How a W.E.I.R.D. Postpartum Damages New Mothers

Have you heard the acronym W.E.I.R.D. used about today's society in which many of us find ourselves? It means Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.

While our society boasts amazing advancements and progress, it also presents a set of norms and expectations that can be deeply damaging to the well-being of new families in the weeks after birth.

The fast-paced nature of our busy lives places immense pressure on postpartum mothers and parents to swiftly bounce back to their pre-pregnancy lives. It promotes an unrealistic standard of "having it all together" soon after birth, disregarding the profound physical, emotional, and psychological changes that occur during the postpartum period.

In this rush towards a speedy recovery, the unique needs of postpartum individuals often get overlooked. The emphasis on productivity, efficiency, and individualism undermines the crucial requirement for rest, healing, and communal support during this delicate phase. This societal construct fails to acknowledge the intricate web of care that new parents truly need.

Enter the concept of a slow postpartum—a paradigm shift that champions a more compassionate, holistic, and realistic approach to supporting new families. It advocates for a pace that honors the body's need for recovery, the mind's need for emotional adjustment, and the soul's need for connection and community.

A slow postpartum recognizes the significance of extended rest, ample support, and meaningful rituals during this transition.It encourages those of us who work in the perinatal space to shift our focus from merely 'doing' to 'being' with new parents—offering a nurturing presence, a listening ear, and unwavering loving support.

By embracing the philosophy of a slow postpartum, we can help the new parents that we care for to reclaim their agency in their own journey. It's about empowering them to set realistic expectations, prioritise self-care, and ask for a supportive environment that allows them time and space to heal and bond with their newborn.

This approach also encourages a shift in societal perspectives, challenging the norms that perpetuate the notion of quick recoveries and self-sufficiency. It advocates for systemic changes that acknowledge the value of comprehensive postpartum care, including paid parental leave, accessible mental health resources, and community-based support networks.

As doulas and birthworkers, we play a pivotal role in advocating for and facilitating this paradigm shift towards a slow postpartum. Let's continue to educate, support, and empower new parents by embracing this holistic approach—one that honors the profound transformation of bringing new life into the world.

Together, we can foster a culture that celebrates the beauty of a slow and intentional postpartum experience—one that nurtures, heals, and cherishes the transition into parenthood.

With love Jojo x

PS: If you'd love to find out more about how to support new mothers and familes in your community you can download my free guide 'Five Ways to Holistically Support Postpartum Families' here

PPS: I'm super excited to be launching my Art of Slow Postpartum training for birth professionals early in 2024. If you'd love to be on the waitlist to be the first to find out more details you can join here.

Categories: motherhood, parenting, Postnatal, Postpartum