Etiquette – On Visiting the New Mom & Baby

knockWhether it’s her first or fifth baby, a mother fresh from delivering a human into the world is sore, tired and hormonal. And the new baby is still adjusting to life on the outside. So let’s give them a little time to heal and relax.

Grandparents, Close Friends & Siblings Only Please

I was happy to have my parents, in-laws, close friends, and siblings over when I was home from the hospital. None of them cared if I hadn’t showered that day or if my house was a little messy.

For new mothers, things are so tough in those first couple of weeks. The thought of having people over is painful. Maybe she’s had a c-section and prefers her robe. Yes, most visitors would be understanding of her appearance, but that still doesn’t mean she’s comfortable with having them see her in this state.

Here are some more reasons for waiting to visit mom and baby:

  • Mom and baby are still getting used to breastfeeding, it’s easier for her to whip out a boob wherever she is in her home rather than cover up or leave the room
  • Mom’s hormonal, any little bit of stress can make her sweat enough to show puddles through eight layers of clothing and a parka, that’s embarrassing for her
  • Baby’s brand new; a lot of different hands handling them can be over stimulating, then once you leave, parents are left with a fussy baby after entertaining all day
  • Baby’s immune system is fragile, if you’re a little sniffly but feel fine, it’s still not okay for you to hold and breath all over the newborn

Now, even with all these reasons, if you still must visit then don’t expect the following:

  • A super cheerful and upbeat woman greeting the door
  • A meal to be prepared for you by candle light
  • Fresh cookies and tea to be prepared with enthusiasm
  • A guest room to be ready if you’re traveling from far away (book a hotel room!)
Apologies for Sounding Harsh

If the comments above have offended anyone I’m sorry. The point I’m trying to make is that the new parents do want to see you! They just need some time to adjust to this new life. If you have children, try to think back on those first few weeks and how hard they were. If you’re not a parent, then think about someone showing up at your place when you’ve had a party the night before and still have stuff all over the house, you’re extremely hung over, a lollipop is stuck in your hair, you have raccoon eyes and you haven’t brushed your teeth. It’s horrifying, right?

A Phone Call Is Awesome!

There’s no rule against a phone call though! If you want the new parents to know that you’re thinking about them and can’t wait to see them with their new bundle, then call them. Let them know you’re excited to see them so you’d love a phone call from them when they’re ready for visitors. They’d appreciate that MUCH more than a super early visit.

Anyone have horror stories you’d like to share about early visitors? Or maybe you’d like to rant about it here. Leave a reply! 

Say It Out Loud by Cristina Cole

Before I gave birth to my precious son
I heard stories from so many women about labor
Some sounded easy and reassuring, others were horror stories
Nonetheless, I went into it expecting the worst and it wasn’t so bad

When asked what my “plans” were, I responded with: “to feel the least amount of pain”
Some women made me feel weak for accepting an epidural
I would tell them that I don’t need to be a hero
I’m already carrying a child and delivering them into the world
I think that’s heroic enough

What I wish more women told me about was after the birth
No one prepares you for the aftermath:
Especially the emotions you feel

I feel like it’s my responsibility to say it out loud:
How you feel after birth is NORMAL
You’re not crazy, you’re hormonal
You’re doing amazing
You’re a good mother
It’s okay that you cry a lot
It’s okay that you’re absolutely terrified
It’s going to get easier… a little every day

Talk about it!
Tell your best friend how you’re feeling
Tell your husband, your mother, your mother-in-law
The minute you say it out loud, you get a response that shocks you
They’ll giggle and tell you not to worry
They’ll say it’s normal to feel like you’re losing your mind in the first couple of weeks
Especially after having your first child, you don’t know what to expect

When I got that same response from everyone I spoke to
I was almost angry – why didn’t anyone tell me?
When you hear horror stories about post partum depression
You immediately think: Oh my goodness it’s happening to me
Then you silently go crazy and feel so alone

Why don’t more women talk about those first couple of weeks?
A little warning would have been wonderful!
I already forgot about the birth and the pregnancy
I’ll NEVER forget how scared I was in those first couple of weeks
I went from being pregnant and pampered by everyone around me
To being sleep deprived, hormonal and needed 24 hours a day
No wonder some women suffer an emotional breakdown!
I’m lucky and grateful that I didn’t slip into post partum depression
But if I didn’t pick up the phone and talk about what I was feeling
And ask a lot of questions, I may well have

I know so many women who are mothers
They all make it look so easy
I view them as super moms
When you have a baby, you aspire to be that perfect wife and mother
So feeling those scary and raw emotions of fear and anxiety after birth
Makes that vision seem impossible
You feel like you’ll never be a good mother if you feel this way
That’s how the cycle begins, and continues if you don’t talk about it

Now that I’m over a month in… and hormones have finally settled
Life is wonderful!
So I’m proof that it does get better
Those scary feelings go away and every day is an adventure
Every day you get more confident in your abilities as a new mother
Every day you feel happier and can look forward to more beautiful days ahead
So hang in there
And talk about what you’re feeling WITHOUT shame or embarrassment
You’re a good mother
You’re doing amazing
Hang in there because every day gets easier

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole