Whilst most traditions focus on the health and wellbeing of the mother, the bond between mother and child, and giving the new parents the support that they need during this time, it’s safe to say that some cultures do it better than others!
When it comes to postpartum recovery, you and the baby are of absolute priority, and it’s important to surround yourself with people who feel the same way.
Have a read of these postpartum recovery traditions around the world for a little bit of newborn bubble inspiration.
There’s nothing to support postpartum recovery better than knowing that all of the essentials are taken care of. From 22 weeks of pregnancy, mothers in Finland can apply for a free maternity package that includes 63 (!!!) newborn essentials. Not only that, but the box itself doubles up as a newborn-safe bed that can be used during those precious first few weeks together. Read about it on the BBC here.
Following childbirth, mothers in Japan move back into their family home for Satogaeri Bunben - which loosely translates to ‘returning to the family home after delivery. Although this may be considered the worst nightmare of some new mothers, it istrue that it takes a village to raise a baby.
And don’t forget, when a baby is born, so is a mother. As a new mum, you’ll need as much care as the new baby - if not more!
Midwives in The Netherlands will call the new mother the day after she has been discharged from the hospital. Following that, a healthcare visitor (Kraamzorg) will visit the new baby’s home for 4-10 days. Returning home as a new mum can feel pretty daunting - you transition from 24hr care in the hospital to being left on your own! Knowing that there will be people to check in on you and ask you any questions and help you following the birth of your baby can be a huge comfort.
Denmark and Belgium have a similar system.
New mothers in France are asked to remain in the hospital for FIVE DAYS! That’s five whole days of support, food, and no household tasks whatsoever. This is something that might feel particularly wonderful if you have older children at home. Perhaps you could discuss kitchen-to-bedroom meal service every 3 hours with your partner?!
On top of this, French mums are offered in-home postnatal careas well as being automatically referred for pelvic floor therapy. How awesome is that?! Instead of simply being told to ‘do your kegels’, mums in France have a trained professional supporting their pelvic health in a personalized way.
Though postpartum recovery traditions are different around the world, there’s one resounding message that can be taken from all of them - rest. Surround yourself with the support you need to help you rest, and everything else will feel a whole lot easier.
You have absolutely earned it.
How will you be resting during your postpartum period?
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