Congratulations, you just gave birth to a newborn baby! Now, if you listen carefully, you will hear the stampede of family and friends running over to the hospital to see your new bundle of joy. Are you wondering about the best ways for handling visitors after birth? This post will share some ideas so you don’t have to be stressed out postpartum.
This is a guest post from Betty at Mombrite.
A new baby is exciting, and your loved ones are so happy for you. They want to share your excitement and get their hands on the baby.
However, a stream of visitors may be stressful for you and intrude on your bonding time as a family. It’s natural to want some privacy as you adjust to your new life as a mom.
Therefore, don’t feel guilty for not wanting to face so many visitors, especially in the hospital after you just pushed out your baby.
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Tips for Handling Visitors After Birth
Here are some great tips for handling visitors after birth so that you can enjoy your new bundle of love with your friends and family without feeling overwhelmed.
#1 – You are the Boss.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the in-laws, your mother, your best friend, or even the President himself who want to come to visit you at the hospital.
You are the one who just pushed a baby out.
You are the one who is breastfeeding and keeping your baby alive.
Hence, you are the boss.
The days after you give birth can be emotional and difficult. You are tired after hours of contractions and pushing, and you have just started recovering.
Don’t worry about hurting other people’s feelings – what’s important is that you take the time you need to heal and bond with your baby.
Therefore, it’s completely up to you who you want to come to visit you.
#2 – Make a Plan Before Birth
Instead of being stressed out about visitors after you give birth, talk with your spouse and make a plan before labor starts. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page so that he doesn’t invite anyone over who would cause you additional pressure.
Here are a few questions you may want to consider:
- Do you want any visitors at all at the hospital?
- If so, how many visitors a day would you like a day?
- When are the hospital visiting hours?
- What is the hospital visitor policy?
- How soon after you arrive at home do you want visitors?
- Who is coming from out of town?
#3 – Set Clear Boundaries
After establishing some guidelines with your spouse, communicate them to your family and friends. I know the conversation can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s much better to set clear boundaries before birth than turning someone away when they arrive at your doors.
The nice way to say no visitors after baby
Be honest with people and let them know how you feel. For example, I told my friends that since I will still be bleeding all over the place and have my boobs out most of the day breastfeeding, I would prefer if they can wait to see the baby after we go home.
There is always at least 1 person who will try and guilt you into allowing visitors.
Be strong and stick to your rules because remember, you and your baby are the only ones that matter.
#4 – Have a Gatekeeper
At the hospital, you will have enough mandatory “visitors” going in and out of your postpartum recovery room. I am talking about the endless stream of doctors and nurses coming to make sure you are recovering properly and that your baby is healthy.
In between nursing the baby and dealing with all the medical professionals, you will be overwhelmed as it is.
Therefore, have your husband, mother, or friend help with announcing the birth of the baby, sending updated pictures, and managing visitors so you can focus on your newborn.
Ask them to explain to the visitors that you appreciate their thoughts, but you are too exhausted right now to see anyone.
#5 – Prepare for the In-Laws
Dealing with the in-laws after the baby is born is a particularly sensitive area that you should discuss with your spouse before their arrival.
If you know that you and your in-laws tend to disagree when it comes to parenting and caring for a baby, then you may want to limit their stay to a short one.
To keep peace in the family, you may want to have your spouse run interference when it comes to communicating with his parents your desires.
Also, try and keep calm and confident that you are a good mom when hearing criticisms or unwanted advice from the in-laws.
#6 – Spread Out Your Visitors
You don’t want a flood of visitors to pour into the postpartum room, or your home all at once. And with how little time you get to sleep with a newborn, you need time to nap instead of dealing with visitors.
It sounds silly, but have people make “appointments” to come to see the baby so that you don’t have random family and friends dropping by and interrupting the little time you have to rest.
Limit the number of visitors you have a day so you can have some alone time with your baby.
