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Can your partner be your postnatal village?

So you’re having a baby. You may think that your partner can give you all the support and care you need after giving birth. After all, new babies sleep for hours, don’t they? How hard can it be for two people to care for a tiny baby? They only need sleep, milk and nappy changing, don’t they? You can both sleep when your baby sleeps between feeds, eat when your baby eats. Is that your plan? Your new baby doesn’t know about your postnatal plan, or care how much sleep you want or need. Your partner can support you, but you will both need a village to care for you and your family.

Your partner isn’t a replacement for a village of support postpartum.

In traditional cultures, a village supports and cares for new mothers, not just one person. You will both be lacking in sleep, and it may take both of you until lunch time or later to remember you haven’t eaten yet, you’re so busy feeding and attending to your baby’s needs. Both of you are learning and adjusting to new parenthood. As a new mother, you need physical, emotional and mental health support from a number of people: your village.

In cultures around the world, new mothers are cared for by the women in her family and often other women in her community or tribe. You also need the support, knowledge, and resources of women and health professionals postpartum. Your partner probably won’t know what your postpartum needs are or have the knowledge or resources you need and not know where to access them either. The precious time as a new family should be spent together, bonding with your new baby and resting and adjusting to parenthood, together.

Your partner has just become a new parent too (whether for the first or fifth time) and you both need support with finding mothers’ groups, a lactation consultant and other professionals to help and support you physically, mentally and emotionally. Your partner probably needs to go back to work 2-4 weeks after the birth, or sooner and you need ongoing support for much longer than this. You will both appreciate a hot meal, someone to hang out the washing, hold the baby while you nap and shower and it will be easier for your partner to return to work knowing you and your baby are being cared for and supported. This is when you need your village and community around you.

Bring your partner with you to my postpartum planning workshop and learn about the value of postpartum support together. Plan your peaceful postnatal with the knowledge and secrets I will share with you before your baby arrives.

Click here to learn more about my workshops.

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