Well, we're glad you asked! The term “Sitting the Moon” stems from a concept rooted in Chinese tradition. While the practice looks somewhat different today from previously held strict customs, it is still supported and focuses on restoration and healing for mom during the first 4-6 weeks after childbirth. The translation means to sit out the month. This is a time of receiving for mom, for nourishing her body and being cared for. In sitting the moon, mom does not go back to work, worry about cooking dinner, running errands, or doing the laundry. She turns her energy to regaining her physical and mental health and bonding and caring for her newborn.

The modern mother, particularly in the United States, is given no option but to return to her obligations in the immediate postpartum period and is expected to shine in her performance. Within days of childbirth, she is back to the grind, taking care of household chores, caring for her other children, and worrying about finances while she is taking a few weeks off from work. She is now adding the care of a newborn to the list of responsibilities. This hierarchy of demands pushes moms mental and physical healing and revitalization to the bottom of the list as she loses sight of taking care of herself.

To put the idea of “sitting the moon” into practice in a valuable, sensible way; attention needs to be turned to caring for mom during the postpartum period. She needs to be able to identify her own mental, emotional, and physical needs, learn healthy patterns while transitioning to her new role, and have confidence in her support system. With a limited focus on postpartum mental health in the United States, we feel that a shift back to a community support model, using services through trained lay providers, is a unique and effective approach.

It is estimated that 10-20% of mothers suffer from a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. These disorders outnumber other childbirth complications including gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Society has a perception of childbirth as a joyous time; this view makes many women less likely to disclose mental health struggles-fearing they will be judged or seen as inadequate mothers. The consequences of these disorders are often severe and tragic. Women often wait until the point of crisis to seek help.


We want moms to know that they are not alone. We want moms to know that it is NOT normal to jump back into the routine so quickly. We want moms to know that life may look and feel different now and that it’s ok. We want to give them the resources, the knowledge, and the confidence to know that they are equipped and accomplished for their journey through parenthood.

At The Sitting Moon, we offer free classes on maternal mental health and other postpartum topics to help guide mom and her support system in adapting to their new roles. We offer in-person support to mothers in need of hands-on guidance, at no cost, through our certified doulas and volunteers. These mother’s helpers will be there to provide education, to show mom healthier patterns and coping skills, to assist with small household chores, answer questions about baby care and breastfeeding, to be a listening ear for mom and most importantly help her identify her own needs, while being an advocate for her mental and physical health.