THIS BLOG WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE THRIVING MAMA VILLAGE PAGE ON JULY 2, 2020. THE BLOG HAS NOW MOVED TO THE MAIN MILK & OIL CO PAGE. SOME EDITS MAY HAVE TAKEN PLACE.
Someone asked me today how I think postpartum should be.
This would seem a very obvious question related to the work I’m doing -or trying to do- with postpartum awareness in Oslo & beyond. It was a well-intentioned, properly timed question.
To be completely honest, the question took me off-guard not because I lack an answer but because I don’t see myself as an authority that can decide how postpartum should be & because I felt a little sorrow; what have we done as a society, as a community, as individuals to have to ask such a question?
In a world dictated by norms, rules & expectations of productivity, postpartum is to be done efficiently, productively & within a series of societal norms that fit what’s culturally accepted. Moms need to “bounce back” quickly, be self-sufficient & strong during the process.
I have been thinking about this all day long. Trying to understand if my lack of response made me look unprepared, like I have limited knowledge or like it truly was: like I just didn’t get the question.
It’s not my job to decide how people should spend their postpartum. It’s not my goal to teach people strategies to do postpartum the way I see it fit. It is not my role to interfere in anyone’s process. If any mother comes to me with that goal, I’m happy to give a 100% refund for the misunderstanding.
My only purpose, here, with all this work I’m doing is to give women tools so they can decide on their own. So they can throw all preconceptions & social constructs out the window & experience postpartum from within.
That is informed choice.
That is awareness.
That is empowerment.
That is self determination.
Like pregnancy & birth & sexuality & pretty much everything, it is your call how you take care of your body & mind. When postpartum professionals say “holding space” it really does mean giving you room to explore your own feelings & intuition to find the answers to these questions within you.
As a postpartum professional in Oslo & beyond, I will not have the answers for your journey. That is why I call my fourth trimester sessions “The Vision Board”
How do I think postpartum should happen?
Here’s how I don’t see it:
I am not the one who will say who has to help & why & how.
I won’t tell you what to eat & how to spend your day.
It’s not up to me if you are out or in.
What I do see is a large number of moms around me who haven’t found themselves; who are struggling physically & emotionally; who are afraid to fail; who are afraid of not being perfect; who are in unnecessary physical pain. What I see is a village where all the villagers are disconnected; where the lines are broken; where there’s elders & tools & apprentices but just chaos around them. What I see is a village where we could use a little more compassion.
My goal in working with postpartum is to give information & support so that you decide how you want your postpartum to be; so you can grow as a mother, be healthy & strong for yourself, your family & eventually other villagers.
I will show you tools. You pick which ones to use. I will hold space so the noise goes away & you can listen to your inner voice.
Your postpartum is your sacred period of healing. I’m just a tool for you to connect with your own intuition. What I have to give is definitely valuable for some & a waste for others.
All I can do is continue expanding my toolbox through deeper training & self reflexion like I am doing here.
My goal is not to lecture & educate everyone around me. My hope is that, those who do want to listen & find their journey & empower their process, can do so within the blasting noise of the chaotic social norms set outside of us.
It only takes one villager to start the change. And I will work hard until we find each other...
That is why I care ....