#7 – Be Honest with Unexpected Visitors
No matter how much you plan, there are just some people who won’t listen and show up at your door without notice. Especially if you are in the middle of a breastfeeding session or dealing with a colicky baby, unexpected visitors can be very stressful.
If you are not up for visitors, politely ask your visitors to leave.
Empathize with their excitement to see the baby, but be honest about your feelings. Thank them for coming by, and ask for them to come another time when you are not as tired.
If you don’t mind the unexpected guests, do not feel the pressure that you are inviting people to a disorganized, chaotic home. People know you have your plate full and are happy to spend some time with you and the baby.
#8 – Don’t Worry About Entertaining Your Visitors
I know it feels weird to have people come to your home and not feed them or entertain them.
However, your only job right now is to take care of your baby and adjust to being a mother.
Your job is not to clean the house in preparation for visitors.
It is not to cook a fabulous meal or take your out-of-town visitors to local attractions.
In fact, your visitors should know that the only reason they are there is to help you out, not the other way around.
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#9 – Don’t Worry About How You Look
You are a tired, new mom who barely sleeps more than a couple of hours a night.
Don’t worry about putting on makeup or how your hair looks when people come over. After all, they are here to see the baby, not you.
I visited one of my friends recently who just gave birth. She opened the door in pajamas and had breast milk stains all over the front of her shirt. WHO CARES. We laughed it off and had a great time together.
#10 – Ask for Help
It takes a village, and people know that. So when people offer to help, take them up on it!
Do not feel guilty accepting help – your friends and family are happy to give you a hand in the most stressful time of your life.
I remember we just met one of our neighbors a few weeks before I gave birth. They were so nice and offered to walk my dog every day for me since they take a stroll around the neighborhood anyway after dinner. I felt so bad accepting their help, but then I realized that they love dogs and it really did not inconvenience them at all to walk my dog.
So ask away!
Ask if your friends can help bring some extra food so you don’t have to cook every day.
Ask your family if they can pick up some produce for you next time they do a grocery run.
If you have another kid, you can even ask someone to help look after him when you are breastfeeding the baby.
Just ask! If people really don’t want to help, they can always say no.
#11 – Do Not Allow Sick Visitors
Your newborn’s immune system is still very weak. Therefore, play on the safe side and discourage anyone who is sick from visiting.
Be extra careful and ask your friends and family to stay away even if they think the sneezing and coughing may be due to allergies.
Ask your visitors to wash their hands thoroughly before touching or holding the baby.
The last thing you want is a sick baby on your hands who cannot breastfeed because he can’t breathe through his nose.
#12 – Limit Contact with Kids
Unfortunately, kids are basically a cesspool full of germs. They carry sick germs from school and are constantly getting their hands dirty. In fact, some hospitals don’t even permit kids to visit unless they are siblings.
If your friends and family have kids and want to visit, try and keep the kids in a separate area away from the baby if possible.
If the kids ask to touch the baby, limit the contact to rubbing the baby’s belly or back – keep their little fingers away from the baby’s face.
#13 – It’s Okay to Say No to Visitors
With a new baby, it will take you and your spouse some time to adjust to being a parent.
It’s okay to say no to visitors until you are more comfortable nursing with others around or until you physically and mentally feel up to it.
I have some friends who preferred to have no visitors for at least two weeks after birth. They wanted time to bond with the baby and just be together as a family without visitors. I wanted to see the baby, but it’s not about me.
Trust me, people will understand, especially if they are parents themselves.
You are in Charge.
Just remember, no matter who the visitors are, you are in charge.
You decide who gets to visit, when they are allowed to come to visit, and how long they can stay when they do come to visit.
Having visitors is supposed to be fun as they help you celebrate the arrival of your little one.
With a little planning, you can get all the time you need alone with your new family and welcome visitors when you are ready.
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About the Author
Betty lives in SoCal with her husband and her two beautiful kids. She is a stay-at-home mom and a full time chauffeur who is constantly transporting her kids from one activity to another. She writes about pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting, and other motherhood topics on her blog, Mombrite.
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