The fourth trimester is uncharted territory for new parents. It’s a strange unknown period of time where you’re simultaneously trying to recover from birth and also get to know (and keep alive) a brand new human being. You’ll soon learn that everyone from parents, siblings, to your old high school friend will be ringing you up to come around and meet your tiny little family member. It’s hard to even fathom throwing entertaining guests into the newborn bubble mix. So, if you’re about to enter into the newborn stage, or perhaps you have family or friends that are soon to embark into parenthood, here’s our top 5 things to consider for postpartum visits.
1. Don’t ask, wait to be invited
Trust me, when a new Mum wants you to meet her baby, she will let you know. The last thing new parents feel like doing when bringing their baby home from hospital is fielding phone calls and locking in dates and times for visits. Once they are ready they will certainly reach out to invite you over. Be patient!
2. Bring a meal with you
The newborn phase is chaotic, and the last thing most newborn parents feel like doing is cooking. Having gone through the fourth trimester I can guarantee you that having someone bring your lunch or dinner ready made will feel like you’ve won the lottery.
3. Keep it short and sweet
Don’t overstay your welcome. Newborns live in a constant state of feeding, sleeping, changing and settling. New parents will probably be too polite to tell you, but if you’re there for longer than an hour, it’s time to vacate.
4. Don’t dish out parenting advice
‘That’s not how you burp a baby’, ‘You’re feeding her wrong’, ‘oh wow, you’re bottle feeding your baby’. Seems like harsh commentary right? These are all things as a brand-spanking new Mum I’ve been told. And let me tell you, it shot down my confidence faster than you’d know. Keep your comments and parenting advice to yourself. If a new parent wants your opinion on something, they’ll ask you. Your job is to empower and support them. End of story!
5. Reschedule if you’re unwell - no matter how minor it seems
Newborns and new parents do not have time to be unwell. Don’t be selfish and squeeze in a visit even if you’re not feeling 100%. Trust me it can wait, and you’ll never forgive yourself for bringing down a new household with a nasty illness. Always make sure you’re up-to-date with any vaccines new parents request, and remember to wash your hands before ever holding a newborn baby!