What is the postnatal recovery period?
The period following childbirth, also known as the postnatal period or postpartum period, is a time of physical and emotional recovery for the new mother/parent. Across the globe, cultures have developed their own unique postnatal traditions and rituals to help support and heal new mothers/parents during this time.
Let’s explore some of the postnatal traditions from around the world:
In South Korea, new mums/parents traditionally observe a 21-day confinement period called sanhujori, during which they avoid going outside and receiving guests. The new mum/parent is cared for by their mother or mother-in-law, who prepares special foods and supports with breastfeeding.
In Mexico, new mums/parents are cared for by a traditional midwife or partera during the postnatal period. The midwife provides massages and herbal remedies to help with recovery and healing.
In India, new mums/parents observe a 40-day confinement period called jaapa, during which they rest and are cared for by family members. The mother/parent is fed special foods and drinks, and a special massage is performed using warm herbal oils.
In China, new mums/parents observe a confinement period called zuò yuè zi, during which they avoid leaving the house and receive daily massages from a traditional practitioner. The new mum/parent is also given special foods and drinks to promote healing and lactation.
In Morocco, new mums/parents observe a 40-day confinement period called al-taqsan, during which they are cared for by their mother or mother-in-law. The new mum/parent is given special foods and drinks to promote healing and lactation, and daily massages are performed to help with recovery.
In Iceland, new mums/parents observe a tradition called rúntur, during which they take a walk around their town or village with their newborn to introduce the baby to the community. This tradition is believed to bring good luck and support to the new family.
In Japan, new mums/parents observe a 100-day confinement period called osouji, during which they avoid leaving the house and are cared for by their mother or mother-in-law. The new mum/parent is given special foods and drinks, and a special massage is performed to help with recovery.
In Brazil, new mums/parents are encouraged to take a 40-day break from their regular activities after childbirth, known as resguardo. During this time, new mums/parents avoid going outside and are cared for by family members. Special foods and drinks are prepared to promote healing and lactation.
In Nigeria, new mums/parents observe a 30-day confinement period called omugwo, during which they are cared for by their mother or mother-in-law. The new mum/parent is given special foods and drinks, and daily massages are performed to help with recovery.
In some Indigenous Australian cultures, new mums/parents observe a traditional practice called yarning circles, during which they gather with other mums/parents to share their experiences and receive support during the postnatal period.
Supporting new mums/parents
These are just a few examples of the postnatal traditions and rituals that are practiced around the world. While these traditions may vary in their specifics, they all share a common goal of supporting and caring for new mums/parents during the postnatal period.
It is worth noting that while these traditions can be beneficial in providing emotional and physical support for new mums/parents, it is important for new mums/parents to discuss any postnatal traditions or rituals with their healthcare provider to ensure that they are appropriate for their individual needs.
I’m sure you will agree that the postnatal period is an important time of recovery and healing for new mothers/parents. Now it’s time for you to think, what is important to you for your postnatal recovery period?
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