All of our visitors bring us happiness;
Some by coming,
Others by leaving.
This sign hung on my grandparents front door for as long as I could remember and I never really understood it until I had a baby.
Here’s the thing about visitors: They’re not necessary to have after you’ve had a baby and you have full control of who, when, and why they come.
Remember those tasks we talked about yesterday?
Now it’s time to ask for help with those duties.
Think of the people closest to you who are willing and able to offer some assistance. Once you’ve come up with that list it’s time to ask for help.
Oooooh, I hit a nerve with that last part didn’t I?
Yes, asking for help can be hard. However, I gotta tell you…it’s necessary!
Have a light conversation or send a jovial text/email saying something along the lines of:
“Hey! We’re getting pretty close to the arrival of our baby!
We were hoping that you would be able to __________ (ex. take the dog for a walk) a couple times a week on whatever days could work for you. We’re happy to provide some baby cuddles for your hard work:)”
Write down the tasks and days that this person is going to do these things for you.
Typically, these people are the ones you’re okay seeing a lot of and the ones that share your excitement about the arrival of your baby. They genuinely will want to help (with the underlying motivation of being able to hold your squishy baby, of course.)
-Ask for help with all of the tasks you need help with after baby is born. Write down who’s doing what on your calendar.
You get it. Everyone wants to see the baby. However, you only have so much energy to give to anyone other than yourself, your baby, and your partner.
IT’S OKAY TO ASK PEOPLE NOT TO COME OVER.
You can prepare for the onslaught of inquiries about baby by sending out a mass text/email or social media post before you’re estimated due date. Explain to people that you’re going to be doing a communication shut down once you’ve had the baby but will reach out once you’re rested up and ready to take on the world. *Make a joke about those people getting some dinners ready to bring over to plant that bug in their ear.
If you’re up to it post updates on social media so that those in your life can be assured that you’re all doing well, which will hopefully alleviate some of their need to ask questions.
While this is enough for some people, others might take it upon themselves to show up unannounced. This is where signs on the door come in handy. Chances are you might end up resting a fair bit during the day, so really you don’t want a doorbell interrupting your precious sleep, anyway.
A kind sign on the door when you don’t feel like dealing with anyone is not uncalled for. You can write a handwritten note and tape it on the front door. Something along the lines of:
Thanks for popping by! We’re (finally) getting some sleep right now! Please let us know you were here by leaving a note or sending us a text. We’ll get back to you as soon as we’re rested!
Keep your phone on silent so that you can respond to people when you feel ready to do so, and so that you don’t run the risk of being woken up by the ding of a text.
-Do up a post on social media letting people know that you’re going to have some quiet time once baby is born but that you’ll keep everyone updated as often as possible.
-Make a sign for unannounced visitors to tape to the door.
You may know a thing or two about how people work, but babies are a whole new ballgame.
While a lot of learning about your baby comes with living with her and finding out her cues, body language, cries, and personality there are a few things that you can brush up on before your baby comes to give you a better understanding of what you’re going through and what they’re going through in the first few months.
Unlike in the movies where a baby immediately latches on to the breast and things go swimmingly well, reality usually looks a little different.
Breastfeeding is a learned process. You’re learning it and your baby is learning it. While it’s a natural occurrence, it does take some practice.
-Understand the process of breastmilk.
-Watch a YouTube video on how to get a good latch. This one is my favorite.
-Start collecting colostrum now, while you’re pregnant! Yep, watch the video here about hand expression and give it a try. You can collect colostrum in syringes to give to your baby after birth.
-Learn different positions to breastfeed in.
-Find out which local resources are available for help with breastfeeding in case you need it (La Leche League, Public Health Unit, Lactation Consultants, Breastfeeding groups, etc.)
Each baby’s behavior is unique to them, however there are some things that you’re going to need to look for in your baby.
These include things like responses to sounds, ability to make certain movements, and general coordination. A guideline like this is helpful.
Milestones can also help you better understand what might be happening in your baby’s world when it comes to things like sleep regression, nursing strikes, and teething.
-Find out what things you might be experiencing with your baby based on their age.
1 in 7 women, and 1 in 10 men are diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.
There is no definitive cause for Postpartum Depression and it does not have any bias. While there are certain factors that increase the chances of you suffering from it, it can affect everyone.
-Find what resources are available locally and nationally for help in case you or your partner experience symptoms.
On top of everything else you need to learn about your new baby and your life as a new parent, you also have to learn general care!
There are a lot of things that come naturally to new parents and a lot of things that are learned from watching others. Things like bathing your baby, feeding, dressing, taking baby out, what different poop consistency means, diapering, and babywearing are all part of a whole new world for parents!
MANY new parents feel overwhelmed by not knowing exactly what to do with their newborn and quite often need some guidance into how to take care of their new baby.
I hope you’re feeling empowered and confident as you approach the next stage in your journey as a new mother. Preparing is a huge step in this process and I’m so glad that you involved me in this.
Keep checking back for more information on newborns and your life during this postptartum period. I update my website frequently with current, honest, and relatable information so you can enjoy this stage of motherhood to the full extent.
I look forward to hearing more from you, Mama!