Why a 40-day rest & bonding time?
Being born and giving birth are two of the most impactful events in our lifetime.
After delivery not only does it take the new mother around 6 weeks to heal from the intensity of labour, it takes at least this period of time to get familiar with her new role as mother. It’s essential to understand that these first few weeks establish important and delicate patterns that will affect the individual and families for decades.
For this reason it is of utmost relevance to ask and receive help during this “4th trimester”.
A well prepared 40-day resting and bonding time can contribute to :
- Accelerated healing of the womb and possible scarring
- Better bonding between mother and baby
- Facilitating harmony in relationships within the family
- Aiding breastfeeding
- Limiting the chances of postnatal depression and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
- Feeling connected
Recent studies have found 35 % of woman experiencing symtoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom after labor. Stress during the first weeks post labor contributes to the failure of breastfeeding, the slow healing of the womb, issues with bounding between mother and child and the experience of postnatal depression.
The 40-day postnatal timeframe exists in many cultures. It’s called the Sacred Window in the Ayurvedic tradition or a sort of “recovery, recuperation or rehabilitation period” in the western concept of a patient healing in a concentrated manner, separate from other people. The new mother needs time to care for her newborn and to rest herself. A newborn baby needs to be fed around every two hours. In between feeds the mother should be resting in order to recover physically and emotionally from the labour. It is recommended that visits be limited and that mother and baby are in a protected enviroment to avoid over-stimulation of the senses.
The Postnatal Support Network (PSN) addresses the importance of a well-prepared and relaxing 40 day postnatal period. It is an international organisation with a non-medical and social network, informing families and especially mothers about this special and delicate time after birth.