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Help after the birth (Mum in law)

(19 Posts)
Vic69 Mon 10-Jan-05 15:24:11

My MiL is more than happy to come and help after the birth and I think she'll be great at all the practical household stuff (better than my mum in fact), but I'm really unsure when is the best time.
Is it best to have the first 2-3 days with just the new arrival and DP, to bond as a new family and get her in afterwards, or do you really need the help straightaway? I know this is very subjective, but any thoughts about what worked for you would be really helpful!

nailpolish Mon 10-Jan-05 15:28:15

for the 1st 2 wks my dh was at home with me, then when he went back to work i had some help. worked for me

moondog Mon 10-Jan-05 15:30:46

I'd second np. Enjoy being alone for a bit (so lovely and special!) then have the help later-2 weeks later would be perfect. Good luck!

Blossomhill Mon 10-Jan-05 15:44:16

Personally I wanted it to just be the 3 of us for about 2-3 weeks. Didn't have to get dressed etc or please anyone but ourselves.

bakedpotato Mon 10-Jan-05 15:50:34

it all depends on how well you get on with her and how sensitive you think she'll be. your setup sounds good, but my friend's mother rearranged all her cupboards/drawers while she was in hospital so when she got out not only did she have new baby to contend with, she couldn't find her pants/pasta.

agree that it's nice to have help/congenial company if/when DP goes back to work

Marina Mon 10-Jan-05 15:53:52

Definitely get the help when your dp has to go back to work. That can be a very lonely time. Lucky you to have such a helpful MIL.

zubb Mon 10-Jan-05 15:56:56

agree with the rest, its great to spend the first couple of weeks just you, dp and the baby, but when he goes back its good to have the help. I had my Mum for a week then MIL for a week, and it was great.

teabelly Mon 10-Jan-05 16:50:06

I agree with what the others have said. My mum came over from Australia and was there 2 days before the birth and then for 3 weeks after, and I wish I'd been more insistant she came later . All mums/mil's are different but mine tends to take over and she ended up trying to get to ds when he cried/needed feeding/changing before I did so I felt it was a competeition in the end, and was glad when she went. If you have a good relationship with your mil and you don't think she would do this then great, but those first few days are very precious (if not very tiring too!) so if I had my time again I'd have her come over after dh went back to work.

Twiglett Mon 10-Jan-05 17:30:43

babies sleep a lot to begin with

If DP can get time off work then I would recommend it just being the family unit .. get MIL to come over when DP has gone back

you need time to get to know your new baby .. and work out for yourself what its like to be a mum without someone making you feel like a child IYKWIM

Good luck .. its a very difficult conversation to have with a parent

bubble99 Mon 10-Jan-05 20:14:44

I agree with Twiglett. Babies sleep so much when they're newborn, so much so that you can start thinking "what's all the fuss about? This is soooo easy!"
Take time 'nesting' with just you, DP and the baby, as Blossomhill says, you can stay in your PJ's for the whole day and get to know your new baby. It's such a special time and you'll probably find yourselves just staring for hours at him/her in wonder.I'm getting quite mushy thinking about how lovely that time is!
Get prepared in advance with shopping etc. we lived on ready meals and takeaways for a while when my first son was born. Forget about washing and housework etc. it'll give your MIL something to do when she arrives . I'd say give yourselves a week or more (if you can hold her off) before you have guests to stay.

pabla Mon 10-Jan-05 20:19:15

Agree with everyone else that it's once your dp goes back to work you will need the help - it's so nice to have someone to look after the baby while you are doing something as simple as having a shower.

Vic69 Tue 11-Jan-05 10:57:24

Thanks for all the advice. I'm really surprised that there is such a consensus on this, so I'm probably going to follow everyone else's example on this one! I'm lucky that DP doesn't have a 9-5 job but he will need to be away 2 nights a week after his leave ends, so that's probably when I'll need a biddable adult around...

tweetyfish Tue 11-Jan-05 11:03:33

Just thought I'd let you know that I've had it both ways so to speak - for DS my MIL came 2 weeks after the birth but for DD she was there from the time i came home from hospital. I did end up feeling like i'd lost out on that special time with her so definatly plan some family time on your own first!

SANA Thu 13-Jan-05 13:57:04

I have just read this post, my first baby is due in 6weeks and have arranged for my MIL to come over for 2wks for when I come home from hospital and I have recently been thinking it might be nice to have a couple of days to ourselves, although we get along fine as DH will b home for 2wks, but then I think what will happen if dh and I cant manage..........its all very confusing

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 14:00:40

sana, you will cope! i actually thought it would be more difficult with someone else in the house. it depends how you get on with your MIL, very well or not. but it IS nice to have some time to yourself, just you, dh and baby. and remember, the mw will come every day and be on the end of the phone.

teabelly Thu 13-Jan-05 14:03:54

Sana I'm sure you will cope poppet - infact you'll probably surprise yourself!! As someone else said newborns tend to sleep for a vast amount of the day in the first few weeks, and even when not asleep they're mostly happy just lie and take everything in. Maybe you could arrange with your mil to play it by ear, and if you feel you need the extra help and she's able to she could come over sooner, otherwise set an amount of time after the birth (one week, two..) that you're happy with and then you'll see her then...good luck by the way

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 14:06:40

sana, she could help out before hand by making lots of food and you could put it in your freezer for eating the 1st few days after baby is born.

teabelly is right, babies sleep so much the 1st few days, but as long as you rest too and dont run about doing mad housework, if you have very difficult nights then sleep during the day when baby is, which can be hard if MIL is there

Waswondering Thu 13-Jan-05 14:08:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morningpaper Thu 13-Jan-05 14:11:01

I agree with all here esp. Marina who said that when DH goes back to work it can be a VERY lonely time.

I would also say to make sure that you get out and about and find some mummy-friends during those early days - don't let MIL's presence tie you to the house. It's important to make social contacts as soon as possible IMO.

By the way my daughter never slept for more than about an hour a day from the very start, so don't let all the talk of 'sleepy babies' lull you into a false sense of security!

Next time I'll take loads of pethidine in the hope of having a sleepy one... ;)

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