life after birth

Labor of Love Doulas are here to support mama and their family throughout this remarkable and life-changing time.

“It takes a village to raise a child.”

-African Proverb

Cultures across the globe have honored the period after birth as a sacred, healing time, where a new mamas’s family and friends keep them nourished and clean while they get to know their new baby and their new self. In the United States, many mamas are expected to “bounce back,” with pressure to quickly return to their pre-pregnant bodies, keep up with the responsibilities of every-day life, and often return to work after just six weeks. Often times one parent is spending more time out of the home working than the other to provide for the family’s needs. The truth is, becoming a mother or a parent can feel incredibly transformational, and the expectations that are held don’t always seem to fit reality. That is why we believe it truly takes a village to raise a parent and their family.

The time we call the postpartum period is often solely associated with depression, but its more than that, and holds different names in other cultures:

  • the Chinese call this time zuo yuezi, meaning “the gateway” or “sit the month”

  • many Latin American cultures call this time la cuarentena, translating to “quarantine”

  • the Japanese spend three weeks in ansei, meaning “peace and quiet with pampering”

  • several Native American tribes honor this time as “lying in”

  • in Ayurvedic practices derived in India, “the sacred window” is a vital time for mama and baby

While each of these cultures pursue their own customs during this time, the concepts are the same. New mamas are given a period of time from three weeks to 100 days (although usually around 30-40 days) to focus on their new baby (or babies!), to learn how to be a mother to this little human, how to breast feed, and are allowed this precious time to heal from pregnancy and birth. Often, mama’s mother or grandmother will move in for this time or be close by to provide nourishing meals, hold baby to allow mama time to rest, and do all the other tasks around the house. Many customs include herbal baths, oil massages for mama and baby, and applying hot compresses to mama’s abdomen to support the life force in her womb.

While all new mamas may not have 100 days to lie in, they should be nourished with foods that enable healing and provide their body with the nutrients to produce milk if they’re choosing to breastfeed, massaged with oil to increase blood circulation to assist healing, receive breastfeeding support and encouragement if it is challenging in the beginning, and assisted with anything else they need help with.

While the extended family and circle of friends will undoubtedly be eager to help after birth, your postpartum doula will be there to fill in the gaps.

Postpartum Care options:

  • $50/hour

    or

  • $400/week to have your doula with you 2 hours per day, Monday-Friday

Placenta encapsulation: $250

  • Does your house need cleaning? We’re here for you.

  • Do you need a nap? We’d love to hold your baby and cook a meal for you.

  • Do you need help figuring out your moby wrap? We’ve got you.

  • How about those cloth diapers? Let’s figure them out. But in the meantime, don’t feel guilty about using the disposable diapers.

Books we recommend to support and honor postpartum:

 
The First Forty Days        by Heng Ou with Amely Greeven & Marisa Belger

The First Forty Days by Heng Ou with Amely Greeven & Marisa Belger

 
The Fourth Trimester   by Kimberly Ann Johnson

The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson