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Initiative Aims to Restore the Art of Kimpatorin

A new project in Crown Heights aims to restore thousands of years of tradition, where communities would get together and assist mothers who have just given birth – Kimpator moms.

by CrownHeights.info

Mothers in Crown Heights – a site which was established in memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman OBM after her passing in the summer of 2017 – is a website which centralizes many resources for expecting moms, and mother that are post-partum.

The site contains lists of consultants, rabbis and therapists, along with lists playgroups and other resources.

Recently they launched a new project, one which aims to restore thousands of years of tradition in Jewish communities, assistance to mothers who have just given birth.

The project currently consists the “An Extra Pair of Hands” initiative, which will connect high school and seminary volunteers with mothers who recently gave birth, to help out for an hour a week, for up to six weeks post birth. Other initiatives are currently in the works.

Organizers of this project hope “to restore the age old value of the ‘kimpatorin.’ As a society in general, we have lost the art of convalescence. For new mothers in particular, taking time to heal and taking all the help available is the key to a speedy recovery, a healthy and happy mom… and a happy family! Mothers of Crown Heights creates awareness and provides the infrastructure to help Kimpatorin do their job best: rest.”

If you would like to volunteer, or are in need of assistance, or would like to learn more, visit: MothersofCrownHeights.org

27 Comments

  • 1. woow! wrote:

    that is a beautiful idea!!! husbands need to know to help and let their wives rest! and not expect them to go back to work straight away!!! fathers help ur wives!!!!!

    Reply
  • 4. Anonymous wrote:

    I think it’s such a beautiful idea. The only thing i have a hard time is with high school girl’s and seminary girl’s being volunteers. Giving birth is a beautiful experience. sometimes it it could be a very “difficult ” one. By having young girl’s come in to witness the difficulty and challanges of postpartum depression it might be very hard to digest for both high school girl’s and a seminary girl’s to
    digest. Perhaps woman that have experience with these challenges can be a more of a help in this new and beautiful project. Mazal tov and may the community continue to help with these needs.

    Reply
    • 5. Maybe have the girls start helping later wrote:

      For the first month, that’s when the kimpatur tends to already have more help from other sources — meals, gifts, visiting family members who help out (for those lucky enough to get this kind of help from family), etc.

      It’s after the “mazel tov” hubbub dies down, after about a month or two, that the kimpatur’s fatigue really kicks in, and the initial help is usually over.

      (In the case of postpartum depression, much more help is needed, so I hope this program’s organizers will have the good sense to tailor its offerings to each individual kimpatur.)

      But for a typical kimpatur, perhaps the girls could help the mothers later on in the process. I for one remember the “Inner Circle” program, which sent me a high school girl for one hour, once a week, for several months. It doesn’t sound like a lot of help, but it really was VERY helpful to me! It didn’t start right away, but rather, when it was really valuable, a bit later on.

      Just having the cheerful attitude and presence of the girl sent to me was a beautiful thing, and she was helpful with anything I asked her to do. During the rest of the week, I’d sometimes realize, hey, I can have the “Inner Circle” girl help me with this when she comes!

      I heartily applaud all of this initiative l’iluy nishmas Mrs. Friedman!

  • 6. What a Brocho to the Community wrote:

    This is the perfect project with nicest memories for a giant of a Lady, Mrs Miriam Friedman OBM . Could not think of anything more befitting. What a perfect tribute.
    Long overdue in Crown Heights.
    Loved that Special Wonderful Lady She must be up there from Gan Eden smiling and only wishing well.
    Brocha Hurwitz

    Reply
  • 7. Hatzlacha Rabbah! wrote:

    Kol hakavod to Mushka (Friedman) Leiter for seeing the need and creatively doing something about it.

    Reply
  • 9. Way to go wrote:

    Kimperturan was taken very seriously in our family! So pleased that it’s being revived and ‘with’ volunteers! It’s not easy to stay home for 4 weeks; but as you wrote…. it gives the mother time to acclimatise with her new baby and heal properly and there’s no pressure to go out to shop etc!
    Kol Hakavod

    Reply
  • 11. What about the high risk crowd wrote:

    As always lots of support and advice for expectant mothers who choose a midwife, natural birthing remedies , or a home birth. What about the high risk crowd. Those who dont have this luxury? What of the woman jas circumstances that a c section is NOT am option and established during the pregancy? And contrary to what ppl think its not the clients choice or a matter of just switching drs! If i were 22 low risk and my first child ibwpuld find this website helpful but it only really address a portion of the birthing frum society. I havent found one resource that address my particular needs. No help

    Reply
  • 13. Shifra and Pua out of NY wrote:

    How one hour a week with a young girl could be helpful in a meaningful way?The effort and new initiatives are always great and very timely for such children oriented community.It has reached an art level in other chassidic circles where most mothers go away to retreats for a week to recover.That requires a strong family support system, because sisters and other family members take care on the remaining children.

