It took having my own baby to realize how little support and preparation our society offers new moms for postpartum recovery. The first months are an exhilarating, love-filled time, but childbirth is also a major medical event and I was not prepared for recovery.
I had a pregnancy plan, a birth plan, a parenting plan —yet no plan to restore and heal my body after birth. I was blindsided by the symptoms I experienced after giving birth: the radical body changes, sleep deprivation, hair shedding, painful sex, skin changes and the emotional highs and lows caused by hormonal shifts. I was suddenly this broken vessel that was leaking from every part of my body, needed to heal, and also feed a human.
In researching my way through the experience, I learned that the body goes through tremendous changes after childbirth and that recovery from birth can take at least 1 year, contrary to what I was seeing on instagram.
I also became aware of the gaps in postpartum support in the U.S. versus other countries, spurred by both cultural differences and health care policies.
For example, if you have a baby in Hungary, you can take three years of paid leave if you want. In Finland, the government will send you a care package with a bassinet, socks, diapers, and about fifty other things a new mother might need. Here, some more examples of ways that other countries prioritize postpartum recovery.
Average number of hours that families in the Netherlands have in-home help from a kraamverzorgende, or home maternity nurse, covered by insurance. They’re available for up to ten days after birth and assist with everything from breastfeeding to laundry.
Days after birth a midwife is available for home visits covered by insurance in Switzerland.
Number of months that new mothers in China are encouraged to rest after giving birth. This period, known as zuo yue, is described as “mothering the mother.”
Number of days that women in Mexico typically rest after giving birth, known as la cuarenta.
Number of days that a midwife provides massage to new mothers in Malaysia, to increase circulation and promote overall healing.
Fueled by my journey and the stories of hundreds of women around me, I became determined to bridge this gap.
Our line of products, delivered solo or in an ever-evolving monthly subscription supports a new mother’s needs as they change throughout the postpartum period, including birth recovery, post-nursing care, and hair loss.
Month one is typically when a woman’s body is experiencing physical recovery, major hormonal shifts, rebuilding blood volume, and the start of lactation. In month two, compounded sleep loss is setting in, impacting women both physically and mentally, and in month three, women who will experience shedding begin to lose their hair. In months four to five, many women are back to work and dealing with looking for an extra way to boost energy levels and maintain milk supply.
Our eight-product range accounts for each of these phases and includes recovery and energizing tonics, calming and lactation teas, postnatal supplements, and a nipple balm, body butter, and hair-growth-boosting scalp serum all powered by clean, breastfeeding safe, and efficacious ingredients.
With Anya, we are bringing postpartum support to new mothers through a modern lens.