If you are the new mother, it can be a lot to ask you to manage your visitors after you just gave birth. Be sure to discuss your plan for visitors with your partner and the birth team so everyone is on the same page. It is important to note that no-one is entitled to your baby except you and your partner. The following five tips will help you and your partner organize visitors in a less stressful paradigm:
Tell them when you are ready for a visit.
You do not need visitors until you are ready for them. For some moms, this is in the hospital after the delivery, and for others, it is a week later at home. The key is to not keep everyone updated with a birth play-by-play. Some will take it upon themselves to ‘pop in’ even if it is not a good time for you. Let them know when visitors should and can arrive. Be blunt, because people will be excited about the new bundle and often overlook your preferences in favor of the new baby.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
A good rule of thumb for general visitors, but it can include family too: Only have visitors after four weeks postpartum, and have them bring a meal or help clean. It can be hard to separate yourself from the new tasks of parenthood. Especially, when your little one is so cute to just admire. Your healing is more efficient the less you are on your feet and doing things. Stay seated and enjoy feeding and loving your baby. Let others help you out during your postpartum healing stage. You owe them nothing when they come visit, so don’t feel like you must entertain.
Create a cutoff time.
Decide on an appropriate amount of time for visits and implement accordingly. A fifteen-minute visit may feel like a lifetime when you have feedings to do and endless diaper changes. If an hour is your max, have a cue you use with your significant other. Say goodbye and take the baby to the other room for a nap. If your friend isn’t getting the clue, your spouse will have to step in and bid them adieu.
Have your partner be the manager.
Your significant other has a major responsibility when it comes to managing guests after the birth. This goes for family members staying to help and brief guests. You are working on healing your body and learning how to adapt to life with your new addition. Depending on your relationship with your family, you need to make and specifically set a plan ahead of time for longer-term guests. If having your family around stresses you out too much, there are other options. Try a postpartum doula or baby nurse to have professional help and get you on the right track in your parenthood journey.
Enjoy your time as a new family.
Enjoy life with your new addition as much as you can. Bonding time is crucial at this stage. No one has a right to see your baby until you grant the privilege. There is no grandparent rule stating they must see their grandchild within the first week of life. Allow yourself to feel good about visitors coming over and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and your family.
Your boundaries can be tested after the birth of a child, but you have every right to do what you feel is best. Your partner is an asset in helping you set rules around visitors, and keeping you stress-free for quicker healing. Enjoy every minute you have with your little one and don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe is right.