Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.
If you had an 'easy' birth and recovery, how much help did you need afterwards?(86 Posts)
I had an easy home birth and recovery felt straightforward and I felt normal ish physically after a couple of days (bled for about 10 days). I was just reading some of the "tips for a newborn" threads and everyone mentions about accepting help.
Oops pressed done too soon!
I never felt like I needed help as such. I struggled with bfing for the first week or so but that was the main issue. I have a fab DH who did everything round the house, did his share of nappy changes and cuddles but I still managed to do lots for myself. So I guess I feel a bit baffled about what these helpful people are supposedly doing)!! All my visitors wanted a cuddle with dd - I don't recall any offers of help, nor do I feel like I needed any.
This isn't a stealth boast by the way, I'm genuinely confused about what visitors could/should/would be doing that would be a real help??
I guess that's kind of what I mean.... The things people might really need help with aren't the things anyone can actually help with!!
Plus there's part of me that is baffled by what people think they are getting into when they have a baby. A friend of a friend had her mum move in for a week at a time at various points in the first few weeks so she could help with night feeds. Her baby was ebf and her DH was about so honestly what was the poor mother actually doing????
Maybe lots of people don't have a straightforward birth and recovery? I needed a lot of help as the baby breastfeed constantly/screamed/slept on me only. I was in quite a lot of pain afterwards too. So if I needed to do anything like go to the loo, shower or eat I had to get someone else to look after the baby. I also didn't have any time for food shopping, cooking, cleaning so needed someone else to do that for me. I could basically care for the baby and that was it.
My friend has just had a baby who is a little star. Eats every three hours, sleeps in a Moses basket the rest of the time and that is it! She has tonnes of time and is finding the whole thing a breeze.
Two totally different experiences. No birth is the same, no baby is the same.
So glad you have a lovely easy baby. Enjoy every second!
Also I had my mum come to stay. She's had a lot if experience with bringing up lots of babies and even she admits it was bloody hard work for the 3 of us!
My OH had to work 12 to 14 hrs a day during the first week MIL cooked dinner each evening (she lives next door) which was very nice as it meant we were getting proper food and left overs for lunches. But I was able to do basic cleaning, washing, and ds was very sleepy so nights were ok. I think that was as important as the fact the Labour was quick and fairly easy.
I had an 'easy' birth, but it followed a really cra
I know not everyone has an easy birth - hence the if in the title.
My dd was fussy, would only sleep on me, fed for hours at a time but I simply can't work out what anyone could've done to ease/change that. I remember sitting on the loo one night trying to hold dd whilst she was feeding and pouring a jug of water over my recovering bits whilst I peed!!
So all this advice to "take all offers of help" feels a bit empty.
Once DH was back at work it would've been great to have someone make my lunch every day
and would be now and dd is 2yo but it's not realistic to expect that level of help us it - you just have to crack on and find a way to do it yourself.
I guess I mean that the things I'd need help with are the things that are my job as a mum to do anyway!!
Visitors who make a cup of tea themselves are great but it's not exactly a huuuuge help is it!!
Crappy pregnancy, so it took me quite some time to get back to normal afterwards. I was recovered from the birth within a couple of days, but months of immobility meant that I basically had to build up my fitness level from scratch and it took quite a while to be able to do everything I needed to again.
In the meantime I needed help with housework, and anything that involved walking further than 100 yards, and with lifting. My mum visited a lot and dh took extra time off work. We're anticipating I will need similar help this time.
If you have an easy pregnancy and birth, and get back to normal quickly, then great. Perhaps you could offer to help out someone who hasn't been so lucky?
Empty dish washer
Make me a sandwich
Do me some shopping
Get me a glass of water
Answer the phone do I don't have to get up
Pick up my post
Wash baby's clothes
Take the screaming baby for a walk so I can have half an hour's sleep
Encourage visitors to leave in subtle way
All brilliant ways to help while you find your feet.
I had a long but straightforward home birth (I wouldn't call it easy!!) and recovered fine - walking around the same day, walked to shops with baby the day after, was even back running at 5 weeks. I had a straightforward time of breastfeeding too.
However I couldn't put baby down for 6 weeks. After DP went back to work, there was nothing, nothing more wonderful than my lovely mum and other visitors who held the baby for an hour or two so I could grab some sleep. And shower. I don't think people whose newborns will sleep somewhere other than their arms realise how little you can get done if your baby will not be put down without crying! One time she breastfed for 4 hours. People around to bring you a drink and generally help out is invaluable then…
(And it definitely didn't form bad habits as she started sleeping 10 hours a night on her own at around 6 weeks!)
Also until I got a decent sling at around 3 weeks I couldn't cook, make a cup of tea, clean, take out bins…
You are also lucky to have such a hands on DH.
