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Visitors After the Birth at Home

(39 Posts)
Discomonkfish Sat 20-Nov-04 23:43:47

Hello all, this is my first baby and I was wondering if you could advise on when you all felt up to visitors back at home. My mum and dad live down South and I know as soon as I go into labour Mum will set off up to Yorkshire. MIL lives in Wirral so is only 1.5 hours away and I know that they will want to come as well. I'm assuming that I'll be in hospital for about 3 days but do you recommend visitors leave you alone for a few days at home i.e. were you too tired or trying to settle baby in? Or did you feel up to seeing people straight away? Any advice greatly appreciated

JanH Sat 20-Nov-04 23:50:31

Hi, dmf! I had first baby abroad so family visits weren't a problem, but from what I remember of subsequent ones in the UK (all c-sections so I was in hosp for 6-7 days), I would encourage them all to visit you freely in hospital while you're there and then ask for a bit of breathing space when you first get home. You may not get long but just a day or two will help you feel more relaxed I think. Good luck....

mummytummy Sat 20-Nov-04 23:52:37

Discomonkfish, are you have a ceasarean? Only you say you're in hospital for three days.

polly28 Sun 21-Nov-04 00:00:34

I had visitors constantly for about three weeks and it was wearing,my mum was staying and she was knackered making constant cups of tea ,and chit chat.
Nobody stayed for overly long visits but most were people who just "popped in".I wish I could have put a flag out saying when i was up and dressed ready to receive my guests .
I think I would want my mum to see the baby asap but the others I could have waited!

You will probably want visitors in hospital as it can be slightly boring if you are well in yourself.

get your partner to screen vistors as you may or may not feel up to them

Fran1 Sun 21-Nov-04 00:16:04

Why do you think you'll be in for three days? IF all goes well you could be out the same day, i was.

My family all live nearby, so didn't have the issue of "lengthy" stays. But i would suggest you don't have anyone stay with you, ask them to get a local B&B, so you at least get privacy during the night.

The first couple of weeks, virtually every day and evening was filled with vistitors, as someone else said "Just popping in" but as one popped out another popped in.

Its great cos you are so proud to show off your beautiful baby, but also very tiring!

Papillon Sun 21-Nov-04 07:39:43

Here in Switzerland, mothers can stay up to 5 - 7 days in hospital if they want to.

I think it is up to the individual and who is visiting. I had a home birth and all I wanted for the first few weeks was to hibinate with my dd. Did not want visitors at all.

WideWebWitch Sun 21-Nov-04 08:46:15

I wish I hadn't let people come round so soon after my second baby. We ended up entertaining and cooking (only pizza but still effort) the day after she was born when all I wanted was to bed in bed alone (not even with my baby tbh!). So it depends on a) who they are and b) how much help they're going to be. If your mum will pitch in, have the baby while you sleep, clean your house, cook and generally look after you then let her come. If not I'd ask her and all others to stay away until I felt up to it. That's what I'd do anyway.

suzywong Sun 21-Nov-04 08:55:54

Lots of good advice here,

I'd go with Fran and tell your folks to book in to a B&B three days after you are due/have the baby.

I've had it both ways with folks being waiting for me at home when I staggered home after the second emergency C and I was too off my tits on srugs and two knackered to do anything with them and DH ened up having to do all the hositng (my parents fear they will shrivel and die if they don't get a cup of tea every 90 minutes) and he had DS1 to look after too - so it was a big strain.

And with DS1 they didn't visit for 9 days and although I got the hump and sulked that they didn't want to rush to see their grandchild I would heartily recommend you don't have anyone extra in your house for at least 48 hours after you come home. It is too much of a strain on everyone IMO.

So the long and the short of it is, tell them they won't be able to stay with you ( you could say you just don't know what kind of state you or the house wil be in) and they need to give you some time to get used to being 3 instead of 2 in your family.

And make it clear that anyone who does come to visit will be making their own dinner and they can ready to load the washing machine and shift the hoover about too.

