Most of us love the attention we receive when our new baby arrives and the overwhelming support our family and friends give. Although most of the the people closest to us often mean well, sometimes that same attention we love can feel overwhelmingly stressful and sometimes intruding. I mean, how can you blame them? They’re almost as excited as you are to meet baby.
You may know the scene all too well, baby arrives into his new world and seconds later here comes 25 of your closest family and friends to greet him! Now perhaps this sounds lovely to you, but for many new moms the thought of having a crowd play witness to the first precious (and critical) moments of life doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. In my experience, having anyone other than my husband, doula and doctor in our space seemed unnecessary. Think about what happens during those first few hours after delivery. Baby is trying to latch, sometimes unsuccessfully, placenta is being delivered, you may be hooked up to machines, nurses are trying to get you to pee and supporting new mom. Just needing time alone to bond with your new tiny person was enough reason to hold this space sacred for just us. For me, I just kept thinking this is what feels most natural for me.
I’ve given birth twice and each time I had a different experience. The first time, my family traveled in from out of state and came right to the hospital and arrived almost exactly as I pushed baby out. Then came the in-laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends, all at one time! My second pregnancy I knew what I wanted and didn’t want. I wanted the time to be alone with just us. I knew the time to be alone with just baby #2 would be few and far between because I already had a rambunctious toddler at home who would soon need more attention than ever. I knew to what to expect during recovery. That sitting in soaked sheets while greeting visitors was not something I wanted to experience again. I just wanted uninterrupted attention from my husband. Yes, you’ve heard those stories of giving birth (how dare you) during playoffs and now your SO is playing host to a tailgate party in your hospital room! For me, I just needed us to bond, just me, my hubby and baby and that’s all.
I know, I know, there are people in our lives that have been waiting for baby to arrive too. But these are precious moments for you and baby and who you include in these moments is your choice. There will, hopefully, be many days that your tribe will surround you and baby and shower you with love. I know that feelings may be hurt and others will completely understand. My decision to protect my space wasn’t about anyone else. It wasn’t about excluding anyone. This moment is yours and only yours to determine what environment you feel most natural during and after delivery.
Ideas for supporting new mom after delivery:
- Plan meal support with friends and family – Food Tidings
- Ask to help around the house or hold baby while momma gets a shower or meal for herself
- Bake lactation cookies (Most thoughtful gift I received after birth! Thanks Lindsay A.!) – Try Milk Miracles by Conscious Dining
What are your favorite ways to support a new mom after birth?