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BabyMoon & Lying-In

from Wikipedia...

Lying-in is an old childbirth practice involving

a woman resting in bed for a period of time before giving birth. Though the term is now usually defined as "the condition of a woman in the process of giving birth," it previously referred to a period of bed rest required even if there was no medical complications.

A 1932 publication refers to lying-in as ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months. It also does not suggest "Getting Up" (getting out of bed post-birth) for at least nine days

and ideally for 20 days. This prolonged time of staying in bed after birth may also

be called "lying-in".

Be a QUEEN for at LEAST two weeks!

Stay in your night gown and stay in bed

as much asyou can!  Enjoy your "BabyMoon!"

After the birth of your baby, you need to rest and to

recover, not just from the actual birth but from the major re-organization of your internal organs which took place as the baby came out of your body.

You & your baby need time to discover one another and learn how to work together to establish your breastfeeding relationship.

"BabyMoon" period is essential to the good health of the new mother.

Gloria Lemay
, renowned Canadian midwife says:

"We live in a culture that has no value or respect for rest. If you’re resting, you’re lazy and incorrigible. We have been raised on Tampax ads that say “Go play tennis, golf and volleyball when you’re having your moon time. An active woman is an attractive woman.” I love the Orthodox Jewish practice of giving women a bed of their own from when
their period starts to 12 days later and arranging a complete day of rest from all household duties on Saturday."

We would all be well advised to adopt these customs.

Some of the problems that are cured by rest in bed include:

  • breast problems of all kinds in nursing mothers,
  • heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding,
  • general crabbiness or depression.

For building up milk production, go to bed with the baby for 24 hours. Mother should wear only panties, baby only a diaper. A tray with fluids, magazines and flowers beside the bed for the mother and all diaper changing needs for the baby close at hand.

Another adult woman in the house brings meals to the mother. After 24 hours of this bed rest, the milk will be abundant. The naked skin and privacy are a big part of this “Babymoon” formula. Don’t modify. Probably, when you read this, you thought,
“This would be a luxury for a new mother.” It’s actually very basic and pays HUGE dividends for the family and larger community. Some cultures understand this and make sure the new mother is given a 40 day period of rest/care when she has a baby."

My personal experience is that ALL post birth bleeding is remedied by resting in bed. The lochia is red for the first two days, changes to pink and serumy around the third day, and then proceeds to being brownish and quite smelly for about two weeks. If it turns red again after going through the pink and brownish stages, it means the mother
is doing too much. She needs to follow the “BabyMoon” lie-in instructions above.

Remember, THIS IS NOT A LUXURY, IT’S BASIC! The family needs to be told that if they don’t help the mother to rest in bed, they will end up visiting her in the hospital. We need to give up the notion of Super Mom. Do whatever it takes to get your rest time after the birth and then you will be back to your busy life sooner. When women have homebirths, they usually feel so well that they want to get up & “prove” to the world that they can do anything.

Be mindful of the Zen maxim “If you have something to prove, you have nothing to discover.” The really smart women don’t even get dressed for weeks after the birth. If you’re all perky in a track suit, people will expect you to run . . . therefore, find the nastiest old nightie possible and wear that to convince family and friends that you need their assistance."
How Can People Help?

(with credit for & thanks to Gloria Lemay)

“Let me know if I can help you in any

way when the baby is born."

“Just let me know if you need a hand.”

“Anything I can do, just give me a call.”

Most pregnant women get these statements from friends and family but shy away from making requests when they are up to their ears in dirty laundry, unmade beds, dust bunnies, and counter tops crowded with dirty dishes.

The myth of “I’m fine, I’m doing great, new motherhood is wonderful, I can cope, and my husband is the Rock of Gibraltar” is pervasive in postpartum land.

If you’re too shy to ask for help and make straight requests of people, I suggest sending the following list out to your friends and family. These are the things I have found to

be missing in every house with a new baby.

It’s actually easy and fun for outsiders to remedy these problems for the new parents but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what’s wanted and needed…

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk, juice, and beautiful whole grain bread.

2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).

3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice Greek dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.

4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, wash & dry a couple of loads.

5. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge & throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.

6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and Baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days, but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”

7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and clean the kitchen. Then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.

8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science Museum and feed them healthy food.

9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, or some other “R & R” that will delight him. Fold the piled up laundry.

10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.

These are the kindnesses that new families remember and appreciate forever. It’s easy to spend money on gifts but the things that really make a difference are the services for the body and soul described above.

Most of your friends & family members don’t know what they can do that won’t be an intrusion. They also can’t devote 40 hours to supporting you but they would be thrilled to devote 4 hours. If you let 10 people help you out for 4 hours, you will have the 40 hours of rested, adult support you really need with a newborn in the house.

There’s magic in the little prayer, “I need help.”

Postpartum Complications

The postpartum period is the time immediately after a woman delivers her baby. It is the time when the mother's body is changing back to the non-pregnant state. It lasts approximately 6 weeks or until her internal organs reposition themselves and the uterus return to normal size.

During the postpartum period, a woman can expect a variety of symptoms ranging from physical discomfort to emotional upsets.

Feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for an infant is a normal postpartum symptom. Other emotions may include sadness, feeling helpless, and a "let down" feeling. Discomfort in the perineum (area between the rectum and vagina) is expected and may cause difficulty with sitting or walking.

It is common for her breasts to be swollen and painful. The new mother may feel tired, experience hot flashes and sweating, and may be constipated. A woman may also have a reduced interest in sex for up to 6 months after childbirth. All these symptoms are normal, and are a temporary reaction to childbirth.

There are symptoms that are NOT normal and may be considered postpartum complications.

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if one of more of these symptoms develop:

  • temperature of 100.5° F, or greater
  • chills
  • nausea or vomiting
  • moderate to strong abdominal or back pain that is more than just an ache
  • increased pain, swelling, redness, or drainage from any vaginal repair or C-section incision sites
  • bleeding through more than one pad per hour
  • blood clots the size of an orange
  • a foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • chest pains
  • increasing tenderness in the lower abdomen
  • red, warm to the touch, painful breasts
  • burning when urinating or blood in the urine
  • a severe headache in the forehead and behind the eyes, accompanied by extreme pain while sitting or standing
  • feeling depressed or blue for more than 3 days
  • severe weakness
  • extreme paleness or
  • a rapid, racing pulse

Treatment for complications varies depending on the source of the problem. Bed rest & good nutrition and hydration are major preventative actions, along with minimizing visitation by family & friends. Infection usually responds to antibiotic treatment.

Other special herbal and holistic treatments and allopathic medications and procedures are available for treating postpartum problems.

A new mother who experiences one or more of these symptoms should contact her provider immediately!!

Home Birth Midwifery Service
Cell: (832) 942-8324
Contact Kim