When we brought our first little one home, I remember asking my mom who used to support new parents as they learned to care for and feed their babies. Despite trying to read and learn as much as possible ahead of time and multiple visits to healthcare providers soon after our baby was born, we still had so much to learn and felt so unprepared in many ways.
My mom told me women in India traditionally went to their family home for the end of their pregnancy and stayed there for at least 3 months after their babies were born. My great-grandmother’s home was where all the pregnant women gathered in our family – a collection of sisters, cousins, aunts, nieces and all their newborn babies as well as their young children would be together, supporting new parents and each other as a new baby came into the family. There was a built in network of experienced new moms and multiple generations of women to help first time parents learn how to care for their infant. For those who were struggling with feeding their babies, there were many trusted family members to teach them how to feed their infants and help supplement their feeds if needed. Being with extended family also allowed new moms to focus on healing and bonding with their new little one while the rest of the family took care of the day to day chores and helped care for any other young children.
My mom was the last baby born in her grandmother’s home. In many places, the built in trusted support system, generational knowledge, and the experience of many family members that supported new parents as they learned to care for their little ones has changed over recent decades as women began to deliver in hospitals, often far from their extended family. The amazing community of support and knowledge that my grandmother had is no longer there in the same way.
My mom’s stories of her grandmother’s home and the environment of nurturing support paints such a different and beautiful picture of how things used to be. We are not meant to be alone in this process. However, the world has been changing for many decades and we are learning to adapt. In many families, both parents take a more active role in their baby’s care now. Friends and family are learning to help in new ways to make life a little easier during those initial months. Support from community groups and medical providers is improving. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to support new parents and families in our ever changing world.
Our goal with Blossoming Mamas is to help new families as they bring home a new baby to make their transition to parenthood and breastfeeding (if they choose to do so) easier. If you are feeling like you need more support as you welcome your new little one home or would like help meeting your breastfeeding goals, we are here for you. Through the end of this month, we will be offering 20% off for all consultations (excluding the 4th Trimester Package). Reach out for help if you need it and let us know if you have questions about our services and whether they would be helpful for you!