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.