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Etiquette Rules to Follow when Visiting a New Mom
Ever since I can remember I loved being in hospitals, the action, the noises, the people in blue scrubs. Call me nuts but I’ve always found hospitals quite exciting,working in hospitals has been rewarding and fun…but I’d never actually been a patient in a hospital until I’d had my daughter.
I vividly remember being in the hospital right after delivery, my lady bits were extremely swollen. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without help, which meant having a catheter placed in until the swelling subsided. The epidural I received during labor didn’t wear off on my left leg and I was unable to walk without assistance. I just had a continuous pins and needles feeling in it.
And I was supposed to be bonding with my newborn daughter! I felt an absolute mess, I couldn’t get out of bed without help and that meant I couldn’t do simple things such as change my daughters diapers or get out of bed to check on her when she made a noise. Add in the well meaning visitors and I became easily overwhelmed.
The last thing I wanted was a surge of visitors to see me in my war torn state. I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed. I was hungry, but I was also extremely thrilled at this new little human being that I was trying to bond with.
I am so lucky that my friends and family where great and understood that our family needed time to bond. But I have heard horror stories from other friends about how their visitors brought in their crying children, stayed too long or asked inappropriate questions.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Know how to “read the room”, if the new mom needs to bust out her breast, unless you’re unusually close, that’s probably the right time to bow out. Remember that mom and baby have just met and are bonding.
Bring Less “Stuff”
Heart is in the right place when people bring gifts, flowers and balloons to the hospital. However remember that anything you bring into the hospital also needs to leave the hospital, usually with the new parents who are still trying to learn how to buckle in a car seat. Consider having these items delivered to their home instead, or drop them off after they’ve already gotten home and settled.
Don’t Assume You Can Bring Your Child
With my friends I ask if I can bring my daughter. She is one and a half so she is wild and noisy. Be prepared to hear the word “No”. If they say you can bring your child, keep an extremely close eye on them, children are unpredictable and can scratch or hit and you definitely don’t want to unintentionally have your little one smack the newborn baby.
Wash Your Hands
As soon as you walk through the door, even if you’re not planning on holding the brand new babe.The “my baby is brand new and I am terrified of any and all germs” conscious mama will appreciate your consideration
Don’t Kiss the Baby
We have so many germs in our mouth and this little brand new baby has zero immunity defenses.
If You’re Stick Stay Home
As mentioned above, newborn baby’s have very weak immune systems and spreading around any germs can be harmful. New mama will understand if you tell her you are sick.
Don’t Offer Advice Unless Asked
New mom’s are getting advice from everyone when they are in the hospital, often times much of it is contradictory to each other. If you’ve had your own little one you understand, you’ve been there. It’s best to keep your advice and opinions to yourself, let her find her own parenting style.
Everyone loves a new baby but remember that mom, dad and baby are all trying to bond. Those first few days are so hectic and overwhelming, if the new parents say they don’t want visitors don’t get your feelings hurt. They are just trying to adjust to have a very needy human being who needs tending to 24/7. I’d love to hear what other mom’s have for advice when visiting a new mom.