The Importance of a Postpartum babymoon
A babymoon is a period set aside after the birth of a new baby for you and your child to bond and become acquainted. Let's talk about the importance of a postpartum babymoon, and why you should start planning yours now.
During this time, you can focus closely on bonding with your baby and meeting all of their needs. You can also focus on spending time as a “new” family.
The term babymoon was supposedly first used by childbirth educator Sheila Kitzinger. In her book ‘Year after Childbirth,' she explains, “The transition to fatherhood is easier when a man can take time off to be with his partner and baby in what I call a “Babymoon.”
A couple lay in food and other necessities, lock the door, and go to bed with their baby for a few days.”
In many cultures globally, the tradition is to care for a mother and her baby for the first forty days or so after birth, so she need not cook, clean, or otherwise leave her baby's side. These cultures understand the importance of healing and bonding after birth.
Why Is The Importance of a Babymoon?
An essential physiological process takes place from the moment your baby is born, and you both meet for the first time. This process continues into the first years of life, but the first few months are crucial to how your relationship with your baby forms.
A babymoon exists to establish a strong breastfeeding relationship, facilitate bonding, and allow your body to heal from childbirth.
Studies show that babies who receive skin-to-skin contact are more likely to latch on to the breast, breastfeed exclusively, and for a more extended time. They also have a stable temperature and an average heart rate, blood pressure, have higher blood sugar, are less likely to cry, and will self-wake when they are hungry.
Your healing time after birth is equally important. Overdoing it puts you at risk for breakthrough bleeding and a slower postpartum recovery time. You deserve to take it easy. Your doctor or midwife will advise you not to do any strenuous work or lifting for at least six weeks postpartum.
Getting Ready For Your Babymoon
You will need to ask for lots of support from your spouse, family, and friends during this time. Have plenty of meals prepared in advance and line up help for additional meals. Have someone available to help with household chores and spend time with siblings.
Here are some tips for enjoying your babymoon:
- Forget having a schedule. Instead, follow your baby's cues and take care of yourself and your baby.
- Unplug the phone, sleep when your baby sleeps, and ask others to respect your need for rest.
- Plan not to get out of your pajamas for at least two weeks, and don't plan any outings.
- Freeze meals & stock up on supplies like soap and toilet paper.
- Organize help or have someone else organize it.
- Invite supportive people to visit, so you don't feel isolated.
When to Plan Your Babymoon
You can start planning your babymoon now if you're pregnant. If you need help after a baby is born, ask for cash or gift certificates for postpartum doulas or housekeepers instead of baby gifts. Investigate the possibility of paid (or unpaid leave for your partner if you can).
Do not let anyone intimidate you. Moms are still told that getting back into the swing of things immediately after having a baby is a sign of weakness or taking time for rest, recovery, or self-care is a sign of privilege. Women and their families deserve this right after giving birth.
You too, yes. Your babymoon should be the most lavish, pampered, and relaxing on earth. Enjoy!