Worried about being bombarded by visitors at the hospital after giving birth?
This is one of the biggest worries that many soon to be parents do not even consider until they are about to give birth, but the truth is that it’s one of the most important parts of bringing a new baby into the world.
So of course when there is a new bundle of joy born, every family member is going to want to meet that little someone for the first time and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, there are some situations where too many visitors may want to stick around for the entire hospital stay and that can make recovery very difficult.
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This happened to me when my first child was born.
I was expecting to have an all-natural birth and it was going to be perfect, or so I thought. I wanted to have just my husband in the room with me as I gave birth to our daughter, and then was planning to let everyone come in to meet her afterward.
Well, that plan fell through and made a huge dent along the way.
I ended up going past my due date and being induced to try to get my labor started. The entire day that I was being induced, my family and my inlaws came in and basically set up camp in my hospital room.
Of course, I was a bit out of it and very tired but I remember being annoyed most of all since everyone was talking while I was trying to relax and deal with intense contractions.
Unfortunately, I never really dilated all of that time and the doctor decided to get our daughter out via c-section. Now, this hospital stay was my first ever. I had never had an IV, andy type of surgery, or even stitches before this. So needless to say I was incredibly terrified of being cut open for the first time.
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Once our beautiful baby girl was born I got to see her in my husband’s arms. The nurse then took her back to our room while I was being stitched up and my husband went along with her.
(Don’t worry! He didn’t just leave me. I asked him to go with her to make sure she was okay).
After finally getting back to my room, I was able to see my newborn baby and hold her for the first time. It was so amazing. But I remember also still feeling very emotional and wanting to have someone that I trusted to come in and comfort me.
My grandmother has always been like a mother figure to me so of course, I asked my husband to go and get her for me since everyone was still outside of the room.
What I didn’t realize was that my in-laws were trying to come into the hospital room when I just wanted my husband and my grandmother in there since I was starting to breastfeed for the first time and was still a little emotional from everything that had just happened.
My side of the family was trying to keep them out of the room and this entire thing blew up into a total confrontation between our families.
I honestly had no idea about the whole thing until the next day. But it was because of this and the fact I had so many surprise visitors at all times throughout the day that I didn’t get hardly any sleep or time to really bond with my new baby.
So For Our Second Birth, We Laid Out Some Boundaries
Since we knew we were having a repeat c-section for our second child’s birth, we asked for everyone to wait until we had a few days in the hospital to allow us to have time to bond with our baby and so I could get some much-needed rest before going home with a newborn baby and having a toddler.
1. Make a Plan
The second time around we told everyone on both sides of our family not to come up to the hospital until we had some time to bond with our baby. And by making a plan and letting everyone know ahead of time, you can ensure that your birth will be just what you need.
Of course, there are many parents that want everyone there when they give birth to meet the new family member.
Either way, having a plan makes a difference.
2. Have One Person as Your Voice
I was an emotional wreck during my first birth is an understatement. But having my husband who knew exactly what I wanted in my delivery of our baby made me feel much more secure because when I was so overwhelmed, he was able to be my voice and to delegate.
He also was able to be my rock and send people away when I just needed to be left alone to rest.
Assign one person as your delegate to ensure that your needs are being met. Whether it’s your husband, mother, or friend, having that one person that is taking care of what you need makes delivery much easier.
3. Set Visiting Hours
This was a huge problem the first time around. I felt like my hospital room had a revolving door that people just kept walking through. Whether it was a nurse or another family member coming to meet our baby, it was very tiring.
Set up specific hours that are just for visiting and have plenty of hours for rest. And only set up plans for those specific times.
4. Make Time For Crucial Bonding Time
A lot of people do not think about the fact that new parents really need to have time to bond with their newborn baby in the first few days.
This is even more important for moms who are planning on breastfeeding. Having plenty of skin to skin time and being able to openly breastfeed helps with establishing a good milk supply.
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5. Remember that You Can Always Change Your Mind
Don’t forget that you as the mom who is giving birth are in charge and if you decide to change your plans at the last minute that is okay.
Especially when you are giving birth for the first time. Sometimes you don’t really know what you need until you are already in labor.
6. Ask For What You Need
Childbirth and recovery are all about the mom and the newborn baby. So if you need more time to sleep ask. And if you need more support and certain visitors than ask.
This time is crucial for new parents to recover and get used to having a baby.
7. Don’t Worry About Hurt Feelings
There are some situations where you just cannot win. Someone’s feelings may get hurt, but with delivering a baby, the most important thing is to have a safe and successful labor, delivery, and recovery.
And if that means that you have one family member in the room with you and not the other that is okay.
8. When You Are Done Visiting Have An Out
Some visitors just may not know when it’s time to hit the road, especially when there is a new baby to see. So try to have an out for when you are ready to say goodbye to visitors so that you can have alone time and rest.
A few ideas maybe, “I need to breastfeed now, so I will see you later”, or “I am really tired so I need to take a nap.”
9. It’s Okay to Wait Until Your Home From the Hospital to Have Visitors
With our second child, we originally told our families that we didn’t want any visitors other than our older child to come and visit us at the hospital. And that is okay. Do not feel guilty for asking for these boundaries if that’s what you need.
You can always have them come over throughout the weeks following the delivery to meet your little one.
RELATED POST – 10 Crucial Newborn Essentials that No One Talks About
Do you have any other tips for handling visitors after giving birth? I’d love to hear more ideas from other moms.
