how many relatives is reasonable to visit after the birth?(34 Posts)
As my baby is being very stubborn and refusing to come out on time I'm expecting to be induced by the end of the week. Most of the family live away and/or work very long shifts and they're all now saying Saturday is their day to visit. I'm talking mum, dad, possibly step mum, sister, BIL, grandmother, MIL & FIL. AIBU that I can't cope with all those people at once? I mean for me that's a lot of people but maybe I'm just super introverted. I'm so grateful they want to see the baby but I remember how knackered I felt after my ectopic was removed last year (it's my only frame of reference) and imagine that times 100 for a live birth! I know they'll probs stay away if I'm still in hospital but if I'm home I feel I need to put some of them off. But I don't really know how to prioritise, e.g. My mum lives closest but it's her first grandchild and MIL/FIL have several. Sis is bringing gran and although they are less immediate family my nan'll have to wait another two weeks for my sis to be free again to drive her. I thought about maybe having an afternoon and a morning shift - morning for those travelling less than 3 hours and afternoon for those coming from further away? Everyone's starting to mention how inconvenient the timing is for them, which is getting my goat a little
Definitely limit it - and possibly limit any visits to an hour?
I think they all need to calm down! My induction took nearly 4 days so there is no guarantee baby will be here for Saturday, never mind at home!
Could you say that your midwife has said it is doubtful that baby will be here and you recovered enough to go home on Saturday, so perhaps they should wait until baby arrives to arrange visits?
Also a good tip for arranging people is to say that they are welcome to visit 10-12/2-4 etc but your midwife is coming over to check you and baby and has requested no visitors.
We had a rule that it was parents only (grandparents of baby) for the first day and then our siblings (aunts and uncles) on day 2 and then we organised visits from everyone else on our own schedule rather than waiting for the 45 texts and phone calls from people asking if they could 'pop in'.
Just do whatever feels right for you. I had both sets of parents visit me in hospital so that they got their cuddles and when I went home people left us to settle.
I then arranged most visits for after dh had gone back to work. That's when I didn't want to be on my own!
Second time round I had an open house for two hours in the evening on the day dc2 was born. He was swaddled and non the wiser to being passed around while he slept. I felt this got everyone out of the way and gave us peace after.
Also, it's okay to say to people you want to see how you feel once the baby has arrived and make a decision then. Don't feel you have to set anything in stone.
As poster above has said, it's good to give a time limit. All our texts said you can pop by for half an hour or an hour etc.
They need to understand your right to privacy trumps their right to visit when it suits them. DH and I told everyone we wanted the first week alone and then had both sets of parents visit for just a couple of nights each the following week. You don't want an army of well meaning people staring at you while you're getting to grips with bf and when you may not be showering until late in the day.
I agree with duckbilled, I think that your relatives are getting a bit carried away and excited about the new baby and not really thinking about what's best for you.
I would emphasise that you don't know when the baby will be born, how long you will be in hospital afterwards, when you and the baby will be up to visitors and when your midwife visits will be happening. Therefore any visits can only be arranged after the baby is born and / or home from hospital and you know the situation.
I found that immediate relatives often came to visit at the hospital, which can work well as they can only come during hospital visiting hours, there isn't that much to do, or that many chairs and parking charges are prohibitive so most people didn't stay long. Plus you can ask nurses to tell people to go as you need your rest! A lot of people just want sight of the newborn and once they've caught a glimpse at the hospital will then leave you in peace for a bit.
If you are worried that lots of people will turn up on the same day you can say that you've been told that it's important for you to rest so have been advised to limit visitors to x many a day for x hours. (Whatever you feel is manageable.) If you chat to your midwife I'm sure that she will confirm that this is a good idea so that you aren't lying about it.
Just don't even tell them the news until you want to see them, then see how you feel. You might be fine and excited to show baby off but you could equally be exhausted and need some private time to get used to feeding etc before they descend. Baby will still be here next sat, and you will enjoy the visits more then
Also I think it is the one time it is entire reasonable to ask people to bring dinner with them and feed you. They will be happy to help!
Maybe you will go into labour before then and get a bit of peace before Saturday!!
Thanks everyone, having spoken to them all the ones who are travelling have already booked hotels (unbeknownst to us!). So I guess I'll just have to deal, hope the baby's here by then and give them slots. I probably should have spoken to people earlier but I figured they would wait to be invited - live and learn!
They've already booked hotels!
Having family over is exhausting. I was really struggling with bf at that point, the baby blues hit quite hard and I really didn't want to see anyone except my sister. Dp's family live over an hour away so they wanted to visit and I said fine-now when I look back i wonder what I was thinking! Six adults in our tiny living room, me desperately trying to feed ds, trying not to cry on everyone, MIL took the "bring food" advice and brought a massive buffet for everyone which by the time everyone had had a cuddle, given gifts, lay out food, eaten it and cleared up meant that they were here for hours. Tell them you'll invite them as and when you're ready and have an hour limit is my advice!
