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Visitors after the birth

(46 Posts)
sunnyfields25 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:30:48


I'm 32 weeks so have got a little while yet before I need to figure this out, but would welcome other people's stories of how they approached the situation.

Lately I've been thinking about the days/week following the birth. I really like the idea of closing the curtains, locking the front door and snuggling up in a cosy little cocoon with my husband and new baby. I figure that as well as it being a special time that we want to enjoy uninterrupted, I'll also be trying to master breastfeeding and recovering from the birth, so probably won't feel like entertaining guests.

Don't get me wrong it'll be lovely to have people visit, it's just ideally I'd like to have several days, maybe even a week, before they start coming round. This would apply to immediate family too.

A couple of family members have recently mentioned visiting after the baby is born, so I'm thinking if we're going ahead with this plan then I should forewarn people. But has anyone else tried this, and was it successful? I don't want to offend anyone or hurt their feelings, but I'm normally a bit of a pushover and I think if I caved in on this occasion I may end up regretting it, as I can't ever get those first few days back.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sun 16-Apr-17 19:38:33

Personally I would let family call for a cuppa (dh on tea duty) cuddle the baby then leave you to it.
You haven't kept anyone away, snubbed anyone, chosen x over y to visit, then get on with recovering /bonding /bf.
An hour at most isn't a huge intrusion from people who love you and want to support you. ..
And you first week won't be stressing about the forthcoming visitors as they will have already been!!

putdownyourphone Sun 16-Apr-17 19:44:25

Going against the MN grain here and saying that I'm with you - if you don't want visitors in the first week then don't have them. Personally I found it quite stressful having to whip out a giant, leaking tit and try and feed a hungry screaming baby who hadn't mastered breastfeeding yet in front of my FIL and his DP. An hour may not seem long to have visitors but who knows what's going to be happening in that hour - you could be attempting your afterbirth poo, you could be recovering from stitches or csec, you could be cluster feeding, you could desperately need a nap. All of these things don't need visitors around.

I would forewarn them that you may need some space and you'll let them know after the birth when you are feeling up to it.

talulahbelle Sun 16-Apr-17 19:48:06

DD was born on a Monday and we had our first visitors on a Thursday - the day after I was home from hospital. It felt a bit too early for me, I was quite happy being in a newborn bubble. I'm due again next month and have already warned people that we won't be having any visitors until at least day 5.

DeliciouslyHella Sun 16-Apr-17 19:57:22

Due to circumstances out of our control, we didn't have any visitors for the first week and it was bloody lovely. We nested indoors with DD and found our feet. By the time visitors started coming, we felt ready for them.

I'm expecting DD2 in July and I know we will have visitors much faster this time. I feel quite sad about it truthfully - the week of nesting was so special and wonderful.

redexpat Sun 16-Apr-17 19:58:58

I thought that I would want time alone as a family of 3, but after ooh 3 hours I was desperate to show him off! My ILs are Danish so very down with nudity. Im not, but honestly I just didnt care. I managed to flas very little boobage. I did ask my parents to come after DHs paternity leave was up. Paternity leave is still quite new in the grand scheme of things so lots of new GPs havent really considered that they arent needed in the immediate aftermath to the same extent as they once were. You might have to gently remind them of that.

Aria2015 Sun 16-Apr-17 20:05:26

I'd say maybe see how you feel. I think I'd have been inclined to feel like you before I had lo but when I actually had him, I was so proud to have given birth to the most beautiful baby on the planet that I couldn't wait to show him off lol!

How you feel before the baby and how you feel afterward can be very different and that goes for loads of things!

troodiedoo Sun 16-Apr-17 20:13:24

My dd is two weeks today. I could have done without the visitors in the first week but they wore dh down with their pestering and a couple just turned up. Wasn't the end of the world though. And whipping out a boob can make some people leave quite quickly grin

sunnyfields25 Sun 16-Apr-17 21:23:15

In some respects the simplest thing would be to just let people visit for a bit, but there are 12 people altogether in my and DH's immediate family, and that seems like a lot of people to have passing through the house in that first phase. Plus, as DH's family live a couple of hours away we couldn't really turf them out after one drink - they'd probably be there all day.

