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why do people expect new mothers to DO anything at all in those first few fragile weeks?

(87 Posts)
oranges Tue 19-Jun-07 14:21:13

There have been a lot of threads about whether new mothers should drive, sail yachts, receive unwanted visitors, go to supermarkets, and I just don't get why someone who has had a baby can do exactly what she feels like, till the lochia dries up, breastfeeding is established, stiches heal and she gets a few hours unbroken sleep. It may be unfair, irrational, or hurt some feelings but to be honest, so what?

FioFio Tue 19-Jun-07 14:21:57

Message withdrawn

JodieG1 Tue 19-Jun-07 14:22:00

I agree.

TooTicky Tue 19-Jun-07 14:22:44

Other cultures do things much more sensibly. Here, it's all British backbone and no sitting down.

MerryMarigold Tue 19-Jun-07 14:24:20

I think mostly it is the new mothers wanting to do things, not other people putting on the pressure.

bobsyouruncle Tue 19-Jun-07 14:25:04

I agree, and all these supermums make the rest of us feel so inadequate! Far too much pressure on new mums to just get on with it all.

FioFio Tue 19-Jun-07 14:25:22

Message withdrawn

sweetjane Tue 19-Jun-07 14:25:43

Agree completely. I really regret trying to do too much the first few weeks - I thought that the mark of me being a good mother would be how quickly I could 'get back to normal' and assimilate ds into my life. I really wish I had spent more days just cuddled up, bf, skin to skin, all that - next time I may not have that luxury as I will already have a child to look after as well.

Booboobedoo Tue 19-Jun-07 14:27:40

Not to turn this into a MIL thread but...

My MIL was cross with me because I didn't want to go and choose curtain fabric with her when DS was two weeks old and I could barely walk.

There does seem to be a conspiracy of silence about how hard those first weeks are, though, until you enter 'baby world'.

TooTicky Tue 19-Jun-07 14:27:54

Read Baby Wisdom by Deborah Jackson - it gives a lovely insight into the lives of mums and babies around the world. In many places, it is unthinkable the the mother should get up too soon and she and the baby are cared for by female relations for a few weeks.

oliveoil Tue 19-Jun-07 14:28:35

I did sod all

in hospital for 5 days with dd1 after section, then wafted around in sick covered clothes for a few weeks, wailing that we had ruined our lives

normal birth with dd2, wafted around crying as before

some cultures make women go to bed for 40 days (or something)

that is more like it imo

pavlovthecat Tue 19-Jun-07 14:30:19

supermum, all mums are supermums! By the very nature of giving birth to a newborn!
I agree, in many cultures, it is expected that the new mother does nothing during the recovery period, and the extended family do as much as possible. However, I guess with our limited extended family network in western culture, and high expectations of material gain, tidiness and looking good, its not surprising that ne mothers feel pressured into demonstrating how well they can'cope' with it all.

I personally did not get out of my PJs fopr the first week (well, I did, but only to change into clean ones!)

I agree that new mothers should be given plenty of time to rest, and recover and get used to the new arrival.

ElenyaTuesday Tue 19-Jun-07 14:30:32

My neighbour is Nigerian and when she had her first child both her mother and MIL came to stay for a month. They did all the cooking and cleaning - literally all the new mum did was take care of her baby - fantastic!

handlemecarefully Tue 19-Jun-07 14:31:09

Re new mums I had to stifle a laugh at the following conversation overheard at the Gym bar:

Heavily Pregnant first time mum (HPFTM) to waitress: Yes 4 weeks to go. They've got a creche downstairs haven't they? What age does it start from?

Waitress: Here's your orange juice...Ummm I think it's from 3 months old.

HPFTM (in disappointed voice): 3 months? Oh no!, I won't be able to come to the gym all summer then!

Me: muffled snort (hand over mouth to smother it)

bobsyouruncle Tue 19-Jun-07 14:32:08

Booboobedoo - lol about the conspiracy of silence, I remember feeling really pissed off with my sister for not telling me truthfully how hard the first few weeks were!? To this day she swears she did & I just didn't listen

pavlovthecat Tue 19-Jun-07 14:32:24

in fact, I was in hospt for the first week, and the midwives, great as they were, did pretty much everything for me, inlucding bringing me my dinner if I was feeding!

Lazycow Tue 19-Jun-07 14:33:18

I so agree with the OP. a lot of women seem to think that anyone who doesn't want to do loads is letting the side down. Or the other accusation is PFB syndrome for a woman wants to stay at home and not run after the rest of her family in the first few weeks after the birth of first child

MerryMarigold Tue 19-Jun-07 14:34:33

I opened the door to my HV at about 11am in my pyjamas with hair all over the place and she said, "Oh did I not tell you what time I was coming?"!!!!

mistypeaks Tue 19-Jun-07 14:34:46

Like Fiofio 1st time round i was discharged after 24hrs after a c-section, went shopping the next day, burst stitches - very bad!! I still cooked though (or at least supervised very very intently and chopped etc sitting at kitchen table - back then dh was a terrible cook, now he's really rather good) Looking back i def did too much too quick.

sweetjane Tue 19-Jun-07 14:36:52

To completely contradict myself though, a bit of fresh air for you and the baby is probably a good thing. Doesn't mean you have to go to the gym or do the shopping though! Haven't managed to get to the gym still and ds is nearly 6m!!

sweetjane Tue 19-Jun-07 14:38:20

LOL MerryMarigold - my MW told me off for being dressed and showered when ds was 4 dys old and gave dh evils as if he'd forced me into it!

oranges Tue 19-Jun-07 14:41:03

oh, does everyone agree with me? I don't mean you SHOULDN'T do anything, just that you shouldn't HAVE to. So yes going for a walk, or having a glass of wine at the local pub is great if you want to, but I don't think anyone else has a right to insist that you do anything.

MrsBadger Tue 19-Jun-07 14:41:05

Agree people think they're 'letting the side down' - in fact I had a chat with a mate at antenatal yoga who'd planned to work right up until her due date (she's 30wks I think), felt she had to impress her bosses and be seen to be Getting It Done, Carrying On Regardless etc despite awful nausea, tiredness, fainting from low BP etc.
She had a tearful crisis last week and her DH told her that there were 'no medals for doing it all' and in any reaosnable world she'd be at home with her feet up. her matleave starts next week .

In fact I'm going to say that again louder:

There are no medals for Doing It All.

rebelmum1 Tue 19-Jun-07 14:43:12


OrmIrian Tue 19-Jun-07 14:44:47

Who says they have to? IME people queue up to tell you to take it easy and have a rest . Used to drive me mad ! I wanted to be up and about and doing stuff!

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