In our world today, there's a strange happening that occurs when a woman has a baby. During her pregnancy, she is treated with the utmost respect and consideration. She is encouraged to do whatever she needs to take care of herself: get massages, eat very well, take time off of work, enjoy social activities, relax as much as possible and concentrate only on herself and her baby within. Thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours are spent on self-care. It's her number one priority in her home and out in the world.
And then she has the baby.
She spends hours in labor, painfully trucking along to give her baby the best intro into it's new world. In much of the world today, this process also includes some unnecessary abuses or interventions and she's told to take these in stride; to do what she needs for her baby. She births the baby either through major abdominal surgery or by pushing it out through a very small orifice in her body, which often requires stitching and repair. And then she immediately brings the baby to her breast for sucking. And all of the sudden, literally within moments, she is no longer the focus of care and her baby becomes the one and only priority. Long gone are the days of massages, of eating very well, or enjoying social activities, of relaxation and of any sort of self-care. Her partner and family are greatly undereducated as to what is required to take care of her physically and mentally and in too many cases, she becomes sick and possibly dies.
The good news is that is does not have to be this way. Although we have little control over what happens in childbirth, we have a great amount of control over what happens in postpartum. We can learn what to feed a new mother, we can learn how to make sure she gets enough sleep, we can learn how to negotiate with her workplace to ensure she has the proper support and scheduling. We can learn how to actually take care of a mother in postpartum! And, in fact, when the mother is well taken care of, the baby thrives. It does not work the other way around.
So, while you're out there searching for the best baby care class or how to learn about cloth diapering, also find a class (or professional) who can help you learn how to take care of a woman in her postpartum time so that the family can achieve the highest level of health and happiness!