By: Kim Grundy
Could you stay at home with your newborn for a full 40 days without leaving the house? That is what new mom Molly Sims did after she welcomed her son, Brooks Alan, on June 19th. Sims said this “40 Day Rule” is an ancient tradition to encourage bonding with your newborn baby.
“As many mamas out there already know, the days and weeks following labor are really special for so many reasons. Not only are you meeting the wonderful little person who’s been growing inside for you nine long months, but you’re really tuning in to your maternal instincts,” she writes on her website. “Following Brooks’ birth I decided to participate in an ancient tradition where mother and child don’t leave the home for a full 40 days. “
She went on to say that many other cultures have practiced this rule after baby is born. “The 40-day rule has been practiced by Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Pakistani and Sikh cultures for centuries and while each specific culture has differing reasons for the 40-day confinement, generally speaking it comes down to encouraging mother-child bonding. Kundilini yogis also practice the 40-day rule, believing that a child’s energy is connected to its mother’s and in order to ease the child into the world, gradual separation is best.”
Bonding with your newborn baby is important, but some mamas could find themselves going a little crazy staying homebound for so long. How did Sims fare?
“I am proud to say that I made it through the entire 40 days and it really was a really rewarding experience (and yes—challenging at times too!). During the 40 days I really experienced life through Brooks’ eyes and observed what a special little human he is!” she said.
This 40 Day rule is similar to the attachment parenting idea of a parenting style that helps to maximize bonding between children and parents. This rule may also work best if your friends and family make plenty of trips by the house to help you feel connected (especially if you have had postpartum depression in the past) and to help with baby so you can rest.
Some moms may love this idea, however others may need to give the baby to dad for a few hours and let them bond while they go have coffee with friends.
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