Why 40 Days
After the transformative period of pregnancy and the effort of birth, a woman is thrust into a radically new period of her life when she becomes a mother—or a mother again. These are the first forty days. It is during these unpredictable and heart-opening first weeks with her new baby that she will do the majority of her healing and form the foundation of her experience as a parent. If she can do just a few small things to take care of herself during this fleeting time, she can help to create a supportive, healing environment that benefits her current wellbeing—and the health and happiness of her baby—and prepares her for a lifetime of strength and vitality.
With the right postpartum care, a mother can preserve her reproductive health for future children and experience an easy menopause and graceful aging over the decades to come.
Is roughly the amount of time (sometimes the first 30 or 21) that new mothers in cultures around the world remain secluded from the busyness of life after birth, bonding with their new babies and regaining strength and vitality.
Correlates loosely to the standard western definition of postpartum; the six-week period of recovery after birth, and the time when many women feel ready to move into the world as mothers.
Represents significant transformation: Religious teachings point to Jesus’s forty-day fast and the forty-day flood; and it is forty weeks from a woman’s last period before conception to the birth of a baby when carried to term.