Five Things to Remember About Postpartum Boundaries

5 Things to Remember about Postpartum Boundaries

I feel all this pressure to let my family and friends come visit and hold my baby. But I’m just not ready. Things are so difficult now and I have no control over my schedule and when I can get rest.

I don’t want anyone to hold my baby. I feel like it can wait.

We don’t know how much help (if any) we’re going to need and honestly, we don’t have good support people in our lives. The most important thing is the three of us getting to know each other.

I was not comfortable with people barging into my hospital room and grabbing my newborn away from me. I found I did not want to share her. I had been waiting to meet her too.

I don’t want visitors in the hospital or for the first few days home so I can recover and bond with my family and I don’t want people around spreading germs to the baby when he’s that little.

Sound familiar?

People flock to new babies. We want to hold them and stare at them and experience their utter newness. This is a good desire. But the trouble comes when we fail to consider mom and the importance of those first weeks. When we are postpartum, we are sleep deprived and recovering (sometimes from surgery!) and learning to parent this new baby and establishing breastfeeding (with an ounce of privacy, please!)

The unfortunate thing is that we feel obligated to our family and friends to let them see our new baby. Like it’s our civic duty to spread the seeds of newborn love. I’ll tell you one thing: that is 100% absolutely not true. And we need this idea out of our heads. Here are 5 things to remember when deciding whether or not to let in those who want to come see your baby.

  1. Your recovery is of utmost priority

As a mother, your rest, nourishment, and emotional peace during your post-birth recovery takes precedence. Whatever contradicts that needs to simply not happen. Your body demands a peaceful recovery and if you’re well, your baby (and family) will be well, too. You are now the center of your family; self-care is especially important. And obligations have no place in your life.

  1. Your aunties, uncles, and cousins can always meet the baby later

What’s the rush? The only factor here is the impatience of other people. You are always allowed to pump their brakes. People meeting your baby ASAP is not important if it means sacrificing peace and rest. They can meet the baby when you’re ready.

  1. This is a time people should be obligated to you

One good rule of thumb when someone requests to come see your baby is: Will this person be helpful? If someone is going to come empty-handed or not help out while they’re visiting, maybe they can wait until the 6-week mark (yes, seriously). Initially, you need people in your home that will bring meals, help entertain and nurture your older kids, do the dishes, be an open ear or all of the above!

  1. You should be surrounded by only those who encourage you

Even if you’re starting to feel better and someone you know would bring a meal, if they give you bad juju, hold them off. Postpartum mothers need peace, including social peace! You don’t need bad vibes in your house when you’re recovering from childbirth. You don’t need bad vibes period, but that’s another thing. When you’re postpartum, you should be surrounded by those who encourage, uplift, and inspire you. You should look forward to their visit, not dread it.

  1. This is your baby

There will always be people disagreeing with the way you parent. But the beauty of it is that it’s still up to you. You get to make all the decisions. This starts the day you get a positive pregnancy test and continues for the rest of your child’s life. Saying no to people who want to disregard your boundaries requires practice and the best time to start is the postpartum phase.

Remember: you decide who gets to visit your brand-new baby. Though these are good guidelines, you don’t need a reason for what you decide. As with all things motherhood: follow your gut and you won’t be disappointed.

How does Marabou support women?

We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.

Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest. 

Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.

Start a Marabou Gift Registry!

With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.

Postpartum doulas for a first time mom

House cleanings for moms of multiples

Childcare for moms with older children!

Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.

More and more moms find they have to figure out postpartum alone. Is it any wonder why PMDs are on the rise? Or women are embittered by the journey of motherhood? We can change that by giving the gift of peace.

5 Things to Remember about Postpartum Boundaries