A NEW MUM’S CROWD CONTROL
*Photo used with thanks to Jes Jackson.
Early days with your new baby are super precious and as keen as you’ll be to show her off, you’ll need some clear boundaries to ensure you and your baby can thrive.
You’re gonna need your space, it’s crucial! but there will be a crowd of your nearest and dearest for whom, this is also a precious event. You’ll need to balance the two – and a delicate balance it will be!
Their intentions will only be good, but when all your favourite (and not so favourite) peeps come together they become quite a party! Here are some tips to help you keep the party calm and the crowd under control.
1. ASK THEM TO CALL BEFORE THEY SHOW UP
You don’t turn up to a party unannounced or uninvited, nor should you turn up to a new mum’s place unexpected.
When I was in labour for the first time, a male friend of ours turned up and entered our birth suite. Did you hear me? the BIRTH SUITE! I’d like to say I’m joking, but I’m not.
He’d simply heard that I’d gone to the hospital to have the baby and thought I might have had it already. When our faces met, it was safe to say we were both a touch more than surprised.
Half naked, semi-reclined and legs spread-eagle… I smiled awkwardly as he was ushered swiftly back through the door. No apology, I think he was too shocked. Total comedy now I think of it, although I failed to see it at the time.
Hospital or home – no one should visit without a phone call first, but they probably will.
2. ASK THEM NOT TO BRING THEIR TODDLER
Exceptions made for family, any post-birth visitor needs to be aware this is strictly an 18+ affair.
I’m sure there’s a tender way to deliver this request, though I don’t have it for you.
Picture your friend walking in with their two-legged Petrie-dish-of-germs, a grubby insubordinate in contrast to your pure newborn. Sounds dreadful but true: a toddler’s presence will be in violation of your currently idyllic setting.
Hopefully, their mothers will remember feeling the same and they’ll leave them at home. If not, you might have to get comfy with a toddler patting your newborn HARD and invest in a bucket-load of Tiny Teddies and colouring-in books to keep them in check!
By the way.. your little Princess will one day be… a delightful toddler! Be the mum who remembers what it was like!
You’ll be hoping no one brings their toddler to visit, but they probably will.
3. ENLIST A BODYGUARD ON DAY THREE
With clockwork precision, your emotional floodgates will open on day three. Your pregnancy hormones will be giving your breastfeeding ones a high-five as they pass each other, like ships-in-the-night.
The intensity of this hormonal-cocktail WILL be having a party at your expense and you are likely to be feeling: teary, tired and anxious.
If you have a partner on the scene, they will need a new-found protective instinct and be ready to step up to be the bouncer this party requires.
As much as you don’t want them to show up on this particular day, they won’t have done their math, so they probably will!
4. BREASTFEED WITHOUT THE REVELLERS
Breastfeeding is an all-thumbs affair for a new mum. You’re already feeling awkward and clumsy and a party reviewing your form will most likely give you and your baby a case of stage fright.
If you need to feed, say so, and if required, ask your guests to leave whilst you do. They’ll understand and you’ll be able to get topless to attach baby, without compromising your best latch.
You don’t want them to stay for your breastfeeding, but unless you ask them to leave, they probably will.
5. TELL THEM 15 MINUTES IS LONG ENOUGH
Your body’s been through a marathon and you’ve likely still got a crowd wanting to see you and meet the baby.
Don’t get bogged down in lengthy birth stories, regardless of how crowd-pleasing your tale is. Enjoy your visit but be honest when you need some rest.
As much as you’ll try to keep it short and sweet, you and your baby ARE adorable! You’ll hope they won’t stay longer, but they probably will!
6. SAY: ‘NO, YOU CANT HOLD THE BABY’
Everyone will want a snuggle with your bundle, of course they will, she’s wonderful! But if baby is snuggled up next to you, she’s where she ought to be, leave her and let the party-goers gaze admiringly from a distance.
It’s OK to say ‘NO, you can’t hold the baby’, Love her from a distance – they most certainly will!
7. ALL VISITORS SHOULD WASH THEIR HANDS
You may have turned OCD overnight and let’s face it, the stakes are high so why wouldn’t you.
Bub’s immunity is left particularly vulnerable with a room full of visitors. Give her the best shot at being well in these extremely formative weeks and months and ask your peeps to wash their hands.
They won’t think of it themselves, but at your command, they most certainly will!
This imminent arrival will give cause for much celebration. Your baby will be such an important milestone in your family’s history and an adored new addition to the lives of your friends.
You are now, first and foremost, guardian of this new party princess and she is your first priority, be gentle to those with good intention but who you may inevitably let down and don’t tolerate a gate-crasher!
Party hugs into the ether…..