Butter and Postpartum Recovery – Going Back to Nature!
Written by Kelley Mather, Postpartum Doula Extraordinaire
Did you ever randomly run across some little life hack that changed everything? Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic, but seriously…
The Beauty of Butter
I like butter – I mean who doesn’t? There is a point at which butter is the perfect temperature. Unfortunately, that spreadable, toast worthy place of deliciousness is hard to reach. Do you wake up early enough to let the stick of butter sit out on the counter for a half an hour? (hint: any option that starts with “Wake up early” is the wrong answer!) Do you risk cleaning up a melted mess in the microwave when you over-zap it? (also not a great option.)
Perhaps you risk the destruction of perfectly golden toast by trying to spread the hard little square onto it, or even worse let the square dissolve in place so that you are left with one soggy spot on an otherwise crispy piece of bread? So many bad options, what’s a girl who loves spreadable butter on demand to do? Well, it turns out the perfect solution was found about 100 years ago in France!
The French Knew Butter
The French Butter Dish, or butter bell, is a handy little kitchen gadget that keeps butter at room temperature for several days with out it going rancid. I received one for Christmas last year and it was a game changer – I even eat breakfast now! It turns out I had overlooked this little gem’s existence in my mother in law’s kitchen for over two decades! Oh the tragedy of so many pieces of ruined toast and messy microwaves over those years!
Basically how this handy helper works is you pack butter into a top piece of pottery. In the bottom piece, each morning you put a few cubes of ice and a little water. When the top is inverted and placed into the water, a vacuum is created as the air is pushed out. The cold water keeps the butter cool and the lack of air keeps the butter from going bad.
Result – perfectly spreadable butter whenever you want it! So goodbye refrigerator, goodbye microwave – my butter doesn’t need you – it’s going back to nature!
What's the connection between butter and babies?
So what is this diatribe to butter doing on a blog dedicated to all things birth-y and doula-y (these should seriously be words, am I right?) Sometimes the best solutions are simple, everyday things that are right under our noses and rooted in the past ways of doing things. Natural ways of doing things have become priorities for many of today’s mommas to be. There is a rise in birthing centers, midwifery, cloth diapers, breastfeeding and baby wearing.
But what is a natural way to recover from childbirth? While my husband has been out of town, I found myself binge watching Call the Midwife and one thing kept striking me over and over – when did things get so complicated and hurried with the whole birth and recovery thing?
It Doesn't Have to be Complicated
Upon delivery of your bundle of joy, your body, emotions and even brain have been through a lot. They want to take a breather, and they let you know about their need for this respite by your experiences of pain, fatigue, tears, the baby blues and that brain fog that so often accompanies the first month of the postpartum period. These are all normal, but so often as part of the American culture we sweep those things under the rug as we are propelled to bounce back from childbirth at warp speed!
Self-care ---What’s that? I have new responsibilities in addition to keeping up with all of the things I did before. I’ve got to hit the ground running after my two days in the hospital – if I decided to even take the second day.
Going back to nature with recovery should be simple – rest until you no longer hurt. Don’t resume normal work responsibilities until you feel better. Take the time to bond with your baby and manage the sibling bonds if you have additional children. Need to relax? - take a nice bubble bath or a nap while your tribe helps take care of your children and domestic duties…
wait!! (cue: pull the needle across the record sound effect). What tribe? I don’t have a tribe!
Life in 21st century America is pretty "tribe-less". Many cultures far less advanced than we are, often describe Americans as very lonely and isolated people. When you add to that, the isolating nature of life with a newborn, you end up with a mom pretty much alone in navigating the new waters of recovery, motherhood and defining her “new normal.”
Postpartum Doulas are Filling the Gap
But what about my family – they are my tribe, aren’t they? Of course they are! However, for many, the American family is often spread out all over the country. For this generation of new mommas, many have moms who are still in the fulltime workforce – they cannot take the extended time off of work to be there in those first several weeks of recovery for their daughters.
Moms are just a phone call or Skype visit away from offering reassuring, motherly love and advice, but they cannot rid your sink of the pile of dirty dishes or the ever-growing mountain of laundry. That is where a Postpartum doula can help! We can be your tribe; offering emotional, educational and practical support.
We prepare meals, do light house work, let you nap or take a bath, play with your kids, offer assistance with you and your baby’s recovery, feeding and sleeping. It’s a simple, back to basics and natural way to recover from childbirth.
Tulsa Family Doulas would like to help you with your recovery and adjustment to parenthood whether this is your first child or fifth! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us be your tribe.