JiminyCricket Sun 21-Nov-04 08:56:50

I told my folks that if I was in hospital I would want visitors, but if i was at home I would want space! My Mum and Dad came for a flying visit while I was in hospital and then Mum came back for a longer stay after dh finished his paternity leave.

suzywong Sun 21-Nov-04 09:03:32

now that is thay to do it, Jiminycricket (love you spats, by the way)

fleurie Sun 21-Nov-04 09:11:44

personally i would just have my mother round and wait about a week before any others visited, first time round with ds we had visitors the day after he was born they nabbed my babe did not give him back and let me make them cups of tea - never again, my mum visited she had a quick cuddle washed my kitchen floor and took away bags of washing - we had a home birth that did not quite happen - perfect (my mum) but as for the rest it left me feeling angry with myself at being so naive - depends who the visitors are at the end of the day and whether they have got YOUR best interests at heart of whether they are just interested in the baby

pixiefish Sun 21-Nov-04 09:13:33

mum was here all day every day and was a great help. didn't want visitors apart for dh, parents and best friend for a week. mum and dh fielded them off

hmb Sun 21-Nov-04 09:21:49

My mother came to visit for a week as soo as I was out of hospital after a c section. It was awful. We didn't know it at the time but she was in the first stages of dementia. She made more work than the baby did and by the time she left I was beside myself with exhaustion. If people want to 'visit' make sure it isn't going to add to your work.

pupuce Sun 21-Nov-04 10:29:20

I think generally everyone agree, whilst we are excited to share our joy and show baby... we are VERY tired and most visitors create work... you tend to tidy up, prepare tea, shop (even on-line),.... even if you try to do nothing, you still do,..... and some of the visits are too long and chatty.... it can leave you exhausted and that's just not fun.
If your mum is good at helping and won't create more work or required any entertainment she will be helpful to take the bulk of the work from you: cooking and laundry, maybe hoovering.
And if she can stay at a B&B that could be nice too so you have some privacy too !

misdee Sun 21-Nov-04 10:33:11

when dd1 was born i was home the following day by 2pm (she was born late at night). we had visitors for hours. then at 9pm when we were all shattered dh dad knocked on the door, we didnt answer as we were dozing and he put a snotty note through the door asking when he was gonna see his 1st grandchild. i was fuming.


this time i migth stay overnight in hospital, for at least one night if they let me. then hold off the visitors for a while, or pop round theirs for 5mins each time on the way home.

fisil Sun 21-Nov-04 10:39:43

We told everyone we were taking no visitors for the 1st 2 weeks. My parents & little brother raced to the hospital on the day he was born and said hi, but only stayed about 1 hour (so a 2 hour drive each way - my teenage brother was very hungover and found the whole business a bit of a trial!). My other brother was living in Malaysia but in Ireland with his girlfriend and due to fly back that day. With our agreement he changed his flight so that he could stay overnight with us to meet his first nephew on his way back to Malaysia on the 2nd night. I only allowed him to visit because of the special circumstances, but in retrospect I actually feel very proud of myself for having cooked dinner & entertained a guest with a less than 48 hour old baby!

Donbean Sun 21-Nov-04 10:57:10

My auntie put a sign in the window for those who didnt ring and just turned up and it said "sorry, mum and baby sleeping" slightly anti social but did the trick. Personally i couldnt bring myself to do this so i ended up with hundreds of people through the day for weeks! I could have cried and cried as i was feeling this way out for quite a long time after we came home. In my room at the hospital i counted 16 people at one visit! We have allot of friends and a huge family so i expected this. Mostly they came with pressies and cards and stayed for a short time but it was still wearing.
I dont know what to suggest to you,sorry.

pabla Sun 21-Nov-04 11:16:45

I must say I would have liked to have more visitors in hospital as it can be quite boring (I ended up staying for 2 or three nights with all three for various reasons) - only close friends and family though - when my second was born I had been working within a few minutes walk of the hospital and was petrified someone at work would turn up so didn't let dh tell them till I was out.

With my first one, My mother came to stay for two weeks once dh went back to work but mil was very put out we wouldn't let her jump on a plane as soon as baby was born! With the other two, my mother came to look after the older kid(s) while I was having the baby and in laws came for a few days once she had gone home.

One tip a friend gave me was to make a point of staying upstairs and in pyjamas for the first few days after getting home to remind people you are still recovering and thus not up to cooking, cleaning, etc. You can come down if a visitor arrives but hopefully they will take the hint and not stay long if you are in your dressing gown.

