November 29, 2016
Giving birth is hard work. Whether you have a peaceful home birth, an emergency C-section, or something in between, you’ve just done something completely amazing. And completely exhausting! Once it’s over, all you want is to snuggle with your precious new baby, but suddenly you’re faced with the onslaught of well-meaning visitors.
Let me tell you a secret: you don’t have to! 😱
It’s totally okay to just say no to visitors.
It isn’t rude or unfair. While some family members may protest – some new moms will definitely have a mother (or mother-in-law) try to claim their perceived rightful spot because “it’s their grandbaby!” – it isn’t up to them. It’s up to YOU. Well, you and your partner, because it is YOUR baby.
So why should you just say no?
Those first hours and days are so precious. (That’s why I love birth photography so much!) You’re getting to know your baby – and your baby is getting to know you. It’s a whole series of firsts. First feeding, first diaper, first bath, first sneeze… everything is new and you want to soak it all in. That’s hard to do when you also have to entertain visitors.
Speaking of feeding, it’s so much easier to figure out what you’re doing without an audience! Especially if you’re nursing. Those early newborn days tend to be a blur of feedings and diaper changes, and if you’re like most new nursing moms, you tend to be half-dressed most of the time because your baby is constantly on and off your breast. Visitors can make nursing more stressful. Do you need to cover up? How do you even cover up and also make sure your baby is latching correctly? And if you don’t feel comfortable trying to nurse in the same room as visitors, you’re relegated to the nursery or your bedroom. It’s your house! You shouldn’t have to hide
But most of all, it’s okay to say no to visitors because you shouldn’t have to host anyone. You’re dealing with enough just recovering from birth and getting to know (and care for) your new baby. You shouldn’t have to worry about how visitors feel, how your house looks, if there’s toilet paper in the guest bathroom…it can all be too much! People should be taking care of you right now, not the other way around.
Of course, if you want visitors that’s a whole other story! Some people thrive surrounded by friends and family, and welcome the company. The point is you should do what is right for you and your new family. If that means absolutely no visitors, that’s totally okay. If that looks like a crowd every afternoon, go for it. Or more likely, you’re somewhere in between.
You can decide who is allowed to visit.
And hopefully those people will be the ones bringing food, offering to help with laundry, and doing everything they can to help you!
Just know that it is okay to do what you want. It’s okay to say no!