Why post natal care of mothers is important

Women are much more in need of rest after giving birth than at any other time in their reproductive lives. Their vulnerability puts them at greater risk of physical and emotional burn-out if they don’t get the support they need to do this. Traditions that have previously supported mothers are increasingly undervalued and undermined by the pressures of modern society. The result is high rates of fatigue and post natal depression. The post natal experience affects recovery in the long term also. Chronic health problems often surface in the months and even years after childbirth when the mother has not been able to recover properly in the crucial first weeks.

A relaxed time of recovery in which the new mother is honoured lays the foundation for good health and good bonding with the baby. By being well cared for the new mother gets the experience of being ‘mothered’ herself and she can then better care for her baby.

Women who come from cultures that value the ‘golden month’ talk enthusiastically about how they were looked after:

During my ’40 days’ I was treated like queen. After it was finished I felt rested and my skin was soft and beautiful from all the massage.” -Somalia

After giving birth I was treated like a queen. Even my hair was brushed for me.” - Samoa