The First Forty Days
- Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein, Filmmakers, The Business of Being Born
The first forty days after the birth of a child is an essential and fleeting period of rest and recovery for the new mother. Author Heng Ou (along with her co-authors and fellow mothers, Amely Greeven and Marisa Belger) channeled her own experience with zuo yuezi, a set period of postpartum “confinement,” in which a woman remains at home focusing on healing and bonding with her baby, into the The First Forty Days, a book that revives the lost art of caring for a mother after birth. The book includes 60 simple and delicious recipes for healing soups; replenishing meals and snacks; and calming and lactation-boosting teas, all formulated to support the unique needs of the new mother (and to feed hungry partners, too). In addition to the recipes, this warm and encouraging guide offers advice on securing help during the postpartum period, navigating inevitable relationship challenges, and honoring the rite of passage that is pregnancy and birth.
As modern mothers are pushed to prematurely “bounce back” after delivering their babies, and are often left alone to face the physical and emotional challenges of this radically new chapter of their lives, The First Forty Days stands as a lifeline—a source of connection, nourishment, and guidance. It is the perfect ally for the first few weeks with a new baby…and beyond.
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