Postpartum Awareness

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    Ever since the birth of my 2nd child a few months ago, there is something very important I wanted to share, which I hope will help others.

    I feel there is a tremendous lack of awareness of a woman’s needs postpartum. How is it that women who just gave birth to their 3rd, 4th, 5th child come straight home from the hospital to their other children, dirty dishes and laundry, and no help? If a man would undergo surgery, wouldn’t he want the best care and complete rest for the next 2 wks minimum? If so, why is a women, who just went thru 9 months of pregnancy with all its discomfort and hormonal issues, hrs of labor, and finally a birth, shouldn’t be entitled to any of that? Why is it that the wonderful post partum care homes are mainly occupied by chassidishe women? Well, the reason isn’t bec they have more money or anything like that. The reason is that they recognize that a “kimpeturin” needs pampering, care, and lots of rest. A woman who just gave birth is not equipped physically or emotionally to take care of her other children and NOTHING will happen to them if they are without their mother for a wk or so and instead being cared for by a friend or relative.

    To top this all off, I see many men refusing to even miss a seder at yeshiva in order to stay home and help their exhausted and overwhelmed wives. I don’t care if the wife says she feels fine and is managing. Firstly, the way she feels is not necessarily the way she really is. She is still very weak emotionally and physically and needs lots of TLC.

    If she refuses to go away to a kimpeturin home, at the very least, she should deserve a nurse and be able to send her children out for a wk.

    Like a very smart woman shared with me: If a woman doesn’t recuperate properly post partum, she will feel it when the baby is 8 months or even a yr old. I personally know of cases where women didn’t recuperate and suffered tremendously afterwards. And when the woman suffers, so does her family bec she isn’t a calm, rested mother afterwards. Especially if she has to run back to work 6 wks later, all the more so she needs to take advantage of every minute of those 6 wks and use them to their fullest in recuperating. Not that she should be running errands, carpool, and sit outside in the heat watching her children and running after them.

    I hope this will raise some awareness and would all be worth it if would help only one person.

    Thanks for listening.


    Whom are you accusing? Some people are more aware, and some are less. Tell people, and they will know.

    lammed hey


    But what if there is no money and the in-laws have kids at home or have other grandchildren due to another new baby?

    Deserves – Should one give Maa’ser money so that a new mother can have a nurse? What about all those people who manage without it?

    We need a story of a Gadol going to a Kollel home to babysit because the husband decided he needed to go to seder and could not help his post-partum wife! 🙂


    Yes you are right in our community there should be more awareness esspecially those who are coming home to big familes there should be more help available for those women . so that they can rest and recuparate in the right way.


    Perhaps we can set up a system where unmarried girls can go and take shifts helping out in the homes of women who have just given birth. It’ll give them good experience for when they find husbands for themselves.


    I think what you are describing is a husband with his priorities mixed up. His first priority is to his wife and family, and to those who are apposed to this, let me clue you in to a few facts. If a postpartum woman doesn’t get the help and stability from her husband she needs, she may become depressed after feeling too overwhelmed with all her new responsibilities. If a woman is depressed, she will not be able to handle the tasks of being a wife and mother. This in turn can make the marriage suffer. The mother (& God) are not the only ones responsible for creating this child. So why are there new mothers out there getting no help from their husbands? Also, a woman who has just given birth is vulnerable to becoming depressed do to the decrease of the high amount of hormones in her body from being pregnant. So if her husband doesn’t provide any assistance, he is only increasing her chances of developing depression. Having a child is the mitzvah of the husband. Your wife helped give you this mitzvah with; many months of pregnancy, the extreme pain of labor and delivery, hormones imbalanced, losing her “figure” for a while, recovering from all of this. This is the most selfless act a wife can do for her husband. The LEAST you can do is help her out. Give her emotional support, Ask her, how you can make things easier on her. ASK. some new mother’s are afraid to ask for help. If there are any women out there that are not getting the help they need from their husbands, they should speak to their Rabbi. Also, maybe some communities should offer programs for new moms, for instance having a get together with other postpartum women, where they can share their feelings, and help each other out.


