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Support after birth?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for some ideas about support after birth. My DH starts a new job on Monday joy.gif and will still be a temporary employee in June, so he'll take a couple days off unpaid while we're at the hospital (already ok'd by the company), but we can't afford for him to take any extra time off... So it's quite likely that my first full day at home will also be a day with just me and Baby. Also on my mind - with my history of depression, I'm kind of high-risk for PPD (I'm hoping BFing will help minimize this risk). 

 

My thoughts so far include- 

My mom - I love her, she'd take time off, but she also has "ideas" about how I'm hoping to do things (like BFing on demand...) I'm thinking that might be stressful. Then again, I don't know how to ask her NOT to come stay with me...

 

PP Doula - we can't afford it - the only doulas I've found in my area run $800+ and aren't specifically Post-Partum. I do have a friend who's a doula a few states away, I might check with her and see if she has suggestions.

 

MIL - she's awesome, but I don't know if she's planning on helping at all. She works full time. 

 

SIL (my brother's wife) - she's a SAHM, with one kid part-time in school, the other full-time in school, and might be helpful, not sure how opinionated she'd be though, she's done the mainstream parenting thing. 

 

I've also got some great friends who are moms, but have 2+ kids under 9, and so it would be a little crazy. 

 

Any suggestions for a first-timer? I'm not even sure what kind of help I'll need, but I'm a little overwhelmed thinking about it.

post #2 of 10

im sort of wondering about this too. DP is a small business owner and doesnt get time off. he will close the shop for a couple of days if he can but thats it. my mom also owns her own shop and same thing. she has mentioned that she will probably be hiring someone once i cant work for her anymore, so she should be able to take a couple days off as well.

 

hopefully that will be enough. my mom is amazing and i want to raise my kids pretty much exactly how she raised me (natural attachment parenting before it was cool ;) ) so the more i can have her around the better.

post #3 of 10

I posted something similar on the "lying-in" thread.  My husband won't be able to take that much time off and my daughter will be out of school by the time the baby is born, so it will most likely be me with baby, 6 year old, and 2 dogs that want activity pretty quickly.  I am a bit intimidated about keeping everything up.  I know the meals and the house will fall by the wayside.  I hope this new baby wants to sleep sometimes.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I knew I had read someone else posting about this, but couldn't find it again. I keep going back to the suggestion from Dr. Sears that DH's main role in the first weeks is to support mom and help remove negative voices, overbearing guests, etc. Part of my worry is taking care of the dog and learning how to care for a newborn and taking care of myself, (the house can be a mess and the meals will be freezer meals or easy stuff as long as I can get prep done in May), and part of my worry is being pushed around or being overwhelmed by people. And things like - how do I sleep when baby sleeps, if guests keep arriving and the dog is barking and the phone keeps ringing? Or if I'm BFing, and the doorbell rings? Although - I did ask DH to disconnect the doorbell when we get home. He might have thought I was joking - I'm not. :)

post #5 of 10

It's a hard thing-- I'm trying to decide the same thing about my MIL and family as far as help goes.  It depends on how you're feeling about having people around (with DS I felt extroverted, but with this pregnancy not so much...)  You may want to consider keeping your friends "on-call".  You know?  Even with kids running around, it can be nice just to have someone grab a diaper or a glass of water, or bring over food.  Or, if you're feeling like you need calm, even just having someone stop in real quick, check on you, bring food or whatever and then leave might be nice.  Even with my want to people around with DS, I still could spend hours just watching him and resting... I'm not sure we know exactly if we'll want the peace-- or be bored out of our minds-- until we get there :)

 

On the mother thing-- man, that would stress me out.  It's annoying enough with other things, but to have someone question and contradict and "know better" about your parenting (especially as a new parent trying to follow your instinct, but not quite confident)... It brings out a stress like no other, at least for me.  Maybe some other ladies will weigh in on that.

 

You know-- this is an afterthought, but maybe if your husband could take time so instead of being there at the hospital where you won't need quite as much help, he could take the day you'll first be at home... that way you can settle in and kind of get a feel for how everything will be, but not by yourself...

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I hadn't thought about having DH work the day or so after the baby's born, and take off time to be home with us - that's a cool idea. I'll have to see what he thinks about that. I think we could afford 3, maybe 4 days off, so birthing day, then two days at home maybe... hmm. I'm a little afraid he'll feel left out not having the usual daddy-bonding time, and want to be really sensitive to that too. 

 

Thanks for sharing. And the mother thing, yeah, I'm worried that although I'm super confident now, give me a screaming baby or a little sleep deprivation or latch difficulties, and my mother shoving a bottle of formula at me won't be so shocking. you know? Or she'll introduce pacifiers or "let me sleep" even when Baby's hungry, all trying to be helpful. 

 

Looking forward to hearing other experiences with this! :)

post #7 of 10

Another suggestion would be to see if your DH can just take off afternoons for 4 days instead of 2 full days off.  Then you just have to get yourself through the morning.  And if you schedule a visitor each day for 1 hour or so, that will help you out.  Just make sure they come in the morning (and bring you breakfast! ;) )  I also agree with having him there for the birth and then that day in the hospital, but you will have nurses in and out and maybe other visitors too.  It's not as overwhelming in the hospital as it is at home.   Would it be weird if you asked your MIL to take a day off (or two) to come help you out?  If you don't think it'd be weird, I definitely do that - she might want to, but not want to intrude on your space.

post #8 of 10
I think the half day idea is a great one, we've done something similar in the past and it really helps just to break up that alone time. As far as people visiting, you could put a sign on the front door saying "mother and baby sleeping" and they can just come back another time! And you should definitely have a refrigerator list of jobs that need doing (washing up, sorting laundry etc) for visitors.

Another good idea is a meal train - you could ask a friend to organize it. They send out emails to all your friends asking who can commit to bringing round a cooked meal for the family. People sign up for a specific day (maybe the Monday after the baby comes, the organizer informs everyone) and they can even drop it off on your doorstep if you can't make it to the door. It's a great way for friends and family to help without being intrusive and at a time that suits them best.

Maybe you could ask your mother to do specific things to help, like stuff around the house. Then you might be able to focus her energies! These family things are always hard though. Have you told her honestly how you are feeling? She might be able to hold herself back if she knew how important it was to you.
post #9 of 10

half days off are a good idea if possible. :)




stock up on paper plates and utensils now. Get organized with lists of MUST do items for DH each night.

Stock your freezer starting NOW! Breakfast/lunch items and dinners. make a grocery list template with the things you'll need weekly for snacks, sandwiches etc so DH can go 1x per week

 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Lots of great ideas! Thanks :-)

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