by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN
Photo Credit: Nicole Dimotsis of Femina Photo & Design
Have you thought about who you want to visit after your baby is born, when you want them to visit, and where that visit will be?
One of the reasons thinking about visitors ahead of time can be so beneficial is to help set other’s expectations. You don’t know what others are expecting if you don’t talk about it. Maybe everyone is expecting to come over as soon as you get home. If you labor all day, have your baby at night, and get home in the morning you are probably going to be exhausted and need to sleep! So it might not be the best time. So here are some ideas for handling postpartum visitors. There are lots of ideas below and each mama is different. So do what feels best for you!
- Make sure people know the plan, that there is no plan, or that the plan might change. Tell them you will play it by year and be in touch with them.
- Make people text ahead of time! This is essential. You might make plans to have someone come over the next morning and visit. But then your baby doesn’t sleep all night and you are finally able to catch a nap around the time you were supposed to have visitors. Sleep should take priority! Your body just did an amazing thing and needs rest! So have people text you before they head over. Tell them if you don’t answer you are probably sleeping and will reschedule.
- This is the time to impose! Don’t hesitate to ask others to pick something up for you or help when they stop by to meet your baby. They get to meet that beautiful baby of yours! So always ask for food and don’t hesitate to ask for anything else you might need! Maybe you need some snacks from the store to keep by your bed, or maybe it would be super helpful for someone to take out the trash and recycle. Whatever it is, do not hesitate to ask!
- One of the biggest differences between having your baby at TBC versus the hospital is early discharge. So, if you are a mama that plans to deliver at TBC, make sure you treat those first few days like the days in the hospital. That means minimal visitors and you staying in bed or on the couch! You are not hosting. You can offer them water, but tell them where the cups are so they can get it.
- Visiting hours: Some find visiting hours helpful. If there are a few people you want to have over, have them all come over at once, just like if it were visiting hours in the hospital. That way, rather than a constant stream of visitors, you can have quiet time before and after the visiting time.
- Have people visit you in your room. Visitors won’t feel super comfortable hanging out in your room for hours on end. And especially during those first two weeks, you should be spending lots of time in bed!
- Is it time to feed your baby? That is the perfect exit. Sometimes visitors may overstay their welcome. It is certainly fine to nurse in front of others, but it can be a great excuse to head back to bed too. Plus, sometimes in those early days you need an elaborate topless setup to get that baby to latch.
- Sip and See: When I first heard of a sip and see, I wasn’t sure what to think. Another party? More planning? For what? Really, it is a genius idea in terms of cutting down visitors. If someone else is willing to throw a Sip and See (anywhere but your house) it can be a great opportunity for everyone to meet your baby at once. You don’t have to worry about plans with so many different people, it can all happen at once. Your closest family and friends can visit, but others you can wait to see baby at the Sip and See.
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your postpartum period!
The Birth Center provides pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and GYN services to women from adolescence through menopause. Pregnancy services include prenatal care, labor and birth services, education and exercise classes for those planning to deliver at TBC or a hospital. Postpartum services include free support groups, lactation services, and classes. Schedule a free Information Session and Tour to learn more!