Look, not everyone wants to be bombarded with well-meaning family members immediately after birth.
Some moms do, but many moms feel like they want to spend the days and hours immediately after birth bonding as a family unit.
Here are a few ways you can ask for what you need. (NEVER feel bad for stating your needs – this is your time with your baby and your family!)
Assign a family member to stand guard. It might be your husband, or your mom – someone you know has a strong backbone to let people know if/when they can visit.
Make a Facebook post. Copy and paste this. “We appreciate all your thoughts and love as we welcome baby (name), but we want to spend quality time as a family of 5 before (partner) returns to work. If anyone wants to stop by, please text or call first to make sure we’re awake and accepting visitors. Thank you so much for your understanding!”
Wait a day. Get that sweet, precious bonding time as a family. You don’t have to entertain guests, or be shy whipping out a boob. It’s your time – you can’t get it back. Make the memories you want!
Schedule a “Meet the Baby” gathering. Set a day 2 to 7 days after birth to have your loved ones over to visit. Delegate: ask them to bring snacks, empty the trash, or do the dishes. You can even put up a “new baby!” sign on the front door that mentions new baby etiquette (like don’t stay too long, bring food, clean something) if you don’t prefer to be direct.
Don’t tell anyone! Seriously. If you don’t let anyone know you’re in labor, or the baby’s born, then no one can surprise visit while you’re in labor, or getting stitched up, or snuggling that baby. You and your partner can bond, your kids can meet their sibling, and you can get to know your new baby. Taking the time immediately after birth to bond and connect as a family can even help set the tone for your first days and weeks postpartum.
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I hope some of these ideas help, and remember, you’re not alone if you feel like you want some solitude after birth. Think about what your perfect scenario looks like, talk to your partner about it, and come up with a plan to get what you need.