Postpartum is no joke. You’re recovering from perhaps the most physically grueling experience you’ve ever had. (Seriously — birth has been compared to running a marathon, which is not too far off.) Plus, many of us are breastfeeding in those early days, and boy can that take a lot out of you (literally!). And need I mention the fluctuating hormones, emotional upheaval, and extreme sleep deprivation?
It’s no wonder so many us feel like we need a little extra support in those first weeks and months postpartum. And not just someone to help burp our babies or change their endless diapers, but someone who will truly support us moms, too.
So what would postpartum support like that actually look like? One new mom and her husband appear to have nailed the whole “mothering the mother” aspect of the postpartum period. Eden Grinshpan, chef and host of the Cooking Channel’s Eden Eats, has been sharing her journey through pregnancy and postpartum on Instagram (and boy is she an adorable pregnant foodie!).
When her daughter Ayv Rose Nivron was an itty- bitty newborn, Grishpan posted a photo of herself resting in bed with her babe and accompanied by a lavish spread of food laid out by her adoring husband. And while Grishpan originally shared the photo back in April on Instagram, it’s just going viral now after being shared on the One Strong Mama Facebook page, along with the hashtag #PostpartumGoals.
Postpartum goals indeed.
Besides the fact that the spread of food lovingly prepared by Grishpan’s husband manages to be absolutely mouth-watering and amazingly healthy at the same time, the message of postpartum help and support that the photo spreads is what’s truly striking a chord with moms everywhere.
In the photo, Grishpan is seen looking sleepy, but calm and happy while sitting in bed and holding her sweetie. Right there in bed with her is a beautifully prepared platter of food including fruits, veggies, bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon (with a buttery croissant on the side, for good measure). One word: YUM.
In her Instagram post, Grishpan is quick to point out that this whole thing was arranged by her husband, and urges partner’s everywhere to “take note,” and follow suit:
“Husbands take note! @idonivron knows what’s up,” Grishpan writes, referring to her husband, Ido Niv-Ron. “[J]ust check out that breakfast spread,” she continues, “Hard to believe but my appetite has increased since giving birth to this little. Breastfeeding has turned me into a tank (I’ve had bagels with cream cheese, smoked salmon and a croissant almost every morning since giving birth). Loving our new weekends.”
Yes, breastfeeding really does make you hangry, and Grishpan should enjoy every last morsel of that healthy platter. (It should be noted that Grishpan is all about balance, and also happily posted a pic of herself eating a nice, tall stack of pancakes with butter and syrup).
In all seriousness, though, it’s not just the delectable food, but the gesture on behalf of Grishpan’s husband that seems to be taking the Internet by storm. Grishpan’s Instagram post is filled with comments from moms tagging their significant others, hoping they will deliver a postpartum experience on par with Grishpan’s.
Of course, not all of us have partners or others who can wait on us hand-and-foot (though in this case, Grishpan points out that this photo was taken on a weekend, so she may not get this sort of treatment Monday through Friday). Unfortunately, for many of us the postpartum experience often ends up being very different than Grishpan’s experience.
Short maternity and paternity leaves, increased distance from family members, and limited resources in terms of childcare of doula services means that many moms are left almost 100 percent on their own in the postpartum period. It’s no wonder so many mom report feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety during this time. Additionally, lack of support during the postpartum period has been speculated as being one of the top reasons our breastfeeding rates are on the low end in America.
Grishpan’s photos reminds us that it doesn’t have to be this way, though. Pampering mothers postpartum is a traditional practice still carried out today in cultures around the world (and is often paired with delicious culturally-specific postpartum meals). In colonial America, women used to be given a “lying in” period where they lay in bed resting and nursing, and were cared for by others in the community.
Many of these traditions seem to be lost today, but they are definitely making a comeback. “Babymoons” are becoming more and more popular, and many of us are making postpartum care-plans in much the same way that we make birth plans. And although many of us face financial roadblocks to making this happen, even little steps like freezing meals before the birth, limiting visitors (unless they want to help!), and simply making our needs known and asking for help are little things we can do to make our postpartum experiences happier and healthier.
So kudos to moms like Eden Grinshpan for showing us all what is necessary and possible for all postpartum moms. And if she wouldn’t mind sharing that scrumptious croissant over there … I would be much obliged.