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Mothering › Groups › February 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › postpartum visitors

postpartum visitors

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So, I just got a phone call from my sister saying, "surprise," she booked a flight and will be here the day before my due date.  I have very mixed feelings about this.  It was never discussed.  We talked about her coming for a visit but not when.  I always hinted (not very well I guess) that a visit in March would be great.


My mom will already be here.  This was discussed and agreed upon.  My mom is calming and laid back.  She will be a welcomed presence postpartum and before if LO is late.


I love my sister and we get along pretty well.  She is very knowledgeable about nutrition and herbs, she is super creative and musical.  She has been a great resource and support throughout my pregnancy.  I appreciate her and her talents.  But, she has a tendency to be slightly self-centered and is very outspoken.  She has already said half jokingly "it's not about you, it's about me and my niece or nephew."   I am pretty easy going and soft spoken, so I need to have a strong idea of what I want and have a plan for handling her suggestions and input.


I know that I do not want her in the delivery room and I am apprehensive about what she expects and how she will interfere in our early bonding time.  


I understand that she is extremely excited and I don't want to hurt her feelings.  This is the first niece/nephew for our siblings.  But I don't want it to cause any unneeded stress for my labor, DH, or our first days with our baby.


Any suggestions on how to talk with her about it, set boundaries?  Am I being too sensitive or selfish?  

post #2 of 8
I so understand the way you feel. Somehow our close friends and relatives sort of assume that they have as much of a right to be there and help as we do to have the baby!!

We are dealing with similar boundary issues with this birth, primarily with my mom whom i love dearly but whose personality is more self centered and less supportive in a birth situation. I try to set boundaries by passing the suggestion off on my MW. (My MW told me to do this). Like, "My Midwife has really stressed to the importance of privacy and bonding between me, dh and the baby after the birth. She even suggests that other people not hold the baby for quite a while after the birth." Can't argue with expert advice and can't take it personally!
I think this is one situation where we as women feel like we need to take care of everyone when we really need to be focused on ourselves and the task at hand and not other people's feelings. We need to be comfortable asking someone else to take care of those well intentioned interferers. Be it a doula, MW, husband, nurse, we need to be comfortable asking them to be guardians of us and our births, pp, etc...

I guess I'm still figuring it out too, just my thoughts.
post #3 of 8
Oh and no you're definitely not being too sensitive or selfish, you're being honest.
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by molive View Post

Oh and no you're definitely not being too sensitive or selfish, you're being honest.

^^true dat^^


talking to your mother and sister about what you expect for labor and after birth isn't a bad idea.  


(my sister called, asking if she could come out around/after due date, and i said 'sure' and then she said 'and there's a boy i want to bring' and i was floored.  new baby, or pregnant mama, and hosting boyfriends?  um, wtf?  i was polite, but my head still spins that she even asked!)


I've found expressing very clearly to all who expect to be on hand is key to good postpartum support.  I usually am direct that I need help to wash laundry and put it away, to clean kitchen floors and other household chores, and to let me and baby snuggle and sleep.  that my job is to hold baby and snuggle and sleep, and baby's job is to be learning to nurse and sleep and rest w/ mama w/ occasional visits to other people's arms.  though this mama (on baby number 5) doesn't usually let baby go to another room for a day or two unless it's Daddy!  Expressing your need for privacy, for quiet, and for whatever else you do need (and you do need it!) is important!  don't worry about offending or coming across as uptight- this is a very delicate shift and you can be sure some feelings might be a little wounded, but that's not the most important thing.  if you speak in love and expressing why you are thinking this way, then you hopefully can have a wonderful and extra supported experience!

post #5 of 8
I let everyone know we are having a nesting week. My family booked flights that arrive near the due date but they are planning to stay elsewhere and do side trips until they get the signal that it's ok to arrive here. I know they will be yearning to get here but so far everyone is respecting the plan. Hopefully you can assert a rule that will help you hold onto some control over when people arrive.
post #6 of 8

we are also not having any visitors for a few days after baby is born. my in-laws are coming to get the boys during labor, and our "plan" is once baby is here and we are all cleaned up and settled and rested (whenever we determine that to be) we will have them come back and they can meet the baby and also have my mom come meet the baby. After that, we want about 48 hours to ourselves (other than maybe the grandparents helping out with the boys).. we haven't really told anyone, but we will once baby is born and we send the "announcement" via text. something along the lines of "we welcomed baby T into the world at XYZ time, etc etc.. and we would love to have visitors starting XYZ day" ..this is our third baby, so I have no qualms this time about making people wait. I didn't get a peaceful bonding time in the beginning with either baby, and I so regret that.

post #7 of 8

Definitely say something or you'll regret it. I think it's a great idea to slough off the burden onto your MW and stress that intimate space is really important for birth and bonding and those are the "orders" you are under. I think it all depends on your sister's personality too-- does she appreciate bluntness? Or do you have to put on kid gloves in order not to hurt her feelings? I'm assuming from your post that she doesn't have children of her own, and therefore hasn't BTDT herself, and she probably doesn't realized that her presence, even though you love her, could cause stress. If she does end up coming, I like HoP's suggestion of relegating her to house chores or errands because that *is* how she can be most helpful.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the great advice and encouragement.  DH and I have talked a lot about it and I feel much better.  I think I was partly still in shock from the surprise.  It is such a delicate and special time and I don't want to have any regrets.  (Or at least as few as possible.)  I know that my sister just wants to be helpful and supportive, so I will make sure she knows how best to do that for us.  I have an appointment with my MW on Wed and will get her input, too.  I like the suggestion of using the authority of the MW and her recommendations. 

I still have to talk with my sister but I am confident in telling her what we need and why we need it.  If I express my thoughts and needs lovingly and honestly, I don't think any feelings will be hurt.  

Now that I'll be someone's mom, I'll have to get used to being more assertive and confident in knowing what is best for our family.  


My mom told me that my sister is planning on a getting a hotel room, so she's aware of our need for privacy and space on some level.  

At least she's not trying to bring a new boyfriend :)  

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