Afterwards, I wanted to TELL EVERYONE about this experience. To share how blissful it was.
When I heard Gill had enjoyed a 40 day postpartum confinement period following the birth of her 3rd baby, I wanted to find out more about this sacred time and how it worked out for her. Although postpartum confinement periods are common in other cultures in the postpartum period, they are unheard of here in Australia. I am on a mission to bring light to the sacred window of postpartum (often regarded as the first 40 – 42 days, or first 6 weeks after birth).
This window of time is a unique opportunity for healing, replenishment and relationship building with your baby. It is time for us to honour our transition into parenthood, and to set ourselves up for a lifetime of health and happiness with our children.
I am an Early Childhood Educator as well as Yoga & Meditation Teacher. After many years working in Education while studying Meditation, Mindfulness and Yoga, I became, over time, an advocate for raising Family Wellbeing & Creativity – within not only modern learning systems but within the modern family lifestyle as well. I created The Little Yoga School in 2017 (when pregnant with my third son) as an avenue for delivering conscious education and learning programs for children, families and Educators.
A life long belief in the power of Creative Practices in connection to Wellbeing led in 2019, to working with Kate Andrews of Little Art Lab to form Spirit Collective. Through Spirit Collective, Kate and I provide grounded spiritual & creative practices for Mothers and their children. Personally inspired by the teachings of Kundalini Yoga, I am grateful to be able to explore this style of yoga with Perth Teacher, Jai Ram Kaur Hergo. I have a deep sense of gratitude for this practice and love to share it wherever possible – in the hopes that others may also enrich their parenting life through this practice as much as I have
Can you tell me a bit about your first and second postpartum? What was it like, what support did you have and how did you feel?
I was lucky that I always had support in all three of my postpartum periods. But I didn’t take the time and space to focus only on myself and my new child and the way the family changes when a new baby arrives.
So I got back into life mode pretty much straight away (or tried to anyway). I felt a bit overwhelmed. And exhausted. But it was an exhaustion I feel I put on myself. Because I did have so much support around me but I chose to push through and resume life as usual.
What was different about your third postpartum?
The difference with my third postpartum was that I was inspired to commit to a 40 day practice of postpartum “confinement”. I guess knowing it was my third and last baby I knew it was my chance to experience something like this!
The biggest difference between this postpartum period and my others were feeling a sense of empowerment in it all. A heightened sense of connection and intuition and enjoyment really! Bliss.
What made you want to honour the first 40 days?
I knew about this approach via Kundalini Yoga. As I had practiced this style of yoga daily during the pregnancy it made sense to continue with it after my baby was born. The ritual/ceremony aspect of it appealed to me.
What reactions did you get from family in friends in relation to your decision to have a period of postpartum confinement?
There were mixed reactions to the way I approached the postpartum period with my third son. Friends who are familiar with the concept from Kundalini Yoga were encouraging. But I did feel a level of concern from some family and friends. Probably from those who haven’t heard of this kind of thing before.
As our society encourages new mothers to get out into the world, or back into everything as soon as possible, I think for some people, there was a mixture of worry/concern/doubt and even confusion! Also, so many people told me they would go crazy if they had to spend that long indoors at home. But it wasn’t hard at all.
What did you do when your postpartum confinement was over?
Just a walk to our local park! It was spring and the weather was awesome and I saw myself a bit like the butterfly emerging from the dark cocoon into the sunshine.
How did the whole experience make you feel?
I found the experience empowering actually. I felt nurtured and more connected to myself. My intuition was heightened too during this time. The fact that the 40 days postpartum took place during winter made it all the more cosy. There were some dark and stormy days weather wise and it was so nice to remain indoors doing nothing but feeding, eating and hanging out.
I was tired of course, but I wasn’t exhausted. And afterwards, I wanted to TELL EVERYONE about this experience. To share how blissful it was.
There’s a lot of noise in the world and learning to listen to your inner voice requires some quiet time and space
Do you think approaching the postpartum period in this way also affected your baby? If so, how?
I think it did. He was a calm and chilled out baby. He slept and fed well. I felt more in tune with his cues. With my own intuition. I sang and listened to lots of mantra during this time and even now, when I hear one of these particular mantras I am taken back to this beautiful time. I am convinced the mantras had a calming affect on him too. I also think this quiet time helped the rest of the family adjust to the new family member.
What would you say to a first time mum about the postpartum period?
That this time can do wonders for you in terms of beginning to connect to your own inner Mother. We become Mothers in minutes but we need time to adjust and time to figure it out. If you can commit yourself to the first few weeks to doing as little as possible, just feeding and resting and holding your baby then I think you build a connection not just to your bub but to who you are as a Mother.
There’s a lot of noise in the world and learning to listen to your inner voice requires some quiet time and space. I also feel that if you can manage to keep this postpartum period to your home that you can scaffold your baby’s transition earthside. It must be so dark and warm and cosy in the womb….the world would seem noisey and bright in comparison so time to adjust via the familiar sounds and feels of your own voice and breath and your home seems like a beautiful, even ceremonious experience you can can provide for yourself and your baby and even other family members too.
Plus, you don’t get this time again. It can seem like a long time at the time but its a gift you can offer yourself and your child.
Follow Gill’s educational offerings and yoga practice here:
The Little Yoga School
Small Blessings Yoga with Jai Ram Kaur
Find out more about the sacred window of postpartum
Come along to my postpartum workshop on 30 June to find out how you can make the most of this critical time and reclaim your postpartum