The postpartum period, aka the fourth trimester, is a whirlwind. Along with physically recovering from birth, new mamas must bond with their new baby, juggle a relationship, and oftentimes still be a mom to their other children.
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art Of Nourishing The New Mother is a gentle guide created to teach moms how to optimize postpartum recovery by adopting beliefs and practices of zuo yuezi, a set period of “confinement,” in which a woman remains at home as she focuses on healing and bonding with her baby.
Author Heng Ou, along with her co-authors and fellow mothers, Amely Greeven, Marisa Belger, and Jenny Nelson, share their vision and goal: to empower women to seek the care and nurturing they deserve after bringing a baby into the world. The book entails experiences the new mother endures with childbirth, advice consisting of small steps to prepare for postpartum, and 60 recipes for healing foods to eat alongside teas and herbs to drink.
The First Forty Days is a practical manual that provides insights into postpartum care stressing the principles of retreat, warmth, support, rest, and ritual. There are three phases (The Gathering, The Passage, and The Gateway) in which preparation and planning allow for the appropriate tools to be in place and ready to use for the utmost support.
With the many simple recommendations, readers can choose which techniques suit their lifestyles and are given directions to implement them. This ranges from following checklists in the coming weeks to birth, creating a list of people to rely on for support, establishing boundaries for self-care, and in our eyes, most importantly, food preparation. Special meals to rebuild energy, replenish lost nutrients, and help the body produce breast milk are essential for a healthy and happy postpartum period. Warming and soft foods, like healing soups, stews, bone broths, and teas, are fundamental for the first forty days as they nourish and rejuvenate a postpartum mother.Cold drinks and foods that are raw, crunchy, and contain preservatives should be avoided as they do not support a mother in the postpartum period. The First Forty Days is a valuable resource with realistic advice and gentle guidance to help you prepare for postpartum.