I gave labor on the due date of my twin sons. They weigh around 3,4 kilo but lost a lot of weight in the first weeks. Now almost two months old, I feel there is rhythm, they drink well and I have gained strength. Slowly my other three children are receiving a bit more attention. For the first six weeks, we commuted between living room and bedroom. Thanks to my preparation, I received a lot of help. We did not have a doula but we asked our neighbors, fantastic godmothers, my mother, brother, and a dear friend who was so inspired by my yogic background. And off coarse my husband who was home a lot. I want to thank the charity for the courage, insights and inspiration it gave me. But most of all to encourage me to ask for help. You cannot and should not do this alone. I hope many mothers will experience the help from postnatal support, because it’s needed, for mother and child.

Annelies Tavernier- Belgium

I believe that every new mother should allow herself to receive support of the Postnatal Network! In the rollercoaster of the first few weeks after your baby’s birth, it’s fantastic to have somebody beside you that gives support in a practical manner. But most importantly, someone who gives emotional support, who supervises your inner balance and who affirms you as the mother you are in all your aspects. This is how I experienced the help of our helper Ingrid, the first four weeks after our third child, our beautiful baby Lucy was born. To receive her assistance during this precious period was a gift indeed.

Maaike Kruijer - Netherlands

Just wanted to share my experience with the Postnatal Support Network after the birth (emergency c-section) of our second son Berend on April 24. One of the things I missed in the whirlwind time after the birth of our first son (also an emergency c-section), was being able to receive emotional and practical support without having to ask people for each specific task. Hindsight I should have asked for more help as asking for help isn’t something I do easily.So for a period of time Emilie volunteered to help our family twice a week in so many ways, after the kraamzorg left and my husband had to go back to work. Besides being there and lending an ear, cooking meals and doing some light housework, she spent a lot of time caring for my 3 year old son (who grew very fond of her).I feel so grateful having heard of the Postnatal Support Network and feeling so fortunate women out there volunteer to support other women and their families.

Wendel Zwaal - Netherlands

I’m originally from Australia, and my family all still live over there. When we were expecting for the first time, I heard of this idea of keeping the first 40 days sacred – to have the time and support to get to know our baby and to consciously welcome him or her into our new family situation. So, I organised an informal network of carers who took turns shopping and cooking for us in the weeks following the birth. This help freed us up and forged a strong bond between our son, me and my husband, and I see how connected we all are three years on. My second pregnancy was truly unique. At 11 weeks we discovered I was carrying a little girl with Edwards Syndrome. If she was born full term we knew we would only have limited time with her; that is, minutes, hours, days. There was no doubt in our minds: we would carry her to term, for we wished so much to meet her. So, at around week 33 we once again set up a network of women in our community to help us after the delivery. Sadly, Ivy Valentina was born at 35 weeks, sleeping. We had Ivy Valentina at home with us for a week after she was born – to welcome her to life and to our family, and to slowly get used to the idea of letting her go. While I wasn’t caring for her as a mother of a living newborn, I was still postpartum, plus having family and visitors come to our home and meet Ivy (as they might have done had she lived 40 days and was healthy). Our network of loving friends brought us home cooked food, delivered shopping, prayed and cleaned for us – all of this helped to get us through this intense period. In the four to six weeks following Ivy’s funeral, we continued to experience emotional and practical support in many forms; visits, messages, meals, and warm loving thoughts. I was, after all, a new mother once again who happened to also be in mourning. We look to the future and hope to be parents of a third child. We would then certainly observe this sacred time, the first 40 days, and a new beginning of our family’s life history.

Jane Hardjono - Netherlands