    Reply
    • 14. not ideal wrote:

      it’s not an art. it’s a form of abandonment for the children, and affects long-term bonding.

    • 15. Amazing Initiative wrote:

      This is truly an amazing initiative. After one of my children were born, a friend of my wife arranged for meals from some of the organizations listed under the meals tab of this new website. Those meals turned out to be a tremendous help to the entire family. At that point I realized how stressful it was for both myself and my wife, when the other children were born, to have to deal with meals for the family.

      Regarding the practice that is common in other communities that new mothers go on retreats leaving the rest of the children under the care of others, I really hope that practice never makes it to Crown Heights. Having a new baby join the family is a HUGE event for the siblings that requires much love and at times reassurance. Try to imagine what it was like back in the day when a man can marry more than one wife, how would a women feel like when her husband comes home with “a beautiful new addition to the family”. It is not much different for a child. I personally spoke to מלמדים in those communities who confirmed that when new mothers leave, the remaining children at times go through extreme emotional turmoil. I believe very strongly that it also is a leading cause of sibling rivalry. Obviously there are times when it is of extreme necessity that the mother goes on vacation after birth, but the fact that it is the norm in some communities is troubling.

      Once again, thanks to all those involved in this beautiful initiative.

  • 18. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    What is it with today’s mothers that they need help? One of my grandmothers had 13 children and no help–she managed to do all the cooking, cleaning, sewing, laundry by hand (boiling it in a big pot out in the yard and used a washboard), maintained a vegetable garden, raised chickens for eggs/meat, milked the cow, canned food for the winter. According to my father she shopped once a year to lay in supplies for the winter. Plus she raised 4 grandchildren. She lived to be 86 years and did all that while having to put up with a nogoodnik for a husband. These “fragile” ladies should count their blessings.

    Reply
    • 19. Ezra wrote:

      And she really had no help – not from her older children, not from the neighbors, not from anyone? One wonders, if that’s so, whether it might be because she was an offputting sort – rather like her granddaughter, actually.

    • 20. ahavasyisroel wrote:

      It’s not so much that they need to be helped but that we need to help them. Be a chossid and love chesed. Everyone will be better off as a result.

    • 21. busy bubby wrote:

      The whole idea is that the mother who rests and recuperates after a baby is likely to cope better with her added responsibilities so it has apparently always been done, since Shifra and Puah in the Torah, that others help the mother rest and recover.
      Luckily in a large community such as Crown Heights, there are numerous ways to help so the entire responsibility of helping does not fall on the same handful of people as what might happen in a small community.

  • 22. anony wrote:

    having young girls/high school girls makes the women who receive this help feel like low class or in the need for pity. When people set up organizations to help they need to take into consideration the feelings of the person whom they are helping out. There must be a way to help postpartum that doesn’t make the mother feel not good about receiving the help.

    Reply
    • 23. I felt grateful, period! Not what you said! wrote:

      It never crossed my mind to feel “like low class or in the need for pity” when a volunteer teen girl helped me out once a week for several months, as part of the “Inner Circle” program, 16 years ago!
      All I felt was grateful.
      Oh, and maybe one other thing: uplifted!

  • 24. Neighbors wrote:

    Im not comfortable being responable for some one elses daughter. I have to think about getting them home safely etc. This can work less say if the girl lived in the same building an hr could be worth it without the responsibility. A new mother has too much on her head with her own family to be thinking about other peoples children. I think neighbors stepping up to the plate ppl living close by can be more beneficial

    Reply
  • 25. Mother wrote:

    I wish this was around when I had babies. I was lucky to have teenage neighbors but without them I would have gone mad

    Reply
  • 26. Recovery outside the home is a good choice wrote:

    I dont agree at all with the comments concerning the mothers who go away to Seagate like places to recover after a birth. I found it it to be a lifesaver time and time again esp. After my muliple birth and cercerians. It was hardly detrimental to my family or other children. Even with meals being brought or cleaning help right after the hospital the mom is still the manager of the home. Too much . I would go to Seagate directly from the hospital return home for bris and go right back for at least another week two if I had surgery
    My husband would help along with a mothers helper if needed
    I had the older sibling in a playgroup babysitting group for this time as my husband had to work . Everyone makes choices based on their particular situation and should be without judgement. Maybe for those who didn’t go away actually had a slew of relatives caring for the siblings in their home so this mother wouldnt be coming home to a houseful of children with meals brought to them. Not all of us are in that posistion and have no right to judge others who choose to recuperate outside the home for a week or two. Additionally i wouldn’t want to impose on my siblings in respect to their own family situation and older patents have the right to decline as they raised their children
    And it could really be too much

    Reply
    • 27. not today wrote:

      Seagate has been gone for several years. the issue with going to recover is timing. getting back and forth, duration of stay, and cost. not to mention what’s to be done for older children?

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