require a little patience and eventually some hard work, such as toning ab muscles to tighten the postpartum abdominal gap.  But a new mother’s body isn’t done changing either: now that one set of hormones is subsiding, another floods her body as she produces milk to feed her new baby.  We often treat birth as the end of the journey, where changes end and all is back to normal.  But this far from the experience of most women.

Moreover, beyond stretch marks, curvier hips, extra baby weight, and lactating, there are other completely natural and normal challenges that new moms face.  But very few like to talk about them, and so many moms don’t have the support that they need to welcome and experience the postpartum changes as they come.  Instead, they are rushed back to work and/or housework, and they feel the unrealistic expectation that they just be “ok” because their beautiful new baby is there.

Postpartum depression doesn’t just go away because there is a new baby.  Traumatic birth experiences aren’t healed by adorable baby sounds.  Hemorrhoids don’t just disappear because a bundle of cuteness has been born.  These and many more issues are considered too embarrassing or shameful to discuss, and many new mothers feel that they don’t have permission to take the time to find help.  They must bounce back immediately, and so they hide their real struggles and end up struggling with self-loathing and depression much longer than necessary, if they ever recover at all.  Silence is no healer.  Stuffing feelings down and clamping a lid on them only serves to incubate them and grow them into much more serious issues.

Let’s talk about the empty womb, the sense of emptiness inside, the fears we have, the struggle to fall in love with our babies, the dislike of our bodies, the anger, the horrors of the birth experience, the dark thoughts, the painful hemorrhoids, along with the rest.  These are the realities of postpartum, just as much as baby cuteness, breastfeeding, dirty diapers, and sleepless nights.  You are not alone in dealing with these things.  Look for understanding and information from those around you, from trusted online resources, and if you just can’t find the support and information you need in those places, get in touch with a professional who can.

And partners, friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers who think new mothers should just get over whatever is bothering them, they are the ones who need to get over themselves and provide helpful support for the new mother.  Nurture her so that she can feel free to nurture herself.  Self-care is deeply impacted by those around us, either for better, or for worse.  As a new mother adjusts to caring for another little person and her body heals from giving birth and keeps changing in the postpartum, how can we show her the kind of support that allows her to nurture life within herself so she can share that nurturing life with her baby and beyond from a place of health and well-being?

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Motherlove is giving away a Sitz Bath and Rhoids Balm to 3 lucky Leakies.


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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to be entered.  The giveaway is open from August 1, 2014 through August 8, 2014.  A big thanks to Motherlove for their ongoing support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to visit their Facebook page or follow them on twitter and thank them for their support of TLB and this giveaway opportunity.

This giveaway is restricted to U.S. residents only.

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Comments

  1. Keep her fed and hydrated

  2. Nikki C. says:

    Cleaning and help with older children

  3. I think the most important thing for a new mon is to express her needs verbally. This is very hard to do, but no one can read our minds. Or if they can, we shouldn’t expect them to. When we need a break, we need to ask.

  4. Michelle Green says:

    What mama doesnt need food and help with her other kids! And well past those first few weeks

  5. anne stewart says:

    Helping with housework and bringing a homemade meal are my two favorites!

  6. Maureen G. says:

    The best thing to do is to clean for her or hold the baby so she can rest, allow her to say no!

  7. Rachael K says:

    First, make her feel loved and even sexy. Second, remind her to slow down and that it’s ok to let some things slide while you all adjust!

  8. Anne Perry says:

    Provide meals and child care. Make some frozen sanitary napkins soaked in witch hazel.

  9. 1. If she has any tearing get her real help and practical advice how to help cure it. Don’t let her sit, move, walk, or do anything active until she is totally ready. 2. If she is breastfeeding, feed her LOTS of cake :)

  10. Freezer meals would help a lot.

  11. Tina McCallum says:

    I think taking over so mom can nap, give her great advice, and lots of listening would be awesome. Absolutely no “well this is the way you should do it”. Every mom needs to find their own way to do things. :-) I mean that in the nicest way possible.

  12. Food, encouragement, and company (if she wants it). I am very social and get some serious blues if I don’t get friend time… and that’s not even postpartum!

  13. Laura Fernandez-Benge says:

    When I just had my baby, I needed help with laundry, cooking and grocery shopping. My husband and mother in law helped a lot, and my mom and sister did too. I couldn’t have made it without them. I would help a new mother with these same things and help with the baby so she could get some sleep.

  14. Provide meals and offering to run any errands she needs.

  15. Bring her fresh food (NO.MORE.CASSEROLES!) and listen to her tell her birth story, in her own words, without interrupting.

  16. Chantal J says:

    Drinking a lot of water helps recovery. New moms need a lot of rest and help with cleaning, laundry and older kids if there are any.

  17. Liberty T. says:

    I found essential oils to be very helpful as well as encouragement help from family and friends.

  18. Miranda Ward says:

    I always help new moms out by watching the baby and giving them some much needed rest time I also help them do some housework!

    freebiegoddess03@aol.com

  19. Talia B. says:

    With meals and cleaning

  20. Ashley Barrett says:

    Care of older kids and meals

  21. Jutta P. says:

    I definitely needed help with caring for my 2 older children and meals!

  22. Allowing yourself to rest for the first few weeks really helps you heal faster! So any help that is offered take them up on it!

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