When a baby is born, friends, family and acquaintances rush to buy the baby a gift. Who can blame them? It’s hard to resist those tiny sweet overalls, sustainable toys and handcrafted blankets. But the truth is, all a newborn needs is a happy and healthy mama.
A new identity
Motherhood comes with an abrupt shift in identity and letting go of much of who you knew yourself as. To be honest, it feels a little bit like teleportation. One moment you’re having all the time in the world and in the next the life of a tiny human being depends on you. No pressure!
Society and the media portrays this image of motherhood being something really natural that happens instantly the moment you give birth - and this also tailors the expectations that women have from themselves, thinking that they should be able to know it all instinctively. But in reality, giving birth to a new identity can be as demanding as giving birth to a baby. It is all a (learning) process that takes time and requires a lot of patience.
A new body
The body of a new mother is throwing a hormonal party with some new ones making their way in and some of them leaving the body. New mothers sweat more, smell stronger, bleed for a few weeks after their body put on an outstanding performance when allowing a tiny human to come out through their vagina or a C-section, might have cracked nipples as they are not used to someone sucking on them for hours and all that while they are not getting enough sleep.
“During matrescence, people expect you to be happy while you’re losing control over the way you look and feel.” Dr. Alexandra Sacks talks about the transition to motherhood as being similar to adolescence in her amazing New York Times article, 'Birth of a Mother'.
A new mind
The World Health Organization states that the postpartum period is both the most critical and neglected phase in the lives of mothers and their babies: 1 in 5 women are affected by postpartum depression while 75% experience the “baby blues”: feeling overwhelmed, sad, oversensitive, crying and having mood shifts.
Nevertheless, studies show that women who are informed and educated about the postpartum time and its effects before giving birth have 50 % less risk to develop it. And that’s where our mission comes full circle.
In some countries the transition into motherhood is still traditionally known as la ‘cuarentena’ or ‘the first 40 days of confinement’. It is a time for new mums to rest, recover, and focus on breastfeeding while the women in their communities provide housekeeping and other support. It’s crucial to bring back some of those customs to keep mothers sane. A mother’s mental wellbeing is important, not only for herself but for everyone around her.
So, how can you support a new mum?
Allow her to rest as much as she can. Offer to babysit so she can sleep longer in the mornings, take over the household choirs and give her the chance to stay in bed as long as she needs.
Make sure she eats warm, nourishing food. A good nutrition is essential for recovering and supports breastfeeding. You’ll find more information about what type of food is best in Stephanie Johne’s book Milk & Mother or in The First 40 Days by Heng Ou. If you are lucky enough you’ll find postpartum delivery food services in your city. For Vienna check out Women’s Nature.
Encourage her to practice more self-care. Whether that’s drinking a warm cup of tea or creaming her body with a natural oil, the tiniest moments of self-care can have a huge impact on her mood and her self-esteem.
Our products go beyond their initial function and offer mental support too via the self-care messages printed on the labels:
Honor your body: our Recovery Body Oil encourages mothers to love their body, respect it, ease it into recovery while the unscented organic oil blend will help to regenerate skin cells post-pregnancy and encourage healing on C-section incisions & beyond.
Follow your intuition: new mothers might feel overwhelmed with advice and suggestions from their family and friends while forgetting to follow their intuition. Strength is one of the best gifts. We thought a lot about it. We mixed Neroli, Rose Geranium, Mandarin, and Grapefruit Oil and hand-poured it here in Vienna, in a bottle, for you.
Patience is key: Breastfeeding can feel like a challenging endless journey at the beginning. Our Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads are a real game changer thanks to the soft, breathable, washable material and the hidden self-care messages inside: Hang on in there! You are getting better every day!
Make her feel like a goddess, like someone special and incredible! Because she is.