Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Would you want to check into a "post-partum recovery center" after you had your baby? Instead of going home after the 2 nights in a hospital, you go to a hotel of sorts where you rest and are taken care of (along with your baby). And you stay there for a month! According to this article, this practice is growing in popularity in certain Asian cities, where the month after a baby's birth is called "the sitting period" and post-partum mothers are supposed to stay inside and generally be resting.
The idea would be akin to science-fiction to most of my non-Indian friends and it seems bizarre to me too in the sense that you don't return to your family. At the same time, I can remember after I had my first son that my parents thought I should stay inside; rest; not venture to social events and whatnot. In retrospect, this model did more harm than good for me--the moment I started to feel confident as a mother was when I was allowed to re-engage with the world and do simple things like take a walk or go to the store with my newborn. Trapped inside my house, I felt isolated, overwhelmed, alone. Obviously, though, my parents didn't want me to feel like this--it was their cultural mores and their love for me that caused them to give the advice they did.
Right about now, when there are at least eight times a day when all three of my kids are whining or crying, checking into any place that is not my home and being taken care of has a massive appeal. But I can't help but think the idea--just like the idea that you should stay inside for a month--is a bit escapist and, in practice, might delay the whole process of starting to live your life post-baby.
What about you? Were you told to stay home for a period of time after you had your baby? Did you do it and was it beneficial to you? Would you go to one of these recovery centers if you didn't have family around to take care of you during "the sitting period"?