Sacred Postpartum is honoring the postpartum period. Crossing the threshold to motherhood, whether for the first time or for subsequent babies, is a massive undertaking. Our culture is one of few that have little to no postpartum care culture. Especially in Las Vegas, a transient town, many are here without family and close friends to call upon for support.
Western Culture: Once the baby is born, all eyes are on the baby rather than the mother. The common practice is to celebrate the baby with showers and visits from friends and family who come bearing more gifts. It’s all about the baby.
Non-Western Culture: These cultures place great attention to the health and recovery of the new mother.
Postpartum should be planned for just as the birth of your child. You have just gone through one of the most physical, emotional, and mental processes in your life and so I encourage you to create a postpartum plan. If you have family and friends wanting to help you, include them in your plan, ask for your needs to be met. If you do not have anyone to help out then communicate your needs to your partner and prepare beforehand as much as possible.
Another way to honor this transition is with a Sealing Ceremony. Ceremony & Sealing
*These services can be customized to honor and support a mother who has experienced a stillbirth or miscarriage as well.
Ceremonial Sealing: Continuing to Honor the Process
Birth is an incredible, amazing, intense journey. As women, our bodies go through a lot of hard work to bring a child into the world. All of this work, through the triumphs, sorrows and joys, the sweat & tears, we are left open. We must allow ourselves to be open when we birth a child. That openness can then leave us feeling empty after birth. Our bodies have been a vessel that carried and nurtured a small one (or even several small ones) for months. It is no wonder that our bodies would experience a vast emptiness once we have completed the birthing process. So, what then? How do we close ourselves after we have opened for something as incredible as birth? Well, why not have a beautiful closing ceremony.
While pregnant, women will have people “oooh” and “aaah” over their growing belly. After birth, that attention seems to be turned to the baby. While it’s well-intentioned, let’s look at continuing to focus and honor the woman who made this birth possible. No, I don’t mean the midwife or attending physician. I mean the mother. The continued care and keeping of mom, mothering her, can play a vital role in mom’s healing. Add to this a ceremony to “close the birthing process,” and you are honoring the mother. As she heals, celebrates the life of her new child, and transitions into her role as mother, there is no greater honor than to recognize this process via ceremony.
Sealing ceremonies may seem strange to those of us living in the United States, or in other countries, where there isn’t a lot of emphasis put on the postpartum healing process, but it does happen in other parts of the world such as in Malaysia and China. In other nations, women are still mothering women after birth, honoring them for the incredible sacrifice that they have made, bestowing blessings upon these new mothers, holding space to allow these women to heal and close what was opened when they birthed their babies, and welcoming them back into society. The questions are, why don’t we do this in our country and what would happen if we did?
One such way of doing this is through a ceremonial bathing; one in which a combination of flowers, fragrant waters, and even fruits may be added to symbolically wash away the smell of blood from their birth, and recharge them with femininity & beauty. This ceremonial bathing may be coupled with healing herbal teas to drink afterwards, and a blessing for the new mother. The point is to wrap the new mother in warmth & love, honoring her for the life she has brought forth, and recognizing and acknowledging her birth story.
Massages and rub-downs that are then paired with warm herbal packs and a SACRED tuck-in will add to the wonderful experience of a closing ceremony. Simply put, a SACRED tuck-in is a service in which several scarves are laid out one above the next. The mother lays down on top of the scarves and warm herbal flax-seed or herbal rice packs are placed across vital points on the mother’s body (eyes, shoulder/heart, abdomen/womb, hips, knees, feet). As the warm herbal packs are placed, the scarf is brought up around the mother at each point and tied to allow for a “tuck-in.” She they lays there resting for a period of time being enveloped in the warmth. Top it all off with some fresh herbal teas and a deliciously warm, fresh, home-made meal and you are well on your way to a recipe for an amazing honoring and ceremonial sealing!
The essence of all of this is meant to bring to light the importance of honoring new mothers, honoring their process, recognizing that each mother is different, but each deserving of having the space to be held, warmed, honored, and made to feel loved. When we limit our care to just when a woman is pregnant, we lose focus of the vital role that women play in birth, in life, & in creation. The time is now to come back full- circle, and revive this important piece of the pregnancy & birthing process. (excerpts used from Bridget DeLuzio/www.beautifulbirth.org)