Here you can see Mother Nikki and baby Tristan happily in bed during their "lying-in" or "post partum period".
The lying-in period begins after the birth of the placenta and lasts for approximately six weeks.
Did you think, lying-in - what an old-fashioned word! True. But the concept is as fresh and important as ever. Mothers and babies, and (to a lesser extend) fathers and siblings, too, need time together, preferably several weeks in bed together to bond, connect, recover, relax, heal... Birth is not an illness, that is true. It is a wonderful natural process and yet, giving birth is hard work and a recovery period is important for the future health of mother and baby, including the establishment of breastfeeding and a good milk supply.
Did you also know that the lying-in period is a well-known, cherished and important tradition in most parts of the World? In China, for example, they "zuò yuè zi", they "sit the month". In Latin American countries, they know "la cuarentena", the fourty days, from which the word quarantine originates. In Islam, the Quran prescribes a lying-in period of 40 days. In Germany, the traditional lying-in period used to be 6 weeks and ended on the next Sunday after that when baby and mother left the house for the first time after the birth to go to church and have the baby baptised.
Traditionally, during the post partum period, at least for those who could afford it, mothers did not have to do any housework. After about 6 weeks, they'd be recovered well and ready to come out of bed, tie baby on the back and take up their duties again.
See if you can arrange a lying-in period for yourself. Be creative about who could help you during this time.
Daddy Tim and son Tristan and in the background Nikki, relaxing.
The lying-in period is important for fathers as well.
Actually, for the whole family!
Here, Tristan and his big brother.
During the lying-in period, the course will be set for the health of mother, baby and the whole family.
Now, it will be decided whether breastfeeding will be successfull or not. As breastfeeding is a very important determining factor regarding a child's health, with consequences for a whole life-time, I pay a lot of attention to a good breastfeeding start.
Here are Janaina and little Lidita.
Naked skin contact helps the baby to keep its bodily functions such as breathing, heartbeat, body temperature and blood sugar normal and stable, supports bonding, the establishment of the breastfeeding relationship and thus the happiness and health of the whole family.
Both mothers and fathers should spend a lot of time in physical contact with their babies during the first hours, days and weeks.
Little Lidita from the picture above has become a big sister.
This picture shows mum Janaina, big sister Lidita and little Gaia shortly after her home birth.
Is it not amazingly beautiful and peaceful?