Hi ladies again,
I need your advise/experiences on how to handle visitors after homebirth.
the main difference with hospital birth is that there is no official visiting hours and people are more at ease to stay longer in a house compared to a small hospital room. finally, people expect to be served when visiting someone.
I guess there is 2 types of visitors:
1) those that are really close friends/family, that are important to me and I would like them to see my baby soon after birth (my sister, good friend, parents, my DH mom etc). they are usually helpful, would clean and cook and take care of me, but still, i would appreciate to have good periods of time daily where we are alone with baby, my DH and our DS.
How did you deal with this kind of helpful visits?
2) those that are not too close to me, that I know from work, friends, family, I don't see them often usually....but I was surprised to see them the day of my first birth in the hospital!
this time, my plan is to ask my family to not announce the birth to others until we are ready to receive visits.
How did you deal with that kind of visitors at home?
I live pretty far from family and friends, so we had almost no visitors after the birth, and I would have loved some company! I really resented that my best friends mom that lived nearby, said before the birth that she would come keep me company for a few days after my husband went back to work, but then didn't when the time came. Though she did come with my friend to see the baby on day 3 and brought pizza and did some dishes.
That said, I know there can be issues with "hosting". Perhaps an email birth announcement sent the day after telling people that you will receive visitors at exactly such and such times, and that it would be helpful if they brought or prepared some food and/ or did some housework.
And absolutely refuse to play hostess. Sit on the couch, or in bed with the baby and do not get up or offer anything. Tell people to come in and make themselves at home and "btw could you make me some tea"?
I heard of a family that posted a sign on the front door with that type of message and had a curious water delivery guy check it out and then leave a free jug on their step!
I think its good to tackle this problem now - i had a horrible postpartum experience with my last baby! My DH kept telling me that his parents were going to want to come over right after the birth - i said that was fine...i had no idea it would be his parents, his grandmother, his two brothers AND a family friend! i sat on a dining room chair (im sorry, this still enrages me, after having a baby i dont get the recliner? maybe the couch? ) they passed him around "like a joint at a Phish show" i missed all sorts of subtle feeding cues and as a result had a few days of trouble breastfeeding him!
He was born at 2:30 PM, they arrived at 6PM - with no dinner, never offered to get us anything, never even offered to go wash their hands before passing the baby around. My DH had to wait on them - so there was little time for him to wait on ME. I was pretty upset by it all ! (hmmmm, hard to tell eh?)
#1 be on teh same page with your husband - DEFINE 'immediate family"
#2 give them a time slot. Maybe Mom and Sis can come in the AM and the inlaws can come over in the early evening
#3 you dont have to post the birth announcement on FB or anywhere else - wait a few days - or when people call to ask if they can come over tell them baby is nursing A LOT right now and maybe they can come over in a week or two.
It really surprises me how people do not know to leave a new family ALONE!
Sorry this is long but one last thing to add: I had two children with my first husband, one at a BC and one at home. My XH had been put in an isolette at birth and his parents were not allowed to touch him for 24 hours! ( i know, it probably explains why he is such a miserable creep...) but my Ex - in laws were so reverent when they first held their grandchildren - they talked in hush tones, they gazed at teh baby, they were so amazed to be holding them when each was only an hour old - and they left after ten minutes....to me that was a great postpartum visit!!
good luck OP!
I say lay it out in advance and have a sign on the door announcing baby's info and something about how mom and baby are resting, leave a note and we'll be touch when we are able to.
My first was born in the hospital-induction turned c/section. I was in recovery shaking and puking and not able to nurse or hold my own baby, and people wanted to see him. I had DH hold him up to the window for my grandma so she would leave, but i did not want anyone to see me. He was born on a Saturday morning after 20 hours of labor. After I felt a bit better, people came in 2 at a time to see us briefly. DH's parents said they would come soon. We got settled in a room and I was having more nausea and issues with pain control. I didn't want to sleep because I kept thinking the inlaws would show up. They finally did-after 6 hours! From this I learned to pin visitors down on a time or give them a time frame to come. The next afternoon (Sunday after church) I had 15 people in my room. This was nice and all, but when the lactation consultant came around, I wasn't able to talk to her or assertive enough to aske everyone to leave. I really could have used help from the LC after all the conflicting and crappy advice from the nurses. From this I learned to SPEAK UP!
