The first 40 days are the most delicate and difficult.
I am expatriate from Italy to Norway. I am the mother of a son born in Italy and a daughter born here in Oslo. I had two different experiences in post-natal support. In Italy I had my family and friends and I had no one here. Despite the support received in Italy, I felt very lonely anyway.
This made me reflect, and it was after the birth of my daughter in Oslo in 2008 that I decided to start an Italian blog of support in childbirth and beyond.
I felt the need to support women in the various phases, first becoming a birth doula and then also a postpartum doula.
As such, I see the lack of support in the first phase after the birth of our babies.
I recently opened a support group that I called Red Tent for Mothers. A safe space where women could meet and share their experiences honestly and safely. The intention is not a group of mum and child or a playgroup, but a place where women can talk about how they really feel.
But my project is more ambitious.
I want to give the input for creating a community support network.
How to do it?
There are several ways to organize post-natal support but it is important that it is organized in advance, I would say that it is a good idea to start during the last trimester of pregnancy.
In many cultures, we talk about 40 days of confinement. The first 40 days are considered necessary for the physical recovery from childbirth. In this period, in many cultures, the mother stays in bed with the baby while being cared for in everything.
It is not always possible even and especially if, like me at that time, you do not have family and/or close friends.
A period of rest and bond seems ideal and beautiful, but it may seem unrealistic. For this to happen, mothers and fathers must be able to ask and accept help.
In our culture, asking for help is difficult. We are more inclined to give help than to receive it. This is where I promote a change of attitude. By welcoming the help, you feel less isolated and you can discover the power of the community. Allow friends, family or neighbors to help you and get involved in this special moment of your life.
What kind of support
In our culture of the past we saw family members, friends or the “village” involved. The village no longer exists and in our busy lives or with families living far away, we must look for different ways to organize help.
There are three types of support that I am offering:
- A Postpartum doula who can give support for specific tasks for an agreed time in the week at your home. Check my Postpartum Packages page.
- A local circle of wise women, mamas, doulas or holistic professionals to ask for help and advice as Red tent for Mothers that I am hosting every last Wednesday of every month. Check the events page to know the upcoming dates.
- A coordinator of a network helping with food preparation, shopping, playing with other children or cleaning. This can be organised by a friend, the new father or a doula. Please, contact me for more information.