    It’s not a joke, Lammed Hey, there is such a story, I just don’t remember who it’s about.


    In E”Y an amazaing organization called Nitza founded by Ahava Winston was created to support women having postpartum issues and educate husbands and others about postpartum depression and prevention. They had an evening in Kiryat “Sefer with over 400 men attending! They have helped thousands of women get the help they needed. they have a web site which has a lot of info and for women in chutz l’aretz you might want to read up -at least you won’t feel so alone.


    What I don’t understand is why this would even need awareness in the first place. Having babies is a very serious thing and long before the 9th month there should be a plan of action to take care of mother, baby and other children as well. The only thing that I dissagree on is the point about the children will be ok for a week being someplace else. If it is a place that they are familiar with or older so to understand what is happening, then I’m fine with it. Remember the birth and introduction of a new baby is a major event, toddlers and small children need the comfort of their familiar surroundings as well an adult they recognize well. This is why it is so important for proper planning. You may have to think creatively but it might be wiser to send the mother and new baby away (her parents, close relative or friend) and let the Father take care of the kids.

    Plus , and I know that I’m going to get yelled at for saying this, but….maybe there shouldn’t be such a push to have kids back to back to each other. Just like it’s not fair to the mother who just had a baby to have to deal with toddlers days after a birth, it’s not fair to the other kids to have to share their mother with a new baby. The Gemorah says a women should wait 2 years between kids so that she will be able to nurse the other child before it needs to incubate another baby.


    “maybe there shouldn’t be such a push to have kids back to back to each other. Just like it’s not fair to the mother who just had a baby to have to deal with toddlers days after a birth, it’s not fair to the other kids to have to share their mother with a new baby. The Gemorah says a women should wait 2 years between kids so that she will be able to nurse the other child before it needs to incubate another baby. “

    I certainly agree with you. I don’t know if the way you quote the Gemearah is bdiyuk, but I think you have a good point.


    I agree with lkwd2newyork’s 2nd point. I don’t understand why women have to have babies 1 year (or less) apart from each other. What’s the big rush?

    anon for this

    I remember reading an article years ago in the Jewish Observer criticizing women who choose to space apart their births. At one point the article described a fictional Jewish woman who was feeling overwhelmed with several young children, & lamented her decision to wait to have more children.

    I found this article very disturbing for a couple of reasons. Besides the fact that the article not once mentioned the possibility that this mother (or any of the other mothers mentioned, fictional or real) could possible get some help from her husband in caring for the children, this article was published shortly after the Andrea Yates case.


    I’m just wondering where the husband is. They should be sharing the household duties, particularly right after birth.


    I once went to a shiur by Rebbitzen Faigy Twersky, it was very well attended by a very frum female audience, including many chassidisheh women. She spoke about women being very overwhelmed, and she said there is a time when one must ask a shailah to a posaik (I almost fell off my chair).


    Why? Surprised that she said that or surprised that she had to?


    I was surprised that Rebbitzen Twersky had no qualms about addressing this issue in my very ultra orthodox/chassidish town. Good for her!


    ask a shaila to a posek??


    a lot of ppl dont even think about asking or have been brainwashed to think that not having a baby at any opprotunity is like murder. Dont get me wrong I think having a big family is wonderful (got a dozen of my own) but a person has to know where they are holding and ask. I have a close friend who had seven boys in seven years in a row. At the bris of the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth baby the Rav of our neighboorhood suggested to her husband that they take a break. as the story goes they didn’t with out going into to much detail. . . . the kids and family are very often on the verge of collapsing. the house is disfunctional and it’s a chaval that these people were to frum to listen to their own Rav!


    every one goes according to their individual experience. i for one had major abdominal surgery (otherwise known as a c-section) and my husband was AMAZING!! the house ran beautifully and he was very supportive. i had no other help besides him- my mom and mom in law couldnt come help me so i just want to say that maybe the men are simply unaware of what it takes to have a baby- physically and emotionally.

    a lady should lay down clearly what she needs and would like from her husband (within reason of course). i defy you to tell me which caring husband would not comply!! the key is communication

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