Dear Black Mamas, Let’s Celebrate!
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
After months of preparation and experiencing every emotion imaginable, the time is finally here. You are thrilled to welcome your new baby (or babies!) into the world. You have finally reached the end of your pregnancy journey and are opening the chapter of a new lifelong journey.
Our ancestors created great rituals to truly celebrate this transitional period. Childbirth was originally considered the most important event in family life. Older female relatives were usually responsible for assisting with deliveries as well as having the honor of caring for the mother after birth. Some of these traditions have withstood the test of time. For instance, mothers in Nigeria experience omugwo which is an Igbo term to describe traditional postpartum care. The mothers, mothers-in-law, or another close female relative (such as an aunt) will come and live with the new mother and assist in caring for both mother and baby. Amazing right?
Unfortunately, our American culture does not recognize this practice and in many ways has shifted the focus entirely onto baby (or anything but mama). That is not to say our babies should not be celebrated - they definitely should - but so should you! Around the world, we can find beautiful ceremonies and rituals celebrating and honoring the new mother, but oftentimes our society falls short. Think about how some of us have to return to work shortly after birth while others of us just simply do not have the full postpartum support that we deserve. Our American culture does not prioritize reserving a space for celebrating new motherhood and so often it does not happen.
Fortunately, this is changing. Families are changing the narrative, embracing traditional customs, and creating new ceremonies in order to shift the postpartum focus back to baby and mother. We at Family Tree Wellness are also taking part of this movement that fully celebrates the postpartum journey with you. We want to foster the omugwo experience because you deserve to be heard, respected, validated, and celebrated not only for your pregnancy and delivery, but for your transition into motherhood. Welcome!
If you want to join in on our movement, I encourage you to explore our Moving Mamas group. For information about our Moving Mamas group, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to experiencing this journey with you.
Written by Dr. Qu'Nesha Hinton Sawyer