Kate Middleton and the art of post-partum rest

Earlier this month, Kate Middleton – Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge – made headlines as she stepped out of the hospital, embracing her third child just hours after giving birth. It raised a storm of opinions online about how soon is too soon, requirements of the royal traditions, and what message this was sending to other women.

It also reminded me of my own post-partum period, and how grateful I am that I did not have to rush anywhere for weeks after giving birth.

I believe there were good reasons why many traditional societies insisted and still insist (like in Nepal, for example) that women really take time to rest for at least 6 weeks or 40 days (also known as cuarentena) after childbirth. And we are talking about hardcore resting – daily massages, delicious food served by family members and no other obligations on the to-do list, other than breastfeeding.

While the recognition of the immense benefits of this post-partum rest is still not fully embedded in our maternity leave and other bureaucratic systems, it is amazing to see more and more women claiming it all back. Many women are beginning to plan, prepare for and practise the art of post-partum rest and lying-in. In the video below I am sharing my reflections about all of this and more.

P.S. Just as I finished uploading my video, I discovered that Kate and I are very  much on the same page about all of this, as apparently, she has announced she will be taking an extended maternity leave this time around. Now, that is a powerful message that I hope more women will be inspired by!




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