I’m pregnant with my first and my induction date is next week. I’m stressing about the hospital stay. My family is out of state, while my in-laws live locally. My mom has already decided that she will be leaving home at the time I’m supposed to be at the hospital for the induction and that she will be picking my sister up on the way and they will be staying at the hospital until after I have my daughter. I want to be able to bond with my daughter and not have the stress of everyone else. I’ve tried explaining this to my mom and even joked around with her that we would wait to tell anyone that we had our daughter until we got home from the hospital. We would like the families there to meet her, but we don’t want everyone there all at once. No matter what I say to her she ends up getting mad. Everyone else seems to be completely understanding with whatever final decision we make.
I completely understand, I would just tell your nurses that you only want certain people there and to please send everyone else away. I know hurting your mom’s feeling hurts you too, but this is your time with your baby and they will be able to see her when you get home or during hours that you want them at the hospital. Good luck momma!
With my first baby I had a very damaging vaginal birth and I had a hard time even walking the first week. My husband had paternity leave which was needed to help me with the first few days with my son. His parents and his sister with her 3 year old son came to visit for a week when my son was just two weeks old. At the time we were in a small two bedroom apartment so we had two air mattresses out in the tiny family room. My husbands father was starting to go deaf and they love to watch TV so the TV was on constantly and turned up so loud it would make the walls vibrate. I’m a hairstylist so my mother in law and my sister in law asked me to do their hair which I should have said no to doing but I was worried about hurt feelings. They also kept inviting their relatives who lived in the area to come swimming at our apartment so I felt like I had to be presentable and try to keep it together for everyone. The 3 year old was a typical 3 year old and it was just hard being a first time mom trying to breastfeed through the night with my home over run by other people. With my second child I made my in laws wait 7 weeks before they came to visit. They are out of state so their visits last a week. I know I hurt feelings but it was what was best for us and I’m so glad I put my foot down. They wanted to come the week she was born and I made it clear that we needed the time to be with our new baby as just our own family. This article is great. Some women would love to have people around when they have a newborn. It just depends on your needs, comfort level, and the relationships you have with relatives. Definitely make a plan and have someone be your voice.
When I had my first baby, I had a very traumatic vaginal birth. My in laws came with their two youngest kids, ages 6 and 8, who proceeded to run around the bed like apes, tripping on my catheter tubing… yes, they were jumping that close to the bed! My cousin decided that she was going to come from Ohio to visit for a week, bringing her husband and two teenage sons, all who require huge dinners and much attention. I called my mom crying, because I was exhausted, in extreme pain, and the last thing I wanted was company… My daddy called my cousin and politely told her that I was not up to company, and to postpone her visit until I was better healed… She didn’t speak to me for almost 4 months afterward… Moral of story… Make rules and stand your ground!
This is my first child, and we have asked all visitors to wait till the day after to visit so we can adjust and have time for skin to skin and breastfeeding without pressure of knowing theres family in the waiting room! You would have thought we were disowning them! It has turned into a mess. I was told they would come when they wanted to in so many words! So in my opinion, they were warned! Im sticking to my plan, so if all they see is the waiting room, thats on them! Baby is coming first.
Make sure you tell the hospital that you don’t want any visitors and to not give anyone your room number until you say so. How are they gonna tell you that they can come whenever they want to?! That is your baby!
I was 37 as a first (and only) mom. We waited a very long time for our baby. Having struggled through fertility issues and knowing when I don’t feel well just want to be left alone we set boundaries in advance. We actually made a no visitor policy. Most people understood. Grandparents were a little hurt, but we gently reminded them they would have plenty of time to visit once we got home. I ended up being induced at 39 weeks, never dilated past 2cm so had an emergency cesarean. Between the nurses checking in on me (had gestational diabetes) and baby we were so glad to have those moments just the three of us. We also set boundary of no visitors for first two weeks. Exception was grandparents. We actually went home 60 hours after our daughter was born. We had one set of grandparents the day after we went home and the other the next day! Protecting that bonding time and setting boundaries in advance was such a blessing. I had trouble with my milk supply and not having external additional stress of feeling as though I needed to “host” anyone was so helpful! Knowing this was our one and only I look back with no regrets and only wonderful memories of how we formed our bond as a family of three!
A letter to your husband: My family was so important to me when I had my first baby. I wanted them to share in that newborn time just as much as my spouse and I did. So I spent hours letting my parents enjoy my new baby. Well the weeks went by and I realized thattmy husband and I gave away half of our newborn daughter’s time away and we will never get that back. Those first two days are unlike any other in her life and I wish I had spent every waking second just staring at her and holding her instead of letting the grandparents in. They will get plenty of time to get to know that baby later. This is your turn. I’m pregnant with my second child, and with the exception of my husband’s parents bringing our daughter to meet her brother for an hour, we will be the only people in our family to get to know him until we get home and settled.
Great advice! I am pregnant with my first and not sure how to deal with the in-laws. I have a feeling that my hubby’s mother will be all over me and the baby and telling me what I should be doing. I am considering telling the family that I don’t want anyone at the hospital but I’m not sure if my husband will be supportive of that. My family love in another country so I know they won’t be an issue..lol. Any ideas of how I can have my husband’s support? It is his mom so I’m a little worried.
I’m in a similar situation, this is my first and was very apprehensive about my in-laws bombarding us at the hospital. My parents are great have made it clear they won’t invade us until we visit them as they don’t live locally. My husbands family doesn’t live locally either but when they visit they stay for weeks and I really didn’t want that straight up after giving birth (and staying at our house for that matter) so I was just honest with my husband and told him how we need time to bond alone with our baby without distractions or over baring first time grandparents. He was completely understanding once he realised the importance of our time together as new family and he broke the news to his mother and she surprisingly took it well. I think just be honest up front and don’t back down! It’s time to be selfish for all the right reasons! Good luck.