in depth


Postpartum Cocoon

The First 40 Days of Life

Few things in life redefine a woman as intensely and rapidly as having a baby. Not only does birth bring a child, sensitive and new, into the world, but it also marks a rebirth for the mother, who is becoming a new person in her own right. This profound adjustment continues most significantly for the first 40 days after birth.

Yogically, the 40 days after birth is considered a sacred opportunity for building a strong foundation for the new family. You’ll want to plan for this time to be cozy, restful and protected. Priorities during the 40 days postpartum are care of the baby and mother, adjustment for the family, rest and bonding. Cover the basics and save the rest for later. This precious time will never come again.

With mother and baby both going through tremendous change, rest is vital. Frequent waking in the night makes it extra important for mother to nap when baby naps, whenever possible. Resist the urge to get back to work or household duties right away. Welcome carefully selected help for support and assistance. Accepting help from a close friend, family member, or a Postpartum Doula (professional support) can relieve the parents and be a blessing for everyone involved. However, guests are best saved for later if they aren't a positive and helpful addition. The bottom line is that baby and mom need this time together, snuggling close, relaxing and connecting. The job of everyone else is to facilitate this experience.

Nourishing foods are important during this time. Mom's diet should include fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and whole grains. She should drink lots of water and yogi tea. The perfect food for baby comes from the mother. If there are concerns or difficulties with breastfeeding, guidance from a professional Lactation Consultant can make a huge difference in helping to get things off to a good start.

Preparing in advance for the 40 days to be protected and honored yields great reward for the whole family. Give baby the gift of a peaceful transition into life on Earth and soak up the blessings.

Kewal K. Khalsa
Writer, Yoga Teacher & Birth Doula
Recommended books: Conscious Pregnancy: The Gift of Giving Life by Tarn Taran Kaur Khalsa and Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditationby Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa


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