Many cultures that have a living tradition of maternity care assume a recovery of 40 to 42 days after childbirth. It takes (at least) this time for the uterus to get into its old shape, stabilise the hormonal fluctuations of the maternity period and emotionally adjustment to the new reality with a new family member.
The premise of the 40 days of postnatal care is that the household tasks are taken out of the mother’s hands and taken over by her social network. The mother can fully focus on her recovery and bonding with her baby. The partner/father, a few close friends, (mother-in-law) or good neighbour take over the care task of shopping, making food, household chores and taking care of other children.
Perhaps for some this is a radical idea, but many mothers and fathers who have experienced postnatal time see this as a huge addition to a relaxed recovery time. The key is to dare to ask for support and ask the question in a timely manner. You give your loved ones the opportunity to do something really important for you during this special time.
Furthermore, it is advisable to keep your maternity visits to a minimum and not do too much. So what care you want to receive depends on your demand, your family situation, your financial space and the presence of a social network. On the website www.postnatalsupportnetwork.com you can submit a care request should you not be able to work it out with local postnatal doulas or (in combination with) your network