Ayurveda, the 5,000 year wise medical tradition, acknowledges postpartum (you know – that time after birthing your child… aka Motherhood) as a sacred window. “Window” referring to the first 40 days after birth, where Mothers are recognized as being just as vulnerable as their babies.
Have you ever heard the saying “give me a child until he is 7, and I will show you the man.” During this time children are operating out of Theta brain waves – akin to being in a state of hypnosis. How a child is fostered, influenced, and loved (or not) in this period of time will generally set the stage for Who they will be for the rest of their life. (p.s. – No mom guilt here ladies. We do our best ok? Our brains can change, this time just lays a sort of foundation – that’s call for excitement because, potential! But it’s not the end all be all. Thank you amazing brains, wondrous biology, and what we can learn from Neuroscience. #grace.)
Well, in a similar way that the early years lay the groundwork for our and our children’s “being” – so too does this window Postpartum carry the potential for our being – not made – but re-made.
I will note that what I especially love about “transformation” – about the human potential – is that you can never miss out on it. You don’t have to have a “sacred window of invitation” (as truly incredible as this time is for New Mothers.) Every day, every breath, every Conscious moment is an invitation. You have ample opportunity to R.S.V.P. “Yes!”
“After childbirth we have LOTS of invisible work to do! And it is our biological mandate, our own Mother Nature’s program we could say, to restructure our whole physiology in the direction of greater ability to love and serve, if we give it the chance.” – The Sacred Window
Truth: It might feel disorienting and overwhelming and foreign (would be kind of abnormal if it didn’t…)
Truth: Your biology, your personhood, the nature of who you are is inviting you to awaken to your highest self during this time.
Truth: We need each other to facilitate this process. It’s not nice, it’s necessary.
But, why 40 days?
It is recognized in Ayurveda that it takes on average 42 days for our tissues to restore and rebuild, essentially re-modeling much of our inner ecology or the physical structure of who we are. It’s no secret that our physical well-being affects our emotional – that when you pull on one string in the body it has a reverberating effect throughout. Nothing happens in complete isolation, including (and especially!) our transformations. Which is why we need each-other among the other nourishing restorative qualities that this Sacred Window signals, such as:
Think warm, sweet, oily, nourishing foods. This is the time to be replenishing the resources that your body has so perfectly allocated to growing your baby in your womb, and now continuing to grow outside your womb through breastfeeding – should you choose to do so. I will increasingly be sharing recipes on my site, while some of my other favorite books are as follows:
Nourishing Newborn Mothers: Ayurvedic recipes to heal your mind, body, and soul after childbirth. Author: Julia Jones
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother. Author: Heng Ou
This is not the time to jump back in the saddle, or continue on with life as we’ve always known it. You are not moving forward the same person here. Your rest should reflect this. Body Work – such as belly binding, oil massages, rebozo and more are all traditional practices that hold the intention to support your body’s reintegration. Muscles, organs, and bones will find their way back all the greater with the support of these, many would call essential, techniques.
Self Care Prescription
You can think of this early postpartum period as a “prescription for radical self care.” This is an opportunity for you to shed decades of layers that are no longer serving you, and emerge from this special cocoon a “new” you. As your brain is working to support your… evolution of sorts – through increased neuroplasticity and an uplevel of Oxytocin – you have resources that you can reap pivotal rewards from in this time. And not by working harder, but by resting smarter. By being present to this healing, journaling your experience (you’re told you won’t have time, but you will!) sleeping or resting when you can, and falling so in love with who you are fostering into this world that it will propel your growth and healing tenfold.
You were designed to live in health and love. The human experience has a wide gamut of emotions to encounter on this journey, but our natural or “resting” state I believe is intended to be peace, and joy. Exactly what this Sacred Window is initiating you to live into and out of during this accelerated period of healing.
To your Peace, and to your Joy. In love,