That’s a picture of Miss Penelope. She is almost three-and-a-half. I don’t know where time goes! Seems like just yesterday I was giving birth to her. It’s weird no longer being a postpartum mom and making the transition to having a kid and not a baby.
Did you know that postpartum is technically three years long? I have no idea when, where, or why the world starting thinking it was only 6 weeks.
In other cultures, early postpartum is at least 40 days, so I am sure that is where is started. But the traditional view of what early postpartum is totally different than our interpretation of it. In other traditional cultures, the mama does nothing except lay down and nurse her baby for the first 40 days. I mean nothing.
I don’t know how I will manage it if we are so blessed to have another child, but if we are, I want to really take it easy this time. With Penelope, I had no help at all except for the two weeks my husband was home and he wasn’t even doing everything. His parents came for a week, but even though they had good intentions, they were no help at all either. I am totally going to hire a postpartum doula next time.
But anyways, back to the point: postpartum is three years!
It takes three years for your body to get back to normal after giving birth. It takes three years for your nutritional stores in your body to fill back up and be ready to create and feed another baby.
It takes two years just for your uterus to shrink, get back in place and recover from pregnancy and birth. 2 years!
The average age for potty training is three years, which to me is indicative of a huge shift of how much independence starts happening at age 3. I am firm believer that God perfectly planned all of this so that by the time a child is age 3, Mama would be in a position to be able to focus on herself more during pregnancy and then on the new baby when the new baby arrives.
I personally think it takes 3 years to get your mind right after giving birth. Each pregnancy and birth can throw you so far off balance, out of your comfort zone, and stretch your personal growth as far as it can be stretched that it takes 3 years to get back in balance and ready mentally and emotionally to handle getting back in line to do it all over again.
Now, if you are reading this and freaking out because your babies are spaced 2 years apart or even 12 months apart like my Goddaughter and her sister (also known as Irish Twins) then rest easy. It just means you will need to be a bit more cognizant about your health and healing your reproductive organs, taking care of your overall health and restoring your nutritional stores. I would also spend some time making sure your child is getting adequate nutrition now, to make up for any lack of nutrition they may not have received because your body was not yet at peak performance to nourish and grow another human.
Last year when we got pregnant and then later miscarried, I do think part of it was because my body was simply not ready yet (Penelope had just turned two when we got pregnant). And this time around, we have waited not only so I could get my mind right again, but also so my nutritional stores could get back up. Even though I was only pregnant 12 weeks, it was a huge drain on my body.
Nothing is a hard and fast rule, but this is ancient wisdom that somehow got lost and buried along the way for women and I wanted to share. Mostly I want women to know how hard a pregnancy is on a woman’s body. If you are going to have ten kids, or space them close together, just take care of yourself and your body. And if you already had your kids close together, just take extra care of your body for a little bit. Women’s bodies are amazing, just a little bit of care and healing goes a long way.