The baby probably hasn’t even arrived yet and friends and family are already trying to plan their first visit to see your little one. Everyone’s so excited to meet your baby and they all seem to want to be first in line for the meet-up. But this puts a lot of pressure on a mama and can be a source of unnecessary stress.
First of all, as a mother or mother-to-be, we’re already scrambling to get other things prepared and ready before the baby’s arrival; an organized house, meal prep, getting the nursery ready, have all baby products and clothes ready to go, have our hospital bags ready, etc. The last thing on our minds…is organizing the visits postpartum. Sorry everyone.
Not knowing how the labor will ensue and how much energy will even be left in your system; it’s not easy to know for sure that you’ll even feel up to any visits at all. You’ll be exhausted. That’s just a fact.
Also, it’s not any easier trying to organize these baby visits once the baby arrives. You’re having to adjust to a whole different schedule. You’re beyond exhausted from the birth. Your body is still going through a major recovery. To be quite honest, you probably just want to be alone during the first few weeks.
This is all to say that it’s normal to feel stressed about family and friends wanting to visit your baby. So, here are ways you can manage these postpartum visits, to make it a little easier on you mama.
1. Manage Your Expectations
Before the baby arrives, you might feel like you’ll be able to handle everything. You might’ve made a plan already in your head about how things might look postpartum. Friends and family might already have their visits scheduled.
Truth be told, it’s easier to expect the unexpected. Things can change. You might feel OK during the last few weeks of pregnancy, but you might feel a different way once the baby arrives.
Be gentle with yourself if this happens. You have a new baby and your new schedule might be a little more unpredictable at first. You’ll adjust.
But be prepared. It’s all new and it’s OK if you thought things would go differently than you had originally expected!
2. Be Honest With Friends & Family
Just be honest. I know this could be difficult. You might feel bad or guilty. But in this situation, you and your baby’s needs ABSOLUTELY come first. You don’t owe anyone anything at this moment in time.
If you’re not feeling up to people coming to visit your baby at the time, just say so. And if people get upset, then so be it. They should understand. It’s not because you don’t want them to see your baby; it’s because you’re completely run down, don’t feel like you’re at your best, and have no energy to even socialize. And quite honestly, any of your reasons to not feel like it are absolutely valid.
3. Set Specific Time Frames for Visits
It can be stressful to have friends or family come over to visit your baby and you can start dreading it thinking that they’ll never leave, or won’t leave when you’d like them to.
When you plan these visits, be firm and make a specific schedule with your friends and family.
“Sure, we’d love for you to come visit our baby! Does Wednesday work from 1pm to 2pm?”.
That’s it. And if they ask why such a specific time frame or if you feel uncomfortable not giving an explanation as to why: you can say that you want to attend to your baby because they’ll need to be fed or they’ll need to sleep and it’ll be easier to focus when you’re alone.
Another idea is to send them a few photos, which could satisfy most people’s curiosity. It would also buy you some time.
4. Do One Visit at a Time
It can be overwhelming having all your friends and family coming to visit your baby all at the same time. Scheduling one visit at a time can be helpful. You can also spread out the visits throughout the week or on different weeks.
If it’s important to have family visit the baby before friends do, you can prioritize your visits.
Just remember, you don’t owe anyone your time or your baby. So if family and friends start getting upset about who’s seeing the baby first, you’re NOT in the wrong here. Don’t feel guilty. This is your time and you and your baby’s needs are more important than that. You can assure everyone that they will meet your baby, when the time allows it.
5. Set Your Boundaries
It’s important to set your boundaries with friends and family. Be open and let them know what you expect out of these visits.
If you don’t want them holding your baby, for example – that’s OK. You’re allowed. This is your baby and you’re the mama.
If you feel uncomfortable doing so, you can tell them beforehand something of the sorts: “We’re so excited for you to come meet our new baby! As a new mama, I just want to let you know of a few things to keep in mind during the visit: For safety reasons, I would like for people not to kiss my baby. Also, I would like for everyone to wash their hands before holding them. Can’t wait to see you!”.
It might make you feel uncomfortable setting your boundaries, but you’ll need them. And you’ll feel good to have put them in place prior to when people come and visit your baby.
The arrival of a baby can be very exciting, and the whole circle of family and friends are probably eager to see your little one. But people might unknowingly, in their enthusiasm, be putting pressure on mothers to see the baby.
It can be a very stressful time to organize and schedule for your family and friends to come visit your baby. Jut remember, you’re allowed to say no or to set your own limits.
You did some hard work giving birth and are now having to take care of this new little human. Give yourself some time, mama!
How did you handle postpartum baby visits? Comment below!