Mothering the Mother: New Mothers Need a Focused Period of Rest and Recovery

When I was delivering homemade soups and smoothies to the doorsteps of new mothers around Los Angeles I would sometimes be invited in for a brief chat. Most were bleary eyed and frazzled, rocking their small bundles in their milk-stained t-shirts. I would follow them into the kitchen and the number one thing I would hear as I warmed them some soup or a cup of tea was, “I didn’t think it would be this hard.”

Postpartum is hard – especially when the effort of pregnancy and birth is not acknowledged and when space isn’t made for proper rest and recovery. Contrary to how it looks in most western countries, where women casually tote their newborns to grocery stores, parks, even business meetings just weeks after birth, growing a baby and…

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