The Mama Shower: Gifts That Support Mama Postpartum

So, women are amazing. They create life, grow life, birth life, and nurture life. It’s incredible! However, what’s even more incredible is that society looks at this like it’s no big deal. Pregnancy and birth take A LOT of work and they wear a woman’s body down. Postpartum ain’t any easier because ladies are managing everyday life tasks with a newborn who’s got some big demands, and ain’t so quiet or clear about them.

Moms have some major needs to fill, and today’s standards for women make this harder than ever. If you have a mama you love and support, then there are some amazing gifts which can help her during this very important and should-be-beautiful time.

HEALING

Labor is one beast to have to tackle. But healing from labor? And healing from labor while providing 24/7 care for a newborn? Is that ever fun. If there’s ever a time where mama needs love and support, that’s it. The time after birth is a precious time that mom should be spending getting to know her brand new baby. Here are gift ideas that can help her with that.

  • Herbal Vulneraries: Vulnerary herbs can help a mom by supporting and even speeding up healing. Herbalist Susun Weed suggests using comfrey, which she says enhances healing and helps to restore and revitalize vaginal tissues. Yarrow supports womb health and helps manage bleeding and postpartum contractions, so this is another herb worthy of a sitz bath. Other popular postpartum vulneraries include witch hazel, calendula, plantain, chickweed, and lavender. These herbs can be used via sitz bath, compress, herb steams, or perineal spray.

  • Nutritive Herbs: Herbs like alfalfa, dandelion, nettle, oat straw, and red raspberry are packed with nutrients that promote healing and, subsequently, quality breast milk. They’re also packed with essentials like iron, calcium, and vitamin K, so women can use them to promote a healthy pregnancy. The herbs listed above are recognized as being safe for pregnancy and most of them are safe for consumption in the first trimester. Just run them by your midwife or doc first.

  • Helpful Accessories: There is an array of things which can help mom with her healing. Determining the best options for a mom will depend on her own preferences. Some of the most popular postpartum healing accessories are heating pads, peri bottles, cloth tea bags (sweet, sweet sitz baths), hospital-grade pads (homemade postpartum ice packs), glass spray bottles (hello DIY perineal spray), and belly binds.

 

FOOD

If you only give a mama one thing, food is always a winner. The postpartum period is not a time to carry out business as usual and knock out the daily chore list. Rather, it’s a time for respecting the power of the female body, by giving it time to heal and restore itself. It’s also a time for a woman to put her vital energy into learning how to feed, soothe, and love the new life she has birthed. We can all help mama with this by giving her nourishing food.

  • Meal Subscriptions: As a third generation penny pincher, I thought meal subscription services had more costs than benefits. Then I got hooked up with meals from Blue Apron. One meal later, and I was a meal subscription service convert. They really are worth it. Some of the most popular and affordable meal subscription services are Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, The Purple Carrot, Freshly, Plated, and Hungry Root. My personal prenatal/postpartum favorite is Veestro. Their 100 percent plant-based meals and juices are so delicious. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more nourished than when I ate my first Veestro meal. It felt amazing just eating it. I’ll be using them for my own postpartum time because I want nutrient-dense meals (for quality breast milk and healing), and I want them to be ready to eat (like I have to say why). One day I’ll be a New York Times best selling author and have a home chef — until then, I’ll be sticking with Veestro. 😉

  • Delivery Services: Meal subscriptions may not be the best thing for moms who prefer to save money or are particular about their cooking. However, a delivery of fresh groceries of choice may be an excellent alternative. Delivery services like Delivery.com save a mom from the diaper-filled splendors of shopping, driving, and car seat handling by picking up orders and bringing them to her front door. While tedious errands are a great way for mom to get out of the house and around people, this time can be spent on more fulfilling things like playdates, long walks (a great excuse for a Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiatto addiction), or bonding and loving a sweet new babe. It also means mom can put off getting dressed and combing her hair for another day or two. Now that is a gift.
  • Good Old Fashioned Home Cooking: Our consumerism-capitalized society likes everyone to think that a good gift costs good money, but the best gift is one that comes from the heart (and, let’s not forget, zero prep and minimum cleanup). Ask mom about her food preferences, and you and fellow ladies can make family postpartum meals to store in her fridge and freezer. They don’t have to be expensive or fancy. Do what you can, and do it with love. Such gifts never disappoint.     