I had a very easy birth and recovery, but even in the early days my DH was out of the house from 7.30 till late. So I would have really loved help with cooking dinner (including stocking the freezer), laundry and generally keeping the house in order.
I agree that no one can help much with the baby if bf.
A 'fab dh who did everything around the house' is 'help' is it not?
This time round I have a young toddler so am even more keen to accept help if offered!
I had a relatively easy birth, but a rubbish recovery. I didn't have help the first time. I don't know why, I think my mum was trying to be polite and leave us be. Which didn't help, as I fell out with her over it. My mil came for the day. As much use as a chocolate tea pot, they cleaned the kitchen. But, why? There was nothing wrong with it's they kept disturbing me asking me where I wanted the kettle moved to. No just fuck off, and leave me alone.
When dd2 arrived, mil came to stay about a week. She took dd1 out and about, but interfered quite a bit. Dh was a twat, as he refused to take paternity leave
All babies are different, but I found people SO helpful with EBF. My DH would take her from the early evening until around 3 am for cuddles and only wake me if she needed feeding. The difference between simply popping baby on your boob sleepily, then handing back to DP when finished and going back to sleep - and having to assess when a baby needs a feed, get up and reposition yourself, then wind and change baby afterwards is HUGE.
My mum did the same for me during the day after bad nights, I would sleep and she would just wake me for feeds.
As you say, your DH did everything round the house.
These tips are broad brush across the board, they're not just directed at you.
The number of women who have an easy birth, recovery and a DH who is able to take time off and do everything round the house must be quite small.
I'm certainly not one of them. 3 day induction, including 12 hours on the drip of doom and culminating in an emergency section. My DH had to do everything other than breastfeeding but I'm lucky that he was around to do so.
I'm glad you didn't need help but it surely doesn't take much imagination or empathy to imagine situations where a visitor doing some washing up, popping on a load of laundry would be very helpful indeed?
I had an 'easy' birth in that I wasn't cut (did tear) and didn't need forceps or anything but it was long- 3 days with no sleep or being able to eat.
Dh went back to work after 2 days and works away so it was just me and baby.
Honestly I found it really hard. I woul have loved someone to come and sort the washing, make me some proper food, do a shop.
There's loads people could do if all you can do is look after baby.
You're lucky to have dh there to help.
OP you sound like you have a perfect life with an amazing easy going dd, super attentive husband and are the epitome of 'stepford wife'
Most new mums welcome help with open arms. The early days are tough, and someone offering to make you lunch or dinner, hold your newborn whilst you sleep or shower is a god send.
I actually am baffled that you post such a stupid question on a Sunday morning! Shouldn't you be lapping up your perfect life with that husband rather than post on mumsnet.....
I did get much "help" afterwards with any of my three
Just a few extra brews I suppose!
I had three basically straight forwards births though, not even any stitches. And I ff so didn't need help with latch etc and didn't spend hours bfing
I had an easy birth but found the transition to motherhood very tough and had trouble breastfeeding so I took all the help I could.
Basically I spent virtually all of my time in the early days holding and feeding the baby who dozed in 10 minute bursts unless being held and would feed for hours without a break.
Things I found helpful were people taking the baby or for a walk so I could sleep because I couldn't sleep if I heard her crying, preparing me food that I could eat with one hand while feeding the baby and washing the dishes afterwards, holding the baby so that I could have a shower by myself and doing the laundry.
With DC2 it was also very very helpful to have someone who could play with DD so that I could concentrate on feeding the baby.
i live overseas so no family around to help.
DH went back to work (own business) shortly after DD was born.
DH's dad died when DD was 8 days old, leaving me alone for 10 days with a premature, 4 pound baby who ate every hour or 2 for the first month.
she never napped in the daytime until she was 18 weeks.
she never went longer than 3 hours at night between feeds until she was 22 weeks.
i class my ELCS as relatively 'easy' but JESUS WEPT the last 5.5 months of my life have been the hardest ever.
OP i am so glad your birth and baby have been so easy. if you have a baby who sleeps and east ropily, without colic or relax, you have hit the jackpot.
for some of us it has been a living hell and i welcomed any help at all including:
holding my screaming baby for half an hour so i could shower
holding my screaming baby generally so i didn't have to
taking my screaming baby for a walk, anywhere
making me tea
making me food (I didn't eat for weeks)
pouring me wine
feeding the baby (I FF so anyone could do it)
washing the bottles
sterilising the bottles
making up a bottle
going to the shop to fetch more formula
going to the shop to fetch bread, milk, nappies
driving me to doctor's appts
taking the cat to the vets
putting a load in the machine
taking a load out of the machine
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.