Updated: Jul 17, 2019
The importance of a support system.
I was a native New Yorker for more than 35 years and just three years ago, I moved to California. This past February, I spent the most significant amount of time back in NY since my move to the Westcoast. After only a few days of being there, my energy levels drastically changed. I had been dealing with a lot of stress, #highbloodpressure, and #anxiety. All that started to melt away because I was home. Home around my people, around my culture, and the City that helped to shape my values and inspired me to be a strong and independent woman.
I realized was that #postpartum (#postpartumdepression) is such an issue in this country because of the expectations that we put on new mothers along with the lack of support we receive. I had my mommy again, the woman who nurtured me and guided me through life. She was physically there to hold my daughter, kiss her, and give her the same love and affection she had given me. My spirit was at ease, I was re-energized. I felt a renewed desire to focus on my spiritual work. All these things that I had lost since the middle of my #pregnancy.
I didn’t feel alone and I wasn’t in a foreign place trying to navigate a new surrounding in the midst of caring for a new life. I came to the realization that the move from West Hollywood to Santa Clarita was more challenging then I expected. Although all the reasons I left New York were still there, I was “home” enjoying friendships that withstood a distance of almost 3000 miles.
The reason for this post is to start a better conversation about how our society looks at new mothers. It’s unrealistic and unreasonable to expect a new mother to go back to work six weeks, or even 6 months after giving birth.
First, her body has been through a traumatic and challenging experience and it can take months for it to heal. Emotionally, everything she now has to do revolves around sustaining the life of this new person. All her needs and desires are irrelevant. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, her every thought is for the safety and well-being of this child.
"Sleep deprivation is a torture tactic for a reason."
#Breastfeeding is very natural, but it is far from easy. The process of the baby latching, learning how much the child is receiving in nourishment, pumping, etc., these are all things that weigh on new mothers. Every new mom that I have spoken with has had more than one hysterical moment where her fears and concerns about her child being properly nourished had consumed her. Sleep deprivation is a whole other topic. I was once told, “sleep deprivation is a torture tactic for a reason.” I had 2 full nights of sleep in the last year, and that's because my baby was in the hospital, and my partner stayed overnight so I could get some rest.
In terms of the baby, this baby spent 9 to 10 months with constant support and nurturing, and in six weeks this life is now supposed to understand that it must go without its lifeline? It’s sustaining life force...
How are we expected to raise a race of human beings that are loving, caring, and supportive if in the first six weeks of life a child is expected to detach from its mother? It’s barbaric that this has become a norm for our society. In the “greatest country in the world,” how do we justify it?