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Providing pillars for a positive postpartum

Three Wairarapa women, who found they had trained in the same alternative form of postpartum care for mothers, are offering a five-week course beginning next week.

Innate Traditions Wairarapa, set up by Innate Postpartum Care practitioners Kate Williams, Helle Rosenberg and Lily Tanner, offers the course for women and their whānau to prepare for the time after birth and understand “the five essentials of postpartum healing”, Williams said.

The Innate Postpartum Care movement was founded by US midwife Rachelle Garcia Seliga, who recognised the human need “for community through authentic connection” after childbirth.

Garcia Seliga offers online training to people worldwide, with Williams completing her training last year.

“Until recently there were only about seven trained people in Aotearoa,” Williams, from Featherston, said. “I put the call out in Wairarapa and found Helle and Lily had also completed training.”

The trio wants to help māmā and their whānau to make a plan for their own support and care.

“The first four weeks of the course are for women who are pregnant now, to flesh out the five pillars of postpartum care and the fifth week will invite all whānau to return after the births, to share their experiences.”

Williams said Innate Postpartum Care was “not a band-aid approach to post-natal depression”.

“There are ancient traditions that have plans for postpartum care, that map what a woman needs after birth,” she said.

Depression can set in because what women need is not being given to them. Births are sometimes traumatic, or not what they expected, and they don’t have the support to deal with it.

“If mother is well, baby is well,” Williams said. “It’s a golden time that can set up a woman’s wellbeing for the rest of her life.”

Families about to welcome second or third babies were welcome on the course too, Williams said, as those mothers may have already experienced their first postpartum period with no support or structure.

The course includes the “Closing of the Bones” ceremony, during which the mother is wrapped tightly in a woven cloth, “like a chrysalis or womb space, then released”.

“This is a time for the mother to come back to herself, so we hold that woman in that fold of support. ”

Community was one of the most important aspects of maternal health, Williams said.

“To leave a new mother alone is probably one of the worst things to do. Support catches problems early.”

The Innate Postpartum Care five-week course will be held at the Carterton Community Courthouse, Holloway St, on Thursday evenings from March 21-April 11, and costs $400 per whānau. Email: innatepostpartum [email protected]

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