 

EMOTIONAL/MENTAL WELL-BEING

In many traditions, the postpartum time is a sacred time for bonding, healing, and transitioning into new parenthood. Across cultures, traditions involve things like women being cooked for, massaged, fed a specific diet, kept to their bedrooms, and confined to the comforts of home for a specified length of time. Here in America, society emphasizes “bouncing back” over healing, bonding, and postpartum support — thus the rise of Postpartum Depression. Help a mama out by giving her some postpartum herbal support.  

  • Nervines: A nervine herb has an influence on our nervous system. This is important to note, because the sympathetic nervous system is the “fight or flight” part of the nervous system. So, supporting a healthy and relaxed nervous system with nervine herbs is an excellent way to ease stress and anxiety. Nervines like Oat Tops, Oat Straw, Catnip, and Chamomile act to relax and revitalize the nervous system. Skullcap is especially outstanding for it’s anxiety-relieving, nerve-soothing, and neuron-restoring benefits. It’s so effective, it will be prescribed for addiction treatment. I personally put it to the test three months ago when I was ridden with stress from basically ALL areas of life. The results were miraculous. Honestly, I hold my tincture bottle like a baby and I say talk to it like a close friend. If you want to try it out, I can personally attest to the quality price and results of Earthwise Organics skullcap tincture. Thanks to a raving email I sent to the owner Shawn, I got hooked up with a coupon code. If you want to order her fabulous skullcap, use coupon code wsd15 and you’ll save 15%.   

  • Adaptogens: Nervines are a lot like adaptogens, but adaptogens go further by supporting the health and function of the entire body as well as the nervous system. They can help the body’s stress response by enhancing immunity, balancing hormones, relaxing or energizing the body, and/or reducing fatigue and brain fog. What mom couldn’t use that? Aviva Romm — doctor, herbalist, and midwife — recommends six adaptogens especially for women. Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Reishi Mushroom, Rhodiola, Shatavari, and Tulsi. Run them by your healthcare provider to see which would work best for you.

MEANING

The modern world has this idea that life is all about doing. That may work when it comes to business and numbers, but it doesn’t do squat for creating loving families and powerful bonds. The mothers of today need all of us to give them permission to step away from the to-do list so they can focus on greater tasks like nurturing and loving. Here are some great ideas that offer meaning to motherhood and help mama remember the importance of her heart-filled duties.    

  • Symbols: A symbol is more than a pretty image. They’re a visual form of communication that expresses an idea, which we come to associate with feelings, inspirations, and ideas of our own. The symbols of motherhood and womanhood are powerful reminders of a woman’s power and strengths. By wearing symbols or placing symbol sculptures around our home, we’re reminded to live with intention and to be a living expression of the qualities and ideas we so deeply admire. My personal symbolic favorites include Quantum Stones rose quartz symbol pendants, House Of Alaia’s symbolic jewelry, and the goddess sculptures and altar kits from Brigid’s Grove. Be sure to check out Brigid’s Grove print-outs on pregnancy and birthing rituals. They’re full of great ideas for throwing a meaningful Mama Shower.  

 

  • Books of Memories: Pregnancy, birth, and motherhood are incredible times of discovery and initiation. This is when a woman discovers what she can do, what she has to offer, and who she can be. Help her to document the magical process of this life-changing journey so that she can remember these times and relish their memory. If she likes to write, she can be gifted journals for pregnancy, guided journals for mothers, or a simple but beautiful diary. If she’s not a writer or she’s a busy-busy mama, then get her out for a few impromptu photo shoots or take random lovely photos which can be used to create a photo book for her and the family.

 

Okay mamas! It’s your time to talk! What do you experienced mamas wish you would have had after birth? What are you expectant mamas hoping to get? Who has experience with the herbs up above? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Have you had enough of my pregnancy-inspired ranting? No? Well, guess what! I have guest post rants just for you…

Gifts That Support And Honor Pregnancy, Birth, And Motherhood — GreenChildMagazine.com
Postpartum Recovery — TexasHomeAndGarden.com
Four Super-Simple Tricks For A Healthy And Mindful Pregnancy — BeMoreYogic.com

The Mama Shower — The Most Important Part Of The Baby Shower That (Quite Stupidly) Went Forgotten

Everyone knows and throws baby showers — but a mama shower? When do you ever hear about that?

Considering the prices of baby “necessities,” it may be because baby showers are so marketable and profitable. Look at other cultures, and you realize that it may be because our country has forgotten the honor in being a woman, and the value of mothering….

Baby showers are great, but they fail to acknowledge the needs and importance of the woman who makes the baby possible. This woman is doing an amazing, and incredible, and challenging thing. If anyone deserves a party in celebration of new life, it’s the mama that made it all possible.

