Baby and Family - Moms Across America

Baby and Family

Soon, you will bring a new baby home to meet your family and pets. We know you want to do this safely.

More for your peace of mind and sanity, we suggest that you keep home visitors to a minimum for the first two to three weeks. Many cultures have babies around large families immediately, increasing the baby's exposure to many bacteria that can increase the baby's immune system. If that's what you feel comfortable with, do that. Just don't promise or plan to do that until after you have the baby. Let people know it will depend on how much energy you have. Most new moms feel exhausted. Many have had surgery, whether it be an episiotomy or cesarean, and having company is not optimal for sleeping and healing. Wait until you feel rested and ready.

Historically, in the Chinese culture, a woman would take to bed-rest for three weeks after having the baby and only relieves herself in a bedpan. Her food is brought to her by her mother or aunt, and her body can heal. This concept is beneficial because the hormones in the body that allowed the cervix and pelvic bones to open are still very high for two or three weeks, and walking around can cause the hip to go out of the socket or the spine to misalign. Resting can allow everything to settle down and the body to heal. In many cultures, they wait until the 1 month anniversary of the birth to name and celebrate the baby. It's okay to wait.

DO, however, enlist the help and consider having one or two women, a sister, mother/mother in law or friend, who makes you feel important, supported, and cared for during the first two to three weeks. Being supported, having someone to talk to or cry (joy or frustration) with, and help with things around the house, is essential. If your partner is a man, he may not understand your feelings after birth the way women do.  If you do have that connection with your partner, Mom win! But it's okay to acknowledge that your partner can't do and be all to you, so reach out to your tribe!

Having Visitors:

As veteran moms, we encourage you to take a deep breath and know that, as a new mom, 99% of the time, we may think something is wrong, including how other people will be, act, do around your baby. The fact is that 99% of the time, everything is fine....and we really do not need to be anxious, angry, or concerned. (That's not good for us either!)

Our concerns are TOTALLY VALID and important. However, in some instances, for example, the way Aunt Mary bounces the baby a little too fast or the way Uncle Joe smells like cigarette smoke during an hour-long visit, is not going to harm your baby. We beseech you, as a new mom, to see that your relationships with your loved ones are important too, and getting angry with or alienating family members because they don't do things the way you want them too, can cause you and your baby more stress than it is worth.

On the other hand, if you want to breastfeed, we also beseech you not to change your choices because a family member does not support your commitment. If you want to co-sleep, have a home birth, practice attachment parenting and other families or friends, meet the baby and comment on it, smile and say thank you. Do NOT let family members sway you from what you feel is best for the long-term care of your baby.

Also, remember: it does not matter what the house looks like when company comes over after the baby. Not one iota. No one, we promise you, is looking at the pile of dishes in the sink, magazine stack on the chair, or dust bunnies on the floor. All they want to see, all they can see, and all they will remember is a beautiful baby you have and how you are doing.

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  • Zen Honeycutt
    published this page in Future Moms 2021-05-07 13:23:44 -0400

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