Creating a Cozy Postpartum Sanctuary at Home
“When a baby is born, so is a mother.” The anticipated arrival of a new baby is such an emotionally-overwhelming occasion, and it also brings significant changes and challenges, particularly for new moms.
The postpartum period is a time like none other. Its time-stamp is defined and sanctified differently across cultures, but one thing is consistent: its physical and emotional recovery, bonding with the baby, and adjustment to a new way of life is a total transformation for mom.
To make this transformation as seamless as possible, it's critical to create a cozy postpartum sanctuary at home for her. This designated space should aid in promoting her well-being and recovery. In this blog, we'll explore various ways to create a sanctuary for the new mom to experience optimal rest and rejuvenation with her newborn.
Selecting the ideal room for your postpartum sanctuary is a great first step. It should be a space where you feel safe, relaxed and comfortable. If possible, it should be in proximity to the baby's nursery or sleeping area for easy access during nighttime feedings and diaper changes. Ensure the room has good natural light during the day and can be dimmed for restful nights.
Within that designated space there should be a comfortable chair (rocking, gliding or otherwise) or couch, of course! Mom should be resting in a seated or reclined position, most of the day. It should aptly support her breastfeeding and resting. Ensure there are additional cushions available, for propping elbows while feeding baby, and blankets for extra coziness. A small side table within arm's reach is the best set-up as it allows for essentials like water, snacks, and a book or affirmations without having to get up.
Soft and adjustable lighting can create a calming ambiance. Consider using warm-toned LED bulbs or table lamps with dimmer switches. Soft, indirect light is ideal for maintaining a sleepy state during late-night feeds or changes, while natural daylight during the day helps the circadian rhythm and can elevate your mood.
You’re at home, so it’s likely you’re already surrounded by familiar smells and visual cues of love, but in your postpartum sanctuary consider items that make you smile and help you feel at ease. Place a family photo, artwork or sentimental items that bring you peace. These meaningful mementos can serve as reminders of the love and support you have all around you, even in the middle of the night.
We’ve explored the sense of touch and sight, and scent, too, can have a profound effect on us. Consider incorporating authentic aromatherapy into your sanctuary with pure essential oil diffusers. Lavender, chamomile, and rose are a few oils known for their calming properties. Diffusers are ideal for their gentleness; they’re quiet, soothing and can promote recovery. Of course, you should always use essential oils safely and follow the recommended guidelines.
If you’re ahead of the game and interested in painting/wallpaper application, then selecting soothing colors for your sanctuary is ideal. Soft, muted tones like pastels or earthy hues can create a more tranquil atmosphere. These tones can help reduce stress and anxiety, fostering a more relaxing environment for mom to relax.
We all know that clutter can add unnecessary stress to your life, so guard your sanctuary to maintain an organized state. Use storage solutions like beautiful baskets or simple shelves to keep your sanctuary tidy. This will make it easier to find what you need and create a serene atmosphere of simplicity. This doesn’t mean messiness isn’t allowed, or that you should obsess over tidiness - it is setting the intention of simplicity and a sanitary, accessible space for you.
All-the-Essentials Space (2 parts)
In your bathroom, stock your postpartum bleeding essentials for easy access. Our Postpartum Essentials Kit and Postpartum Prepared Kit includes everything you need in one beautiful bag. Back at your sanctuary, you should have access to nursing pads, nipple balm, an easy, nutrient-dense snack, water, a longer charger cable, some tissues, a baby blanket, some diapers, wipes and a spare onesie and a comfortable shirt. When baby is asleep, consider a few moments with guided meditation, journal your feelings about your birth experience, reading a light book or affirmations and definitely napping. Having these supplies and opportunities accessible in your sanctuary can help you prioritize your well-being during the postpartum period.
Accessible Space for your Support Team
We highly recommend setting some postpartum boundaries and sharing them with your support team. Arranging them in advance of bringing baby home will help you hold to your preconceived boundaries. You’ll be too tired postpartum to consider these nuances later. Protect yourself, your baby and your sanity with literal and behavioral boundaries, expressed to any visitors. With that, consider accessibility when visitors stop by and/or a maternal health professional to help you. Are you comfortable with the amount of space there is in your sanctuary when a visitor or professional comes over? Make the necessary adjustments, as much as you can foresee.
Creating a cozy postpartum sanctuary at home for yourself is a worthwhile investment of your time and energy. It’s a practical and meaningful way to commit to your recovery before the postpartum period begins! This sanctuary is an intentionally-designed space where you can rest, heal, bond with baby and find solace in the midst of the challenges that come with evolving motherhood. By taking the time to attend to the nuances and your personal preferences, you can make this sanctuary a place of comfort, relaxation and love, ensuring that you, the newborn mom, feels supported and cherished during this transformational time in your life.