People talk about babymoons both for during pregnancy and for the period after birth. It is essentially the same in both circumstances - a period of time that a family decide to put aside to concentrate on adjusting to their changing status.
In pregnancy it could be a couple going away together for a last-blast at a romantic holiday. In recent time it is sadly becoming a bit of ‘a thing’, and therefore commercialised, with travel companies encouraging you to need an exotic, expensive holiday in the sun. The core, however, is sound: The couple are spending quality time together away from distractions, building a strong relationship ready for the changes to come.
Postnatal babymoons are about the newly expanded family having time and space to adjust to each other and begin to learn new roles – new mother, father of 2, big brother, baby sister. The extent of the family included in the babymoon varies from family to family: some may be a person on their own or with the close support of their birth partner; some just the couple and their new baby; some may include family members as an integral part.
Postnatal babymoons are definitely not a new or even a western thing. Many cultures still have a tradition of “lying-in”, “cuarentena”, “confinement” during which a mother is encouraged to rest, recover from birth and concentrate on her baby.
Practices during these periods vary widely but include many elements which all families may want to consider adapting and adopting:
· Restriction of visitors giving baby chance to bond with primary caregivers and begin to develop a secure attachment (essential for brain development). Baby’s developing microbiome will be colonised by their ‘local’ bacteria helping a healthy immune system.
· Exemption from household tasks and childcare allowing recovery and concentration on learning to care for the new baby.
· Frequent, uninterupted skin to skin with baby which helps keep baby healthy, allows brain development, babies cry less, are more secure and it encourages a plentiful milk supply.
· Massage of the mother to help with blood circulation, healing and relaxation.
· Baby massage
· Provision of nourishing foods for energy and healing.
The overall benefits of recognising and protecting this special time have also been found to include a lower rate of postpartum depression, easier establishment of breastfeeding, and better infant health amongst other things.
What’s not to love?
Now... I wonder whether it is valid to take a toddler-moon???