Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
I am a professional grandmother. When I tell this to people, their first response is often ‘What???’
My role as a professional is to support the birther during the Sacred Window: a special time generally accepted as the first 42 days of postpartum. The birthing parent has the opportunity to be liberated from the daily chores of life as they redirect their precious energy to being with their baby and partner.
My grandmotherly wisdom activates in evaluating multiple factors – both internal and external – to help replenish the nurturing strength of the birthing parent. As an elder, I have the experience and understanding of transitional times in life (i.e. my own postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause) and the ability to draw on that wisdom to mother the parents. At times when life is uncomfortable, or when I act as a container for supporting another through distress, the wisdom of years and the certain knowledge of “This too shall pass” come into play.
As Ayurvedic postpartum caregivers, we help a parent find their joy in this time, and to find their own strength and intuitive wisdom. There are variations in people and how they live their Sacred Window. Oftentimes the fatigue from an erratic schedule, learning the requirements of integrating a baby into their life, and navigating new bodily functions leave the birther unable to think clearly. For some, we help slow down their ‘drive’; for others, we enliven their feelings of lethargy.
Effective Postpartum Support Makes Space for Healing that Echoes Out for Years to Come
At the Centre for Sacred Window Studies, we teach mothering principles from the Ayurvedic lens. We illuminate ancient restorative principles, such as how to effectively balance the active downward driving force of Apana Vayu. This force is centered in the lower abdomen, the area that does so much work during the birthing year; from ovulation to labor and delivery, elimination in general, and the elimination of uterine waste products postpartum. Apana helps us stay grounded to ''do'' the work of life.
Postpartum is a time when distractions, mental tasks, or physical chores result in strain that can weaken the stabilizing factors in life. Having proper support by professionals and your village can create healing. The positive benefits for self and family play out for years to come.
One of my clients (whom I supported from the morning after the birth through postpartum and with meals into the first year) said this about my support of their family:
“Charlotte is an expert in nutrition…and was able to provide us with a customized eating plan for the immediate postpartum period, to assist in healing and breastfeeding, and she was so respectful about our dietary requirements and wishes…I credit her for my joyous first year as a Mother of two as she was nourishing me physically and spiritually, always there to answer questions (from newborn poop to plugged milk ducts and everything in between), always there for a hug or a shoulder to cry on (there were lots of tears!) and always such a warm and soothing presence.”
Gathering New Nests
You are an ideal candidate to take our training if you are in the “empty nest” phase of life and feel a desire to be around the new parents of your community. You can gather new nests through your professional support to other families. The wisdom and tools we teach apply equally well in supporting your own peri- and menopausal time, and again if you ever choose to care for an elder.