Why? Well…  

 

Mamas Create Life

Our country honors dead soldiers, presidents, and voyagers in all of their controversial deeds. Well, all of that is possible thanks to the women carrying, birthing, and caring for the children of Earth. She gives her time, not for pay or an exchange, but out of unpaid and (currently) under-appreciated maternal duty. But day after day, she keeps on going — carrying her battle scars of stretch marks, varicose veins, and a body that’s forever changed. Is there anything more honorable, imperative, or necessary? Moms are nursing the future of humanity. It’s damn time we started acknowledging the incredible duties and intense work of today’s mothers by giving our recognition and appreciation.

Mamas Sustain Life

First, moms take on radical changes to their bodies and health by growing life in their wombs. Then, mothers risk their lives delivering their babies through their bodies. Then, moms feeds life with their bodies. And all the while, they are constantly using their minds and arms to nurture, multitask, love, and do, do, do. They literally put their blood, sweat, and tears (and lactose) into this work. If that’s not something to celebrate, then let’s remember that many of today’s moms are doing all this work with little to no outside help.

Taking care of others means women absolutely must take care of themselves. This “idea” is a no-brainer fact in other cultures around the world. In countries which traditionally value family and community, women have friends and family they can turn to for help and support (if these friends and family aren’t already over there helping her out, or living next door). America values independence and has a looooooong history with seeing family and household tasks as a woman’s responsibility. This expectation means that a woman’s work — while open to heavy criticism and judgment — is not celebrated or appreciated. It’s just expected. Let’s break this rusty overaged societal mold and replace it with something new. Like the Mama Shower!!!

 

Mothering Is Freaking Demanding

Moms are growing babies, nursing, feeding, soothing, shopping, planning, managing routines, cleaning, cooking, working, and improving themselves and their families. There are no scheduled breaks, and there is no end time for a Mom-shift. And do they get a paycheck for this? Do they get voted for Family Member Of The Month? Maybe a bonus for putting in late nights and long hours? Nope. In fact, most the moms I know are managing home and family and work — and without so much as the gift of an extra hour of sleep on Saturdays.

Mothering is not a simple or low-demand job. Actually, it’s one of the hardest most demanding duties you can take on. Because being a good mother means giving your very best at every hour of every day — no matter how much you’ve slept, however sick you may be, or how many deadlines you have to meet. And despite all that work, there’s a 90-some percent chance that mom’s efforts will go without recognition until years later. Even better, the modern mom is subject to harsh judgment and criticism because, somehow, society shifted from valuing support and community to practicing crap-talking and judging. Being a mama ain’t easy. It’s time we sucker punched society’s nastiness square in the face and got back to loving our moms!   

 

Mothering Is Some Of The Most Important Work Of Humanity

The reason why women make such great mothers is because they were born to mother. Men are great and our world will always needs its fathers, but women… Women have this amazing skill to hear, feel, and care for emotions. The average woman has a brain which is literally designed to give her the ability to see the world not just with her ears and her eyes, but with her heart. Having the ability to sense and understand the feelings of others is a powerful skill. It’s the kind of skill that makes peace and understanding possible. Today’s mom doesn’t get credit for this amazing and crucial-to-humanity strength. Because of that, her mothering lacks meaning and magic. Mothering should be one of the most amazing things a woman can ever do, because it IS one of the most amazing things a woman can do. Beautiful and mystical mothering makes beautiful and heartfelt people. What an incredible contribution to the world! Women are divine creative beings, beyond all doubt or measure. They deserve to be honored and celebrated!

When it’s all said and done, humanity exists because of moms. If we didn’t have our woman conceiving, carrying, birthing, and nurturing Earth’s children, then there wouldn’t be children here on Earth. You, me, nobody. Mamas have gone so long with having their heart-infused work and demanding duties go unnoticed and unappreciated. Every mom deserves to be showered with honor, love, and appreciation. The next time you throw a baby shower, make sure that you put special effort into making mama feel as important as she is.   

 

Want to read more about why you’re such a freaking awesome woman? Check out some of my other woman-raving posts

 

The Divine Woman That Lies Within Us All — TreeSisters.org
Spiritual Mothering: Putting The Mystical Magic Back Into Pregnancy, Birth, And New Motherhood — TreeSisters.org
Showin’ Mamas The Postpartum Love — TexasHomeAndGarden.com
Why You ABSOLUTELY Must Love Yourself, And How You Can Do It — InnerSelf.com