cultivating gratitude · from the trenches

My Postpartum Thankful List

Warning: This post includes graphic details of postpartum life! Read at your own risk! 🙂

Today I’m sharing my postpartum thankful list as a tribute to mothers around the globe who do not have some or perhaps most of these blessings.

As I feed and rock my beautiful, healthy infant son, I’m more aware than ever before that thousands of mothers are also rocking babies but without the comforts I enjoy and without the support and information I have available to me.

It might be a mama in Papa New Guinea giving birth on a less-than-comfortable-or-sanitary makeshift outdoor bed. It might be a new mother in Cambodia, caring for a sickly baby without access to medical care.

It could be a teenage mother in a local city near you without parental support or a partner to help care for her and the baby in those grueling first hours and weeks.

It could be a friend or family member of your own who is suffering from baby blues, postpartum depression or feeling completely overwhelmed.

Each one is special – just as loved, just as important as you or I. 

Fellow moms of new babies, let’s unite in remembering our sisters who don’t have the things we often take for granted.

Maybe we can spread some cheer by visiting a local mom or emailing a friend. Maybe we can donate resources to a charity or program devoted to new moms. 

Maybe though, we feel like we can’t do anything. We haven’t got time or money, let alone mental energy.

Thankfully we can always pray. 

At a time when we may feel we’re accomplishing so little and perhaps barely coping and getting by, prayer can take so little of our time and yet do so much to help another mom. Especially when it comes from a place of sincere gratitude and heartfelt concern.

Writing out this list has helped open my eyes further to the incredible privileges I enjoy. I want to be more aware of these things – more grateful. I want to be less selfish and more aware of the needs of others.

Without further adieu, I present this list of things I’m thankful for, written from the perspective of a mom with a three-week-old baby: 

– peace in my heart and a Heavenly Father who unfailingly helps me when I am at my weakest

– my husband who helps me tirelessly without complaint in this haze of new-baby days

– a healthy baby who eats, sleeps, pees, poops and gains weight right on schedule and is loved by many

– a healthy older son and daughter who are out of diapers, mostly able to dress themselves, and love the baby to pieces 🙂

– plenty of food, warm clothes and a comfortable home

– routine baby check-ups with doctors and nurses and the assurance that baby is growing well

– baby training: advice on how to tell if baby is gaining weight and doing well

– books and the internet and public libraries where we have access to all the info we could possibly need

– transportation to the places we need to go: good roads, reliable vehicles that are comfortable and climate controlled for quick trips to the hospital while in active labor and for bringing baby home and to check ups, etc. 

– bassinets that provide a clean, safe and comfortable place for baby to sleep

– breast pumps for sore mamas and tongue-tied babies

– nipple cream, breastfeeding pillows, nursing bras and pads that make the nursing experience much easier and less messy and uncomfortable!

– peri bottles and pads to make postpartum life easier and more comfortable 🙂

– Tylenol to control cramps and headaches

– hospitals and the Canadian health care system that give us access to a complete range of the most modern and up-to-date health care

– skilled doctors, midwives, nurses and specialists who provide excellent care when the need arises

– 24/7 access to emergency services

– telephones and cell phones that help us keep in touch with friends and family and find medical information and help when problems come up

– a support system of family and friends who help with baby care, babysitting, grocery shopping, meals, house work, etc.

– Carter’s/Osh Kosh and other stores teeming with the cutest itty bitty baby clothes

– enough financial resources to afford  new baby clothes that fit well and are adorable to boot

– swaddle blankets to wrap baby snug and warm

– Huggies diapers, umbilical cord cut-out and wetness indicator lines that simplify diaper changes 

– formula and bottles for when breastfeeding fails 

– stove to heat water rapidly for bottle sterilization

– food that keeps coming in from friends and family

– Healthy and Home nurses who keep checking in throughout the early postpartum days and weeks

– lactation consultants and breastfeeding support for the babies and moms who have breastfeeding difficulties 

– walk-in clinics and doctors on call for minor emergencies and any health issues that come up

– a heater, plenty of warm blankets and cozy pajamas for chilly fall nights

– a super comfortable bed and soft pillows to sink into for those precious few hours of sleep between feeds 

– e-books, books and smart phones to entertain mama during feeding sessions!

– rocking chairs for comfy seating while rocking and feeding baby

– safe drinking water and an unlimited supply of it right in my kitchen

– plenty of food and simple grab-and-go snacks for ravenous breastfeeding mamas!

– electricity, lamps and flashlight apps for lighting at middle-of-the-night feeds

… The list could go on but you get the picture! 🙂 So many moms right now are doing without a significant number of these conveniences while I have so much. It’s embarrassing to think how often I complain about chilly night feeds, a lack of suitable clothing or tasty snacks, etc. 

So this Thanksgiving I’m:

– resolving once again to be more thankful. 

– remembering the brave and courageous moms who are giving birth and struggling to raise their precious babies amid poverty and disease.

– praying for each brave, beautiful and often overwhelmed mama who is learning to care for her new babe.

– looking for ways to reach out to other mamas.

May God bless each mom today with strength and wisdom! 

Happy Thanksgiving!


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