Oh dear. If they've booked hotels without thinking or asking then it's their own fault if you're not ready to see them/haven't actually given birth by then. Don't feel under pressure just because of this to accommodate their visits if you don't feel up to it. I say this knowing I would feel under immense pressure to not let people down even if my gut was screaming that I couldn't cope with it all.
Are you due to speak to your midwife at all this week? Failing that, when you're admitted for induction id have a chat with the admitting midwife. Get them onside and explain your concerns about visitors arriving and/or overstaying their welcome and ask if they could help with crowd control. They will be used to supporting women who are feeling vulnerable and maybe not feeling up to being assertive (is this not all first time mums at least or just me??)
Is there one person who is more sensible or has been through a birth recently amongst all your family? Could you put them in charge of coordinating visitors? So you can just text them once you feel ready for visitors, they can then work out how long people can stay within the set visiting hours: normally there are limits to the number if visitors allowed at the bedside at one time so everybody can't all be there at the same time so they'll have to pop in for short shifts.
Not sure whether this helps but I really hope you can do things your way and do not feel pressured to have them visiting if you don't want everyone descending at once. If they do visit, make a deal that they then leave you in peace for a couple of weeks.
Good luck! It's got me thinking about what I'll have to do in the same situation!
We have a huge family. Ended up inviting everyone to come and welcome the baby home but said up front that no one staying over until DHs paternity leave finished. Was a bit tiring but DH gave them tea and biscuits then they all went home/to other close by relatives then came back in small groups for short time only.
Rather than asking them not to come try up front stating that you're quite tired but would love it if they just pop in but sorry you want a bit of time as a family until DH goes back to work
Thanks, you're right I do feel under A LOT of pressure since they already made plans. I spoke to my midwife and if I'm in hospital it's a three visitor max, and a one hour visiting slot twice a day. So they'll just have to wait in the corridor and take turns. I would definitely say talk to your family in advance lol, I had just assumed people would wait for an invite...
Get that message out to them now so they are prepared for very limited visiting options. Chances are they don't realise it isn't open house season when in hospital and are just getting overexcited. Two x one hour slots sounds a bit more manageable-how do you feel about that? Can your DH stay longer than this?
My in laws live nearby but my family are further afield...but I don't think they'd go so far as to book a hotel.....but then in guessing you would have said the same!
Worry, I really feel for you. It's shockingly selfish and naive behaviour on their part. I would be tempted to stay in the hospital until the Sunday night when they have gone home restricted hours are going to be your saviour I think.
I would also switch your phone off or ignore texts and get your dh to do the liaising (if he is on same page as you). Will save you dealing with any guilt messages.
If you do happen to be home by then, create your own routine rules that limit how much you have to see them... Eg Lounge & dp are set for guests, you and baby can visit the lounge between feeds to be given a cup of tea & cake and then you take little one back off for a feed. They need a lot of feeds.
Dh's role in our house was mediator, I even gave him my phone, and it worked great. People respond well to the mother & baby being looked after by the dad (a very public 'you look like you need some rest honey, let me help you and baby get back up to bed' worked here), so I'd use that. And the baby is yours, frankly I'd have burst into tears if anyone suggested keeping him away from me, even in another room, that early. So take him with you
My dh annoyed me by inviting his brothers to visit at 9am for a couple of hours the morning after we got back from hospital (discharged about 8pm). Whereas I was pretty livid it worked out ok because he showed off the baby while I stayed in bed.
I think it'll be a lot easier if I'm in hospital, tho i'm amazed they want to come so far for such a potentially short visit! definitely gonna take the advice of giving phone to DH, good plan.
Put them all off for a couple of weeks, perhaps except your mum who is allowed to visit to offer support and bring you a couple of meals which are ready to throw in the oven?
Isn't there a good chance you'll still be giving birth on the Saturday if you're being induced at the end of the week anyway?
I had loads of people... was super fun. But in our hospital we had our own room so they were quite relaxed about visiting times.
We had my parents, dbro, Dsis and BIL and DNs, other Dsis and Bil, DH's DNs (all adults) and some friends at the hospital he was born Saturday I left Monday). My parents and sisters came all three days.
Then at home had my parents, some of their friends, BIL, SIL and baby DN, and adult niece and great nephew.
we're quite sociable though so enjoyed it. And I was happy to BF in front of whoever and made visitors help out!
But yes warn them that baby may not be born that quickly... I was due to be induced on the Friday, went into labour on WEdnesday and he didn't arrive until Saturday morning.
See I think it would b great to get all d visiting done with in d one day. Yes it will b mental but if u do what u want it should work out ok. U go fed when u need to, sleep if u want. They are grown adults and can entertain and feed themselves. It is easy for me to say this though as I have a very close family and inlaws so both will help themselves and not need to b looked after.
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