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As I publish each episode of the podcast, I will also be sharing the text as an article on the site.
In this article, you will find EPISODE 07! It was first published Tuesday, March 3, on your favorite listening platform.
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Hi, and welcome to the CHOSEN podcast, where we explore birth + faith with a doula lens. I am your host, Katherine Newsom, writer + doula at Simple Natural Mama.com.
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EPISODE 07 // HOW KNOWING WE ARE CHOSEN CAUSES US TO LEAN INTO OUR VILLAGE FOR REST AND RENEWAL WITH A FRESH BABE
With no where else to turn, I did the best I could at the time, with what I had in front of me. I read all the books, had all the teas and cookies, memorized the details of the stages of labor and birth, stocked my freezer full of meals, ate all the recommended foods; the list of preparation goes on. But truly, nothing prepares anyone for this, a spell, if you will, of what happened to my mind and body, postpartum with my second earthside babe.
There’s much to tell, yet sometimes it doesn’t feel so. Since my son was born in the car en route to the hospital, well, nobody knew what to do with us (Listen to episode 1 for parts of the story). My first moments postpartum with a newborn, that time we are told so often we need a village, wasn’t turning out as planned. With us being healthy, moving, and alert fairly immediately after birth, everything that happened around us felt unnecessary, like too much. I just wanted to be able to take care of my baby in the best way I knew how, and utilize all the research and preparation I had collected the past months. I just wanted to be at home as a family, nestle into my new normal, away from all the noise around me.
And there lies the issue. The noise around me. There was too much, and in it, my own voice felt muffled.
Yet When your voice feels muffled, the village seems lost. And what does a new mother do when that happens? A village for postpartum mothers can never happen in a world where we muffle the voices of those crying out for help, nor fail to follow-up often and continue to offer ourselves as help after babe is born.
Truly, community care is needed even more than self-care, especially in such a fragile, precious time as postpartum.
It takes a village, and as Christian women, we need to step up, come alongside, and become the community we’ve always wanted, helping postpartum moms with needs and being that support, in whichever way fits her needs best. And if that postpartum mom is you, know that you do need that village for rest and renewal in this time. And here’s why:
The postpartum period in a mother’s life is a precious and special time which should be guarded with care. Knowing that we are chosen by God for this season drives this point even further; to honor Him in how we rest and heal in community.
The postpartum period isn’t just the first six weeks after a baby is born either – commonly known as the fourth trimester. In fact, many sources argue that it extends through the first year, even the first three years, of a baby’s life – because it takes time for our bodies to recover, no matter the type of birth.
Mama, you are chosen by God for this precious season of pregnancy, birth, and the days with a fresh babe, as well as those to come in motherhood. Steward this time well by learning about the importance of rest, the importance of community and your village, and the importance of caring for your whole mind, body, and spirit during this time.
Looking further to Scripture, in John 15:4-5 Jesus sums up how to best care for yourself; “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
We are to remain, be present, be held, and kept continually by Jesus Christ in order to produce a life that glorifies Him. This can especially be done in the postpartum period, as this is a precious time in a woman’s life that forces her to slow down to listen to her baby and her body as both recover from the rigors of childbirth. By resting in Him and being fully present in our days, we align our desires and actions with His. Spiritual fruit flourishes. Even if they seem like whispers – whisper prayers – Jesus hears you and meets you there. Every minute has a purpose!
From a practical (and spiritual) standpoint, It certainly does take a village, and as Christian women, we need to step up, come alongside, and become the community we’ve always wanted, helping postpartum moms with needs and being that support, in whichever way fits her needs best. We were created for community, as humans created in God’s image; He designed us to spend time with and bear one another, to love one another, lift each other up, and come alongside to support each other the way we long to be cared for, too. Rest in Christ, and seek help and support in your community. This community, or village, is vital for a well-rounded life in every circumstance – it is by God’s design!
It takes a village, and as a mama with a fresh babe, we need to realize that we can’t do this alone; we need Jesus, we need prayer, and we in fact, need a village.
“It takes a village” is traditionally an African proverb, illustrating that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to grow and learn in a safe and healthy environment. The village looks out for each other. The village is a community, a family, doing life together. This can be translated into every facet of the human experience…And as women of faith, this is what we are called to – encouraging one another, living in community. Yes, this village is certainly for us as Christians, as well, for we are called to live in community with other believers. It is a necessary fact of being human – people need people in order to thrive.
The village a new postpartum mother needs is more than just a circle of friends who bring meals and conversation for an hour a day, or a family member who takes over the laundry and dishes for the first week. This isn’t just a checklist of a few household tasks to take over, but a precious gift allowing the mother to recover her strength and focus solely on her own recovery and the baby. It takes a village, rooted in Christ, for that is where we find rest and renewal in this precious season with a fresh earthside babe.
New mothers need more than just self-help books, free meals, and less tasks to do. Postpartum mothers need a village – a community of friends, family, and perhaps a postpartum doula, who come together to give her support in a way that fits her needs while using their respective gifts, and allow her voice to be heard.
I will say it again: you are chosen by God for this precious season of pregnancy, birth, and the days with a fresh babe, as well as those to come in motherhood. Steward this time well by learning about the importance of rest, the importance of community and your village, and the importance of caring for your whole mind, body, and spirit during this time.
// Let us end with a biblical affirmation for us and our village: When I am feeling overwhelmed, I will seek the face of Christ, who has chosen me for this season, and is walking alongside me. I choose to abide and rest in Him, as well as to accept the love and care of the village He has surrounded me with. This is based on Matthew 11:28-29 which states, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
//*outro music* Mama, I’d be honored if you hit subscribe, to be sure you never miss an episode. If you long to take this conversation further,You can text the word CHOSEN TO (202) 410-4202 TO BE UPDATED ON NEW CONTENT VIA EMAIL, as well as to download the rest of the biblical affirmation cards. Or, join us in the CHOSEN podcast closed Facebook group, which is linked to my blog, for exclusive bonuses for listeners, specific to each episode. Just search Simple Natural Mama on Facebook, or go to www.simplenaturalmama.com to learn more. I appreciate you! Talk to you next week, when we will learn how knowing we are chosen affects our understanding of birth, throughout biblical times to today.