Thursday, November 7, 2013

Using those forty days to REST.


This is a great article on the need to take the postpartum time to REST.  
I often see or hear of women pushing themselves to return to normal as quickly as possible after birth.  In a hurry to get their life and body back they jump into a myriad of activities at warp speed, often just days after giving birth.  Riding on the birth and baby high, pumped full of adrenaline yet restless from the last few weeks of pregnancy, particularly if they felt like a watched pot, these women fill their schedule, attack their house, and find new projects determined to not be slowed down, impatiently trying to control and master this new version of normal.  These women are often viewed with admiration and awe and the media highlights celebrities that are back to their prepregnant weight by 6 weeks or were spotted out jogging at 3 weeks or were back on the set of their TV show at 10 days.  This is held up as the epitome of a strong woman, give birth, bounce back, conquer world.
After the birth of the author's fifth child, she finally decided to actually put the car keys and the dust pan down and rest. Needless to say, she found it difficult:
The biggest obstacle I encountered in trying to rest?  Not my children, not the house cleaning, not the cooking, not anything I was missing out on.  No, the biggest obstacle was the voice in my head and a tiny handful of other people (including the company that came to “help”) saying I couldn’t let this “keep me down,” I was strong and there was so much to do.  Stupid voices.
Please read the rest. I know a good many postpartum moms right now (there were a lot of us at once!) and we could all heed this advice.

And here is a good article on the need for the "Forty Days" after childbirth, traditional in the Orthodox Church.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church women have a 40-day period following childbirth when they do not attend church. Instead, they are expected to spend those days bonding with their newborn, healing and adjusting to the awesome responsibility of caring for the child. At the end of 40 days, the woman and child are welcomed back into the community through a short set of prayers — called “a churching” — and the baby is baptized.


  1. I have always thought the 40 day period was such a beautiful tradition in the Orthodoxy. Mama has no responsibility to anyone except her new baby (well, and any additional kiddos at home!). I am always saddened when I see celebs touting their post-baby weight loss secrets on magazine covers or when I see moms who are rushed back to work so soon after having a baby. Rest. Relax. Enjoy this time that goes oh, so fast. <3

  2. I was very new to the church when I had Reno, and I wasn't in to the 40 days of rest LOL..but later I wish I had it. I will embrace it with the next baby we have.

  3. it worked out very well with this baby for my oldest two to go to granparents for 10 days in the first few weeks after baby came. That made rest much more possible. I find it freeing to be given the permission to rest and just BE with the baby. But it does get very impractical to not go get milk or not go out with the otehr children. It is a blessed sabbath.

  4. This is so important. It would be nice if everyone shared this point of view, but unfortunately I find all too often that they don't. Thank you for linking these two articles. I will pass them on.

  5. I think this is so important. I will only make it to around 30 days this time around with Thanksgiving and people coming to stay with us that week, but I will take my 30 days very seriously. :)

    It is just as important for baby as for the mother to rest and cuddle!


Thanks for leaving a comment!