Small Blessings Blog

40 Days Blessing

Jai Ram Kaur Hergo - Wednesday, May 08, 2013

In many cultures around the world, there is a tradition of recognizing the first roughly 6 weeks after birth as a time of sanctity and importance. The mother is given support to grow into her new role as nurturer of another being, now on the outside, as well as begin to recover from the great physical feat she has just performed (birth and pregnancy) although establishing a whole new balance and strength can take a fair bit longer. The baby is given a soft, safe space to find its own metaphorical feet, with all its physical systems now having to function independently, its nervous system forming and firming, not to mention the astounding fact of simply being alive on this big planet, connected with others, needing to feel safe and loved and held.


In Kundalini Yoga humanology it is said that in the first 3 days of a baby´s life, he or she learns love and in the first 40 days, a sense of belonging. To this mother, this father, this family and this Earth.


I was very struck, years ago, reading The Forest People by Colin Turnbull, describing how these tribes structures their village life. First comes the womb of the mother, then the expanded circle of the family tent for the first approximately 40 days, and then the further expanded circle of the whole tribe, whose tents are positioned to form a very big circle. And beyond that, out into the the wider circle of the world, always to return… So the person, as they grow, moves into ever-expanding circles, but always held and in a sense of belonging. These are a simple but profoundly happy, secure people.


Our world is clearly not like this, but if we take this principle we might look into finding ways to come closer to creating a space which holds both us as emerging mothers and our babies until we are ready to move out into the world, feeling strong and secure.


Every woman must surely follow her own feeling and possibilities, but consider keeping things very quiet in the first weeks. Some women find it a relief to limit visitors, or at least have visitors who they feel bring in a nurturing presence. The father can be very helpful here, diplomatically arranging visits in the interests of holding a protected space for you and the baby. We say the father is the aura of the family, the protective filter. Sometimes limiting visitors might cause a kind of social tension, but the question is then – what is more important right now? Keeping everyone else happy or making the best of this one-off opportunity to lay the foundations for a secure and happy life together?


Also, the teachings of Kundalini Yoga hold that the baby is contained within the mother's energetic bodies for the first 3 years of life, as the child progressively develops their own and becomes a whole total independent person. In the first 40 days therefore we suggest staying in the same room as your baby as much as you can. This would mean having your baby sleep in the same room as you. This is also helpful as you hear your baby's noises throughout the night, getting to know them and your baby's rhythms. You are there to respond readily so your baby feels safe and secure and that positive attachment between you can develop. This security forms the foundations for the child's sense of inner security throughout its life.


As a new mother, we say, your one main task is to look after your baby. If possible, let yourself be cooked for – nurturing, strengthening, wholesome food. Some women organise a roster within their circle of friends and family - having a meal delivered to you once a day can be of immense relief and emotional as well as physical nourishment. If possible, you could even let someone take over cleaning and washing or even let things go for a while. In our tradition, the person who comes to look after the mother is called Sevadar, or one who serves, and it should be a woman. The key word in this time is REST. REST, REST, REST! From personal experience, if you can truly take time to rest in those first weeks the energy will be there for life beyond. So rest, even more than you might feel is necessary. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Let yourself be looked after as much as you can. Get a massage! 


My invitation is to think of this time as you being like a queen. You certainly have performed an act of creation which required a lot from you on all levels (and will continue to). Let things come to you and let yourself be served. The time will come soon enough for you to step out and take up your new role in the world, walking tall, feeling good, with your secure, well-nurtured, happy baby.


See also Ayurvedic recipes for the 40 days.

Yogi Tea strengthens your nerves and is really delicious.

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts