Politely turning down hospital guests - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 05-03-2013, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pretty sure what I'm asking for is impossible, but hopefully not.

 

I'm wondering if there is a polite way to tell friends and family that I do not want visitors the first day after the baby is born. I would prefer not to have them the first few days but H thinks that's mean and his family won't understand. So we compromised in saying that I don't want visitors while I am in the hospital, whether that is 1 or 3 days who knows. 

 

My reasoning is that I feel that the first days are very important for bonding. I've read that most of that having too much company passing the new baby around  can overwhelm both baby and mom causing harder BF, post-partum depression, hormone release issues. I've read different things saying this can occur within the first few hours to the first few days. Also, I don't know visiting in the hospital just seems weird to me. I always waiting until my nieces and nephews came home, in a place that's more comfortable and energetically stable. At least once I was able to drive and make my own decision e.g. my first nephew was born when I was 8 so I went to the hospital with my parents.

 

I don't mean to push my ideals on other people yet at the same time I don't want to feel overwhelmed more than I already will after LO is born. Thoughts? Suggestions on how to "break the news?" Or just tell me I'm being super selfish if that's you're opinion :)

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#2 of 17 Old 05-03-2013, 06:44 AM
 
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I don't think you're being selfish at all. If this is your first baby, you really have no way of knowing how you'll feel after your baby is born.
From my experience, I found that people generally don't snatch your baby away and if you don't offer, they don't get to hold your baby wink1.gif
Also, it didn't really sink in for me until after my son was actually born, but you're with your newborn 24 hours a day now at that point. Anyone coming to visit will just be there for a few minutes out of that 24 hours so it won't effect your bond at all. When we were all born, we were put into a bin in a nursery and only brought to our moms to feed, we were all fine smile.gif
We all want to be the best moms possible to our babies but trust me, you're not doing yourself any favors by researching things that can effect your bond smile.gif ...don't waste any time wondering if a bottle or a stranger holding your baby will have any effect on your bond. Babies will bond with anyone who loves them.
My son is a c-section baby so by all calculations, I shouldn't be physically capable of loving him (according to some researchers lol) but we're just as attached, if not more, than any other moms who did everything "right". If he was any more attached to me, he would have crawled back inside.
If people do insist on holding your baby, you may want to use that time to go to the bathroom or shower. You'll have to do that at some point anyway and someone will have to hold your baby. When you're done, you can just say "ok I miss him now, give him back!" And everyone will think it's cute and not rude.
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#3 of 17 Old 05-03-2013, 06:53 AM
 
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Honestly, I loved that people visited me in the hospital because at the hospital they felt the need to leave after 15-20 minutes. When the visit at home, they want to stay for what seems like forever. I've known people to say "no visitors" at the hospital and all a grandparent to organize a sort of "welcome home" gathering to be there when you arrive home, which kept them occupied while they were in the hospital. Plus, while a gathering seems overwhelming, it gets most people out of your hair in just a couple of hours instead of a constant stream of visitors for several days. We did something similar with my first (not that it was intended, it just happened that way) and while I was in the hospital my house got cleaned, food got made, and I arrived home to flowers and chocolate :)   (and a whole bunch of people...) I took a shower, blowdried my hair, and spent about 45 minutes letting people hold the baby and then when I got ready to nurse her, it was amazing how many people sped out the door :)  ! 

 

But, if you want to break it gently, just say "Mom doesnt want anyone to visit while we are at the hospital because we want to use that time to make sure that she can get some rest and that breastfeeding is going well. You are welcome to join us at our house after we get home."


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#4 of 17 Old 05-03-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Escape, It's not something that I searched initially it came up in an online birth class that I signed up for. I looked into it after that thinking "that sounds pretty extreme." It wouldn't be my first reason as to why I don't want people to visit me, honestly. The main point is just that I don't feel like I want people to for some reason. Plus I feel if I say this I will have more visitors at home when I could really use the short term baby sitting to shower, do laundry, take a nap etc.

 

Adaline Mama, That welcome home party idea sounds nice. I don't know. I see your point with hospitals being less of a visit.... if 15-30 minutes is the norm now I'm wondering if anyone would even bother to visit me anyways since the location is about an hour from most everyone's homes. 

 

I have no clue what I am going to feel like since this is my first child. I guess what I'm trying to do is reserve the right to not want visitors and if I do I figure H can call people and invite them. It's better to give a heads up beforehand than make someone mad the day of when they ask what time visiting hours are. 

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#5 of 17 Old 05-03-2013, 10:43 AM
 
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Remember, this is you and your baby's birth experience.  It will only happen once and now is not the time to worry about hurt feelings!  I chose to tell my friends and family to just wait for our phone call, and we would call when we were ready for visitors.  I did make an exception for my mother and sister to come see the baby right after her birth, I gladly let them take turns holding my precious newborn, when the nurse walked in and announced that my baby had some serious results from her blood work and she was immediately taken to NICU for four of the longest most tear filled days of my life.  I wish I had used those first few hours to snuggle my baby, not share her with family to please them.  THIS IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AND YOU AND YOUR BABY COME FIRST :)  now is the time to follow your instincts and listen to your inner voice, its what is going to get you through the next 18 years and beyond!  brightest blessings!

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#6 of 17 Old 05-03-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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If you don't want visitors in the hospital, that is not forcing your ideals on anyone. That is asking them to respect your boundaries. To me, this sounds like an opportunity for you and your husband to practice making a decision together based on what's good for your family, and to defend that regardless of what outsiders (ie, his family, or your family, or whoever) think. In fact, this very issue was one of the first places I had to take a stand against my family when I had my first baby.

I had an unplanned c-section after a very traumatic labor. After the birth, I was exhausted. I didn't request no visitors, but my mother visited when I was sleeping, and my husband asked her not to wake me or the baby. She waited until he wasn't around, and came into the room with a total stranger to me (her best friend from work -- she was on her lunch break), and woke my sleeping baby just to take his picture! We ended up asking her to leave, and she was very offended, but we felt it was important to take a stand to protect the boundaries of our family.

Later, we asked for no visitors at home for the first couple of days. Like I said, I was exhausted. My mother actually showed up at our apartment, without even calling, and we refused to let her in. My grandmother called to tell me how selfish I was being, and how I was hurting my mother's feelings. It was very hard for me because I have never been close to my mother, and I really want to be, but it took several incidents of simply refusing to bend to her will before she accepted that I am an adult with a husband and children, and she has to treat me with respect. Even if she wouldn't do things the same way.

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#7 of 17 Old 05-04-2013, 10:44 PM
 
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" I guess what I'm trying to do is reserve the right to not want visitors"

 

I think this is very wise. Giving people a heads up now may head off bad feelings after the birth.


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#8 of 17 Old 05-05-2013, 07:43 PM
 
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I really love my family and friends and was very proud of my newborn.  But I was totally overwhelmed with visitors as a first time mom, I wish I could have limited it to a handful only.  Some people love lots of people coming, actually most people I personally know do, I guess I was just not one of those people.  I was throwing up recovering from childbirth/c section and didn't have privacy.  I was learning to nurse and 7 people were in the room hanging out.  At one point nurses put a sign up, do not disturb right in the middle of the door with the door shut, and people just kept coming in anyway to hold the baby and talk.  Some people I didn't even know who they were and they brought a few kids to hold my newborn.  I would wake up and people would be standing in the room looking at me.  

When at home if I had any advanced notice at all (what I mean by that is they didn't just show up and ring the doorbell waking us up to hold the baby) I declined to let people visit right away, telling them another time would be better, in almost every case they got very upset at me, in a few cases it got really ugly.  This was sad since I wanted them to visit and would have loved to see them, just not right then for very valid reasons.  Handling the amount of visitors was one of the most stressful parts of having a newborn for me.  If you feel like this might be an issue, best to deal with it before that moment comes.  You will probably end up making people mad, as most people just have goodwill and want to welcome your baby.  And that is wonderful to have friends and family like that, it really is, but if you will be stressed out and overwhelmed you might need to set some boundaries now even though it will make people upset.  


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#9 of 17 Old 05-11-2013, 03:21 PM
 
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I heartly agree with reserve your right now to say no to visitors. But be open (though prehapse not with them) to changing your mind.

 

With my first I was in the hospital for two or three days and I was bored. I could not wait for my parents to get there the next morning. Newborns are wonderful and snugly, but they also sleep a lot.

My dad got over his squemishness about watching me try to figure out how to nurse. It was wonderful to see my parents (who I have a great relationship with) become grandparents. They could also keep me company and take my husband out to get some real food. But it was just my parents who came to visit, not the entire village.

 

With my second, we were just in the hospital overnight and the only visitor was our pastor who came to drive us home (and get her baby snuggles in first)

 

Most nurses will work with you to limit and kick people out and nowhere has security like the postpartum floor.


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#10 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 08:55 AM
 
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I thought I wouldn't want visitors, but I was desperately lonely in the hospital and wanted them very badly! Unless your in-laws are odious (maybe they are), perhaps it wouldn't hurt to have them come and see you!

 

Your baby is with you every minute, whether you want him or not, lol. That's where the bond comes from. It can't be wrecked by having other people in his presence for a few minutes.

 

On the other hand, if you decide you don't want any visitors, tell your husband to tell his family that you are very weak and not "up to" seeing anyone yet. People have a healthy respect for doctors, so he can always say that the doctors suggested you have no visitors until you get home.

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#11 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 09:49 AM
 
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You don't need to tell anyone they aren't welcome ahead of time. Just have your partner send a text after the baby is born and say you are excited to see everyone when you get home. I doubt anyone will visit you unless you invite them.

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#12 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post

You don't need to tell anyone they aren't welcome ahead of time. Just have your partner send a text after the baby is born and say you are excited to see everyone when you get home. I doubt anyone will visit you unless you invite them.

 

I like this! I think my siblings and sibling-inlaws would be fine with this but my parents and his would not be.

 

My mom is still reeling over the fact that I "might" not  want her in the delivery room and my MIL said that she would be very offended if I don't call her when I am in labor so she can get ready to go visit me. When I said I might not want any visitors she responded "Oh that's fine. We can wait a few hours especially since your hospital is an hour drive anyways!"

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#13 of 17 Old 05-14-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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I've been wondering about this too, and I think it boils down to the fact that the nature of those relationships in the past will go on with no reverence to your special day.

If your network is good with boundaries, they'll politely accept whatever you propose. If you have issues with respect, they will continue and even peak because of everyone's heightened emotions.

No one who had problems has mentioned the role of partner as bouncer yet though -- and I cannot imagine being expected to do this myself!!

By all means get two people on your side who 100% respect your boundaries and tell them who's "on the list" an who isn't! And if they fail to keep someone at bay, let them know you need them to try harder.

We haven't made a final decision yet, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of a "welcome home" party to consolidate the bigger groups of people who will want to visit.

My mom is staying with us, so I know she'll be around for early labor and probably within the first hour of birth, depending on how I feel. I am guessing I will want her support even more if I feel bad, but who knows.

I am more torn about my MIL/FIL. I love them very much and this is their first grandchild, so I don't want to deprive them of being there, and I REALLY don't want to deprive my husband of their support if he needs it. However, I am a lot less comfortable being around them in a vulnerable state.

Everyone else can wait 'till we get home! We probably won't even tell them about the birth until we've gotten settled in for a little while anyway, and then I am pretty sure they'd be the sort to ask what's OK rather than assuming we want revolving door visitors.

We're lucky to be introverts from introvert immediate families though-- I can't imagine what it's like to lack sympathy from your relatives on such a core personality trait. ::::HUGS::::

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#14 of 17 Old 05-15-2013, 07:27 PM
 
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Ideally, baby comes in the evening and you tell the people you want to visit to turn up in the morning with breakfast and they do the baby love thing while you eat. Ask them to keep the visit short, be specific, and you can always ask them to stay longer.

Boundaries are not just here, they are all over parenting. You get to be the mama and make the rules. Be kind and firm. But with birth, only the people with people coming out of them get a veto.

And really, in the hospital you can send a picture and a time and the staff can do all the gate keeping. Hide behind them if you need to. You were resting and did not know they came by when you had not invited them. Set your phone to silent when you get there or before and have your partner do the same.

In laws, unless you have specific issues, it is really neat to see them be grandparents, and for them to see their child become a parent. But like the next morning when you have had a chance to shower.

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#15 of 17 Old 05-20-2013, 10:45 AM
 
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Whatever u decide, let ur nurse know, so she can enforce it. With my 3rd, someone came to visit the morning after the baby was born and woke me up at 7. I know that doesn't sound terribly early but after giving birth, and breastfeeding all night, you're really exhausted.
With my 4th I told the nurse not to let anyone in till 1pm. I had just given birth at 5:50 am and had gotten NO sleep that night.
All that being said, I do love visitors. The hospital is sooo boring. I just set my own personal visiting hours lol

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#16 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 10:53 PM
 
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This is something that I think is really up to you, that I hope your DH will defer to you on. You are the one who gave birth and are in a different emotional state than everyone else, not to mention the fact that you have a baby to bond with which is your chief goal those days. You absolutely call the shots and any respectable friend or family member will honor your wishes. With my friends, I ALWAYS ask/say that if they're up for visits, I would absolutely love to come by but it's completely up to them with no pressure given or offense taken.  I've gotten in with a few by genuinely offering to take some nice photographs of the new baby in the hospital. orngbiggrin.gif


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#17 of 17 Old 06-09-2013, 04:34 PM
 
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I didn't want visitors other than my parents and siblings. We didn't tell friends and other family about the birth until we were home and felt like telling them. It definitely kept our stay quieter and easier to nurse.  Actually we only ended up having a few friends come by in the first few weeks anyway but I guess everyone has different friends who might not understand. But feel free to speak up for yourself and say if you do or do not want guests.

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