Oh no, I hadn't even thought about the afterbirth poo! shock As stupid as it sounds the toilet situation would stress me out if we had visitors round, as we've only got one bathroom and there's no lock on the door. (I know we reeeaaaally need to get a lock put on - it's been on the to-do list for a year and a half!).

As it's impossible to predict how I'll actually feel until I'm in that situation though, or what amount of time we'd want before visitors come, I like the idea of warning people we might want some alone time but then letting them know for definite after the birth. Kind of keeping our options open.

DrizzleHair Sun 16-Apr-17 21:33:01

SiL and db declared they didn't want any visits until each of their children were 3 months old! I thought they were mad and ott but still respected their wishes obviously... A week to recover and feel human again sound entirely reasonable to me

SheepyFun Sun 16-Apr-17 21:37:35

We didn't have visitors for the first week. My family drove for 2 hours, and stayed 30 minutes. So you can insist. If that doesn't work for you, talk to your DH beforehand, and agree that if you've had enough, you can retreat to your bedroom at any point (with or without baby as you feel at the time) while he deals with visitors, whom he won't allow into your bedroom at all. You might be comfortable feeding in front of others, or you might not - the only way DD breastfed successfully was with me topless lying down. Not something I was overly keen to do in front of others!

SuperSix77 Sun 16-Apr-17 21:53:31

I wish I had thought of this!! When we arrived home from hospital with our first baby we had visitors WAITING ON THE DOORSTEP!!! They were friends who hadn't had any of their own yet. She has had 2 since then & still apologises for being there when baby was just a day old & I felt & looked like I had been hit (and reversed back over) by a bus!!!! So I would go ahead & let people know that you'd really appreciate a bit of time to get yourselves sorted & that you'll be in touch to arrange a good time to visit.

Sparklyuggs Mon 17-Apr-17 00:14:01

Could you suggest they all come in one go for a 'sip and see' and recruit another family member to provide the cake? That's what we're doing, we felt that it was easier than a constant stream of visitors. Ultimately it should be up to you, but perhaps manage expectations first.

dippypanda Mon 17-Apr-17 13:33:34

With my first I wouldn't allow any visitors in hospital, I was in for four days. Then I only allowed my mum and mil to come over for a short time. My mum was a great help as she wouldn't t let me do anything but relax whilst she tidied up and make cups of tea. My mil wanted to help by doing shopping. Any friends etc waited for about three weeks so we could settle first. I will probably have the same routine with this one. I was clear from the start that I would not be waiting on other people but to be honest both mum and mil were a great help.

Icklepickle101 Mon 17-Apr-17 13:57:16

I was adamant I didn't want visiotrs for the first 3 days as I knew I was having a c section and I wanted to feel myself again before facing the world. In reality less than 5 hours later I had 4 people come to see him and streams of people over the coming days, I just wanted to show him off to the world!!! The second week of DPs paternity leave was mostly just us which was lovely. I'd wait and see how you feel

DayGlo Mon 17-Apr-17 14:02:05

I did it with DC2, as I found the visitors with DC1 overwhelming.

My mum and sister came over, but nobody else for about 10 days (MIL lives abroad, but we would probably have had to have let her round for cuddle too, if not grin).

It was bliss.

With DC1 I had an emergency c-section and within 24 hours I ha both sides of the family visiting me in hospital. Hard to make conversation when you've got a catheter visibly pumping your pee out and are desperately trying to establish breastfeeding grin

Linner83 Mon 17-Apr-17 14:05:11

I found the best thing was to take my little
One to them a few days after the birth she I was feeling better we went to them, then we could leaven when we wanted

welshweasel Mon 17-Apr-17 14:08:32

There aren't many positives to living a long way from all your family but this is one of them! My parents drove 3 hours the day after I gave birth to see us for afternoon visiting (was in hospital post section for 3 days) which was lovely but then we had no visitors at all for the next 10 days. I loved that time when DH was off. I recovered quickly from the birth and we went on short walks, out for lunch most days etc. Once he went back to work I had more people to visit and started hanging out with other Mum friends. I honestly have such fond memories of those early days (less so of the next 4 months!!).

