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Which the actual duration of postpartum in women? According to the medical definition, postpartum refers to quarantine, 40 days of recovery and isolation that is still practiced in many tribes, in which the newly born woman is isolated from men, surrounded by women and caring for her baby and herself. But what do those 40 days mean? What does postpartum really mean?
The reality is that the 40 days hardly give, on many occasions, for the woman to recover even physically. And much less to do it emotionally. According to the RAE dictionary, postpartum is synonymous with puerperium, a word that comes from the Latin puerperium and designates the 'period that elapses from childbirth until the woman returns to the ordinary state prior to pregnancy '. And when does this "return to the ordinary state" occur?
In other settings, postpartum is referred to as a period of 3, 4 or 6 months after delivery. But ... being realistic and aware of the society in which we live, does something happen in those initial 6 months that is not the establishment or not of breastfeeding and, in many cases, the return to the world of work for women and perhaps the introduction of complementary feeding to the baby? The woman possibly feels more secure with parenting in this period, but parenting changes every day
Returning to work is always a critical moment and, furthermore, it is usually in this period when the woman begins to be aware of the reality of her delivery, of the reality of her baby's arrival in the world and of whether to seek or no solutions for possible things that you feel are not right ... Just getting started. So I ask again: When does "return to the ordinary state" occur?
Postpartum is a period that is usually closely related (whenever there is a baby) to raising a baby. A baby who, following attachment theory, is linked with his mother as the center of the new universe that he will then travel much more independently. Following this theory, we find that the period of intense mother-baby bond focuses, above all, on the first 3 years of life, a time that will mark, along with gestation and birth, many of the adult traits in which then this baby will become. From that moment, it can be said that the rope that joins mother and baby is already much thinner, the little one has already started his intense path towards independence, towards detachment (obviously not total) from his mother.
So, if this happens over the 3 years of our baby, Does that initial 40-day period mean something emotionally?Or that other between 3 and 6 months? Is it not more logical to think that it is, as that baby is "detaching" from his mother when the woman returns to her 'ordinary' state to build the identity of the new woman who is already? Recognizing this time, this space and this need is what will help us to recognize the reality of millions of women who feel this way, who are not out of postpartum, who are sometimes ashamed to say it because 8, 10 months have passed, 2 years since your baby was born
But they feel something real. And denying it, denying them their postpartum period, the one they feel and live, is not recognizing them, condemning them to not being able to say what they feel and what they are, to not being free to live it. For this reason it is important that all professionals (Midwives, Gynecologists, Psychologists, Doulas ...) and non-professionals reflect on this and rethink many of the issues that now seem indisputable. For the reality of women and the validity of this reality.
Doula in all stages of motherhood
Specialized in Prenatal and Neonatal Grief
Respectful Porting Advisor
Early Childhood Education Technician
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