A mothermoon is the time for you to nurture and be nurtured, to nourish and be nourished. It’s a time for you to rest and recover so that you can focus on bonding with your baby and begin to find your way as a new mother.
Below are my top tips for planning your mothermoon and looking after yourself in those precious early days and weeks and giving yourself the start to motherhood you deserve.
HAVE A PLAN
It’s common to write a birth plan outlining what’s important to you, what you want and don’t want so that you’re more prepared to handle whatever your baby’s birth throws your way. The same should go for the postnatal period. Think about things like what help you might need around the house, what emotional support you might need, how you’ll handle visitors and how you’ll make sure you’ve got lots of nutritious food to eat. Talk about it with your partner, write it down and share your wishes with your friends and family so they know how they can help.
STOCK THE FRIDGE
Making sure you’re eating plenty of nourishing food and drinking plenty of fluids is important and surprisingly tricky to do with a newborn to look after. There are lots of ways to plan to make sure you’re getting both of these things and not just living on toast, biscuits and cups of lukewarm tea. Batch cook some meals that you can store in the freezer and just pop in the oven to reheat. If you’re having a baby shower or mother blessing, instead of muslins and baby grows, suggest that people gift you with a dish that can go in the freezer, vouchers that you can use for meal delivery or organise a meal train.
GATHER YOUR VILLAGE
Lots of cultures around the world have customs that are focused on supporting new mothers. Family and friends come together to support a new mum and her family so she can focus on resting, recovering and getting to know her new baby. Whether it’s help from family, friends or a postnatal doula, gather your village and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
PULL UP THE DRAWBRIDGE
It can be so tempting to want to show off your gorgeous baby to everyone once they arrive, but think about limiting visitors in the early days. When you do have visitors, stay in your pyjamas, you’ll be less likely to play hostess. Keep visits short and sweet and have a rule that anyone who does come by has to do something to help out. They should also get their own tea and get you a cup too!
BE KIND TO YOUR BODY
Your body goes through an incredible transformation over the nine months that you grow your baby. Once you’ve done the amazing work of giving birth, your body changes once again. Think night sweats, swollen boobs and a roller coaster of emotions. Knowing what’s coming and how to cope with these things can make it all a bit easier to deal with. Your body has been through alot, take it easy and be kind to it and to yourself.
FROM WOMB TO WORLD
A mothermoon can help to recreate some of what life was like in your womb and ease your baby’s transition into the world. Spending time in a calm, quiet environment with few distractions and lots of time spent skin to skin allows you to get to know this little person and can help them feel safe, secure and more settled.
PLAN NOURISHING THINGS FOR YOURSELF
You need to look after yourself in order to look after your baby. Doing things for yourself to fill your cup can make a big difference to your well-being. It could be a lovely treat like a postnatal massage or closing the bones treatment or as simple as having a nap, a warm bath or having someone hold your baby while you drink a cup of tea while it’s still hot.
Just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean that things will be easy or go smoothly. You don’t know what you’ll find challenging or what unexpected situations will come up but having a plan in place will help you to weather the challenges when they do come up.
YOUR PARTNER MATTERS TOO
The arrival of a baby is equally life-changing to for partners. If you have a partner, talk about how you want them to spend their time while on parental leave and what support do they need. Also think about how this might all change once they go back to work.
THINK IN CONCENTRIC CIRCLES
Who do you want in your innermost circle. Who are the people you are most comfortable with seeing you at your most vulnerable and potentially partially clothed most of the time if you’re breastfeeding. As you move outwards think about how others can help with things like errands, looking after older children, holding your baby so you can do something for yourself.
No two women or babies experience the postnatal period in the same way but by having an idea of what to expect, you can begin to think about what support you might need. Some things can be planned for while others are unknown until after your baby arrives. Having a plan will help you feel more prepared and help you have the start to motherhood that you deserve!