A Sacred Beginning: Nurturing Your Body, Mind, and Soul during Baby's First Forty Days
by Sarah Brangwynne & Sasha Rose Oxnard
Traditionally, the Orthodox Church has appointed forty days of rest and seclusion after childbirth for mothers to recover from the rigors of birth and get to know their new babies. In the modern world, it can be difficult to understand how to use this time to the fullest in the way it was intended. The authors of A Sacred Beginning - a therapist and a family physician who are both mothers themselves - come to the rescue with a resource that addresses the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of a mother's recovery from birth and embarkation on her new life. Whether you are preparing to birth your first baby or your tenth, you will find in this book a wealth of spiritual food, comfort, encouragement, and sound advice to guide you, one postpartum day at a time.
About the Authors:
Sarah Brangwynne is an Orthodox Christian, wife, mother, and psychotherapist. She received her M.A. in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified dance/movement therapist specializing in reproductive mental health and holistic wellness. In addition to her professional training, she became a mother in 2010 and credits her children as being her most enlightening and demanding teachers. Sarah enjoys learning, cooking, crafting, the arts, exploring the natural world, and sharing about living a Christian life. A native of New Hampshire, Sarah lived, studied, and worked along the North and Southeastern United States, the West Indies, and Germany. Sarah lives with her husband and children, along with their dog and five hens, in the Northeastern US. This is her first book.
Sasha Rose Oxnard is an Orthodox Christian and a mom. She also happens to be a family doctor practicing prenatal care and pediatrics, as well as a wife, friend, daughter, amateur gardener, blogger, and lover of music, dance, art, animals, nature, and all things playful. With this book she adds writer to the list. Sasha writes a blog for AFM on trying to raise children to love God and their Faith (Shepherding Our Little Flock). She has lived and worked in the US, UK, Brazil, and Mozambique. She currently lives, works, and prays in New England with her husband, four small children, a dog, two cats, and five chickens.
Praise for A Sacred Beginning
"A Sacred Beginning is the comforting and experienced friend I wish I’d had as a brand-new mom. Both honest and insightful, this beautiful book will help you find profound meaning in those 40 sacred days after your baby is born." -Molly Sabourin, author and podcaster for Ancient Faith Ministries
"This sensitive, practical book answers a great pastoral need within the Church, and it will be not only a comfort but a lifeline for many Christian women during the tender days of early motherhood." -Laura S. Jansson, mother, doula and author of Fertile Ground: A Pilgrimage Through Pregnancy
"A Sacred Beginning is the book I wish I had as a new mother. Those first 40 days are truly sacred - and exhausting - and this book feels like a friend that keeps vigil with you in the wee morning hours and guides you in the right direction when you’re not sure which way is up. A mother pours so much of herself into nourishing her babe during those early days and this book is the spiritual nourishment she needs to refill the well." -Sylvia Leontaritis, author of the blog Adventures of an Orthodox Mom
"A Sacred Beginning serves as a doula to the new mother’s soul: holding her up and encouraging her; while also strengthening her resolve and gently pushing her to do the hard work set before her. Sarah Brangwynne and Sasha Rose write from depths of insight garnered by experience. In their work as a therapist and a family physician, as well as in their personal lives, they have walked these 40 days time and again, holding each other (and others) up along the way. Through these pages the authors reach out to embrace their reader, bolstering her climb up the ladder of divine ascent; soaking her in the wisdom of the Church fathers and the Scriptures; and fortifying her with whispers of camaraderie." -Kristina Wenger, educator, podcaster, co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts
"Bringing the words of the Fathers together with the wisdom of seasoned motherhood and of sound medical input, these meditations would be valuable and beneficial to mothers at any time, but they are carefully crafted to transform the beautiful little 40-day post-partum season into a time, not of distance or isolation from the Holy Church, but of spiritual retreat and contemplation." -Elissa Bjeletich, podcaster and author, Tending the Garden of Our Hearts