My worst experience with visitors was when my auntie came to stay for a couple of days and was given a lift by the husband of a friend of hers. I was upstairs breastfeeding when they arrived, they had got delayed in traffic so dh had left for work and because it had taken them so long to get here i had felt obliged to try to rustle up some lunch for the guy and his son. It was very stressful and auntie was the opposite of helpful all the time she stayed!

AussieSim Sun 21-Nov-04 14:21:58

For DS, DH was under instructions that no one was to visit until we invited them. You can never plan/predict how things will go and how you and bub will be gettin on so I would say put the word out that you will let people know when you are ready and they should stay away until then (except for your mum if u want).

Discomonkfish Sun 21-Nov-04 20:46:26

Cheers, I'll encourage plenty of visitors to come to the hospital. I was just estimating 3 days as its my first but hopefully I will be out before then. I've not planned a c-section wo unless its recomended by the m/w on the day I'm hoping for a natural birth. Pip was due last Tuesday and I just want him / her out now! Thanks for the advice x

moondog Sun 21-Nov-04 21:02:37

I moved house (alone!) when ds was 4 weeks old as dh abroad.
(Was also dealing with 3 1/2 year old dd.)

Anyway, had a friend from abroad to stay with her husband on my second night in the new house for two nights! I had suggested (hinted!)that they might prefer to stay in the newly vacated old home as it was in the centre of town but she declined!

I should have refused but she had been kind to me in the US so felt obliged.

They were considerate guests but God it was hard. To top it all off, we were talking about the toll childbirth takes on you (she has no kids) and she said

'Well it HAS been 4 weeks and you look alright to me!'

Also the removal guys insisted I make them tea and a snack twice during the day of the move (when I said I had packed all the cups they told me to go next door for a loan!)

Should have told them all to f* off but was feeling really wet.

Visitors. A hard one. So flattering that people want to see you and the new babe but really tiring. I couldn't believe how long people stayed without offering even to make a cup of tea despite me being alone in the new place,surrounded by boxes with two kids.
One couple stayed for three hours!
I think that the tip about staying upstairs in your pyjamas is the best. You're not then officially 'up and about' are you?

New mothers deserve to be treated like queens. I wish I had insisted on that a bit more. Still, family and dh were wonderful (when around) so that was the most important thing.

motherinferior Sun 21-Nov-04 21:08:11

Visitors who arrive bearing chocolate/champagne, look after you, give you the chance to go back to bed whenever you feel like it and bugger off smartish are fine, in moderation.

Although I am revoltingly sociable, DP isn't, and he had the sense before I had dd1 to insist that we cut visiting to a mimimum. (And friends advised much the same.) In the event, I felt as if I'd been run over and really couldn't face anyone much - much as I hate to admit he was right, he was.

Stilltrue Mon 22-Nov-04 17:46:26

Visitors - minimise minimise minimise them even if best mates. Yes you may feel like seeing people in hospital in short bursts; frankly you are unlikely to get quality rest there anyway unless you are in a private room , but _please _ get your dh to filter all visits through him so he can 1. limit the duration, 2. say " the midwives think she's not up to it today ", if necessary. Once at home, he again must be your dedicated filter for the outside world. I have 4 (1st born in hospital, other 3 born at home). I'd second the pyjama advice; have sets of separate "night" and "daytime" pairs ready, so that even though you're not going anywhere, you still feel you're getting "up". It will cheer you up ! Also, try to stay in pjs/tracksuit for as long as possible. Once you are fully up and running you can't really backtrack to those leisurely days when all you had to do was gaze adoringly at your newborn...After my last, dh looked after all of us for a full week,ie I did no cooking, cleaning, anything. During the second week I gradually got up to speed with my normal routine around the house, was doing school run with tiny babe, etc. I haven't sat down again since-10 months ago- but that's another story!

kama Thu 27-Jan-05 13:10:17

Message withdrawn

bundle Thu 27-Jan-05 13:12:08

our NCT teacher advocated putting a note on the door saying "we've just had a baby, we might take ages to answer the door, if at all..."

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