EdgarAllenPoe Mon 17-Apr-17 14:41:22

I was in hospital for three days after birth do had visitors there. I got to stay in bed and no one expected any tea making and the midwives rang a bell when they had to leave. My mum and brother visited home the day we got home and it was actually very helpful. We suddenly needed a breast pump immediately, but I didn't want to be on my own yet (cs) so having my mum there while my husband bought essentials was a godsend. I guess the answer is only have guests who won't be a hindrance.

ArriettyClock1 Mon 17-Apr-17 14:52:16

You'd have hated my post birth experience!

I came home from hospital on the same day I had ds and my house was full of relatives who'd let themselves in!

We had non stop visitors every day for about 2 weeks. No-one stayed long, everyone bought gifts as well as food and I sat on my bum and was fed and watered by dh and enjoyed every minute. We took a photo of every single visitor holding ds (including midwife, health visitor and neighbours) and made them into an album. Despite the crowds, I managed a snooze in bed every afternoon.

Such lovely memories of a special time. I felt a bit lonely when it all stopped.

lottafizz Mon 17-Apr-17 15:40:31

I am 34 weeks and we have talked about this quite a bit. My parents want to be very hands on but we want some time to get settled first. Our compromise is that my parents and sister are coming on day 1 but then no one else for the rest of week 1. We have had NCT classes and been told day 3/4/5 are the baby-blues days when mum is likely to be an emotional wreck, not the time for visitors!

It's great to hear that some mum's have wanted to show the baby off straight away. Our conclusion is that it is much easier to say no visitors and message people to come than to say in advance visitors can come and then change your mind...

Chamonix1 Mon 17-Apr-17 18:20:17

My sister and my mother were stood at the end of my bed whilst I still had a catheter in, unwashed and epidural still in my system 3 hours after giving birth. DH had gone home for a shower and some food and couldn't come back in because they'd been let into visit.
It wasn't the best experience!
Then mil and fil came to visit 5 hours later as I was desperately trying to get dd to latch on, it was hideous felt like a monkey I a zoo.
Totally say no visitors for the first week !

sunnyfields25 Mon 17-Apr-17 18:45:39

Wow it's great to hear so many stories - it's made me realise it's not just me who's finding this situation to be such a minefield!

It is lovely to hear how some people were happy to have visitors straight away, and how it worked out well for them.... I can see it just stressing me out though. I'm quite introverted and struggle with groups of people at the best of times, so I think having too many in the house straight away would be something I'd be dreading in the run up to the due date. If I could limit it to just one or two then that'd be ok, but with so many siblings someone would inevitably feel left out, so I think it'll have to be all or none.

That's just what I was thinking Lottafizz - maybe best to warn people they can't visit straight away and then message them as soon as we're ready, rather than have the pressure of having already told people they can turn up as soon as they want (and then regretting it).

Lunalovepud Mon 17-Apr-17 21:06:38

Decide what you want to do and TELL people upfront what will be happening - don't discuss it. Some of the families will be pissed off but they will get over it. You and DH and baby are the most important and the rest of them will just have to get in line.

It's not a popular opinion on all areas of MN and I have been told IABU before for telling all of my and DH family that there would be no visits for the first week... That's fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It worked for us though and I will be doing the same with DC2 this summer.

FWIW, I am pleased we stuck to our guns as I have never forgiven PILs for their appalling behaviour on their first visit after DCs arrival and the BS they have spouted about it to other relations since, saying things were fraught etc - if they were, it's because they were there, not because of anything to do with me, DC or DH.

I am prepared to be told once again that I am selfish etc - I am cool with that. I am selfish. I want a week to recover from major surgery (I am having another section) to establish feeding, for me and DH to bond with the baby and to help DC1 get used to having a new baby in the house. Anyone who thinks they are more important than these things won't be visiting for a long while. Anyone who can be civilised and understanding about it can come over after about a week.

troodiedoo Tue 18-Apr-17 11:38:36

Wish I'd been that firm Lunalovepud

Whatever you decide OP it's vital that you get your partner onside and stick with your decision. I'm still mildly peeved with mine, although I know how hard it is to say no to some people.

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