The First Forty Days
reviewed by LLL Leader Jennifer Stover
Not all wonderful books will appear in the International League's recommended book list. This book was published in 2016 and is too new to have completed the LLL evaluation process. But I can tell you it aligns beautifully with League's views on the postpartum period. It is a LLL New Baby at Home meeting within the pages of a book. Leaders know cocooning, rest and nutrition is the name of the game if you want to be sure to bring in a full milk supply. All cultures around the globe have known this through the centuries. Taking care of the mother during this critical time in the life of the newborn ensures the infant's survival. The author weaves the ancient wisdom of China, embracing and supporting new parents, with the practicalities of modern American life. Chalk full of tips, recipes and insight into the physical, emotional, and energetic changes happening as pregnancy and birth are over and lactation begins.
It is broken down into helpful sections. These are the 4 sections I found the most helpful. The Gathering gives you comprehensive lists of what to do to prepare for life after birth. The Gateway divides the postpartum time into 4 phases, each with a unique tone and therefor support needs. Filling Your Cup gives general ideas about the categories of foods you need to consume and why. The last 100 pages are all delicious looking recipes! This book makes it so simple to ask for the help you need.
An ideal gift for a pregnant friend. A must read for your partner so he or she can understand and help you prepare your pantry and your life. Perfect to loan to friends and family BEFORE baby arrives; especially if they plan on helping during your postpartum days. Growing into parenthood doesn't happen over night. It is an unfolding over the first days and weeks. This book will help you get your feet underneath you as you set off on your nurturing at the breast adventure.
Quotes I Love
"Nourishment is more than a bowl of soup: It is the sensation of being cherished and sustained. It comes from the way you feel inside your home, or the way an intimate friend sees and hears you fully. But it starts with a bowl of soup, because that is the simplest and most satisfying way for your cup to be filled."
"This gentle retreat-claiming the right to draw your world closer around you for a while and stay home to cocoon with baby instead of venturing out-is the first insight of the first forty days. It is a sacred act of self-care and preservation that allows you to be raw and exposed-literally and metaphorically."
"Food feeds the cells and fills the senses, and it also nourishes the vulnerable and hidden parts of ourselves that may be crying out for encouragement and comfort"
"And you've probably experienced more exhaustion, more frustration, and more love than any other woman on earth. Except for that mother over there. And that one over there. And that one..."
"For the new mother, this meant meals rich in iron to rebuild blood, protein to repair tissues and support hormones, fatty acids to enrich breast milk, vitamins and antioxidants to speed tissue healing, and therapeutic herbs and spices to counter inflammation or boost milk flow, if needed."
"No book or healer can tell you more than your own body can. So, rather than following strict rules, use gentle recipes, designed to be low in gas-forming compounds, and focus on baby and notice how he reacts after certain meals."
"When it comes to filling your cup, it's all about the bowl."
"Forty days of care today, is thought to lead to forty years of vital womanhood tomorrow."
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Buy this book at Len Collective in SLO.
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