DD was born at home at 4pm on a Saturday. It was 6 or 7pm before we got the calls out, and we just said we would be glad to have visitors the following afternoon. People were fine with this. Some people offered to bring stuff. I hadn't left the bedroom yet, so it didn't feel like I was entertaining. When my midwife came to check on us, everyone cleared out. It was good.
So I will agree with previous posters:
1. Nail people down on what time they are coming, and make sure they know you have first dibs on your new baby.
2. Don't be afraid to say what you need, whether it be privacy or more Kotex from Walgreens.
3. Just say NO! No, that time will not work for us. No, we are not up for company today.
Another friend of mine had some initial breastfeeding issues as well. She says the next time around she will insist on no visitors in the hospital so she can snuggle topless with her baby to get things going in those first few days. I thought it sounded like a great plan.
I saw on another post that you are a healthcare provider. I am a nurse. I had WAY more visitors in the hospital just because people would stop by on their lunch, break, whatever. Those people are much less likely to come to your home for a visit. It is not as convenient or comfortable for them. People that come see you at home are sincere in wanting to visit.
I think I need to be more assertive.
Yesterday, we had a good talk about it with DH.
we will not announce the birth to more distant people until 48hrs after. and won't announce to my parents until 2hours after birth....they live 200km from us, and I don't have a super good relationship with my mom, so their visit is not a positive thing. However, they will come with my sister that I love very much, and would not be able to wait for her to see her new nephew!
I remember also after my first birth having super hard time with breastfeeding, and I couldn't find good times to do it because their seemed to always be someone visiting....and I was self conscious then.
Now, I will be at my home, so I could just go upstairs and isolate myself with the baby after I am done seeing visitors or I want to breastfeed. Also, after 28 months of breastfeeding DS, I am super comfortable to do it in public if I wanted to.
But I guess, I could use it as an excuse to ask people to leave (even though they all seen me breastfeed a 2 y.o in public with no problem ).
I think,I will just go upstairs after few minutes when I feel like I need privacy. I just don't want my DH to spend all day looking after visitors instead of being with us......
oh, and I have tried the: ''can you prepare me a cup of tea'' last time....it didn't work. They would say: ',where do you put your tea pot, your cups, your sugar, your tea, your spoons etc...'' (I ended up just doing it).
but again, it depends which category of visitors. My close friend, sister and MIL where very very helpfull. But my MIL stayed way too long with us, even if she did all the cooking, some days, I preferred to just order a pizza, and have a day off without her.
Your midwifes don't hang a note on your door? Ohhh they really should. The notice ours puts up was somewhat embarrassing at first- but really is awesome. Something like glad you came- wash your hands- mama and baby need rest. Enjoy your 15 minute visit but make sure to make yourself useful by washing some dishes or doing some laundry or cooking something. IowaOrganic is not your hostess now.
She also recommends that new moms wear a nightgown or bathrobe for the first week. I didn't do that and did get somewhat sucked into the hostess trap. I am making myself several new cute ones for this time around because of that...
This is a great piece of advice. If you're in your nightie, people are far less likely to stick around for hours on end. I had that problem with my DBIL with DS. He's a bachelor and had no idea how exhausted I was or that he really should go... and after 3ish hours he finally left, and I was just ready to cry.
My plan is to communicate clearly with all the close family about what I need from them pp. A lot of it is going to be around what DS needs so he doesn't feel left out. I'm also planning on having a Mother's Blessing party, at which point I hope to bring it up with friends. I don't expect anyone else to really be dropping by.
But then I'll also have at least 1 doula, an IBCLC, the MW, DS' therapists, and DH going in and out from day to day. And a set of grandparents that will show up a couple weeks pp and stay a week or two to help out.
For my birth the midwife didn't put a sign up on the door because I told my parents, siblings, and parent-in-laws that no one was allowed to announce the birth of the baby until DH and I said so. So therefore no one except immediate family knew she was even born until she was a couple days old. Then when we had people wanting to come over I just kept my bathrobe on and no one stayed more than an hour. No one did anything around the house for us but I wasn't too worried because I didn't even offer them a drink because I didn't want to deal with the extra dishes. Honestly I think the easiest way to avoid guests is to ONLY tell those people who you wouldn't mind nursing in front of, or mind them cleaning your things, or you just really want to actually see them. Everyone else can wait a couple days or even a week, that way you can space out guests to a nice pace for you. Good luck!