After our last homebirth, our midwife had put a note on the door that very nicely asked visitors for some respect. Things like keeping the visit around 15 minutes, hand washing, not to come if you are sick, remember that we are all resting and recouping and to pitch in around the house. Well, the note went basically ignored and DH and I felt extremely disrespected by his family esp. MIL said she only bothered to read to the point where the note said to only stay for 15 minutes, laughed and didn't bother to read the rest. Almost no one washed their hands, even though we made a point to ask. No one brought over a meal or did a thing to help out around the house, though they had no problem eating our food and leaving dishes around. GFIL had a cold but came in and stayed for at least an hour and a half, though he at least did not hold DS.
Our mw warned us that this could happen, though I don't think either DH or I expected his family to really be so disrespectful about the whole thing. She recommened that we hang out in our bathrobes only, esp DH, and to make sure a little of his chesthair shows since that tends to scare away visitors! DH decided early on to do that this go around, but we also decided to put a note on the door from him and I to reinforce what the note from the birth teams states. I'm thinking about sending out an email in the next week instead, to get the "rules" out there now so no one gets to our door and is blindsided by anything.
Here's what I wrote out, if you would please read it and let me know what you think, I'd appreciate it!
Rob and I just wanted to take a minute to lay out a few “ground rules”, if you will, regarding visitation after Baby is born sometime in the next few weeks.
First, please wash your hands before holding Baby. Hand washing is nonnegotiable since germs a mature immune system could fight off may become a serious illness to a newborn’s new and very weak immune system. For the same reason, we ask that you please do not visit if you are ill or suspect you are ill, even if it is only a minor cold. Once you are sure you are not ill, you are welcome to come by and visit.
Second, please limit visits to 30 minutes. Mama and baby especially will be recovering and in need of plenty of rest. This is also a very special bonding time for our family, with Rob, myself, Maddie and Isaac getting to know Baby. We ask that you please respect our need and desire to babymoon.
Third, please do not hesitate to help out around the house. Bringing over a meal, throwing a load of laundry in, doing the dishes, etc would not only be extremely helpful, we would be extremely grateful for the assistance!
Fourth, please feel free to help yourself to refreshments during your visit. Cups and plates are in the cabinet, food and drinks are in the fridge. Please be sure to put any used dishes into the kitchen.
Fifth, please remove your shoes in the entryway. Shoes are extremely germ laden and with Isaac playing on the floor and putting things in his mouth, we want to limit his exposure to germs and illness.
Sixth, we ask that you please call us to plan your visit several hours in advance. That way we will know when to expect you and be able to plan our food and rest in accordance. Also, please do not be offended if we ask to schedule your visit at a different time. Not only will Rob, Baby and I need our rest, but so will Maddie and Isaac. We will be attempting to stick with their normal routine as much as possible to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter! This is a very special event in our lives and we look forward to sharing it with you!
All our Love,
Rob and Rachael