Post # 1
Hi ladies, we’ve recently had a disappointing first US so I’m trying not to get too ahead of myself with the baby thing but WB is a good distraction for now. Anyway, today I searched the forums on what to do about visitors after giving birth and while there are lots of old posts, I want more! I talked to my husband and he thinks that his family (parents and sisters) should be able to come visit us at the hospital on the day of the birth and the rest of his gigantic family should be able to come within the first day or two. I cringe. I actually cringe at the thought of that. If it were up to me, I’d have a week with JUST us, the second week only his sisters and parents could visit and then in the third week, we would make the rounds for the rest of his millions of relatives. My family all live in a different country so they won’t come — we just have to think of his family.
All I know is that my sister had a vaginal birth and she said that after her birth she could barely sit up because her vag was so sore, she was peeing her pants basically uncontrollably, she was bleeding everywhere, she was exhausted, her milk hadn’t come in yet, she didn’t know basically anything about babies so she just felt super stressed and everyone came to visit right away. I tried to explain this to my hubs and he isn’t having it. I asked him, “What’s the difference between meeting the baby at 1 day old or meeting the baby at 1 week old?” and he replied that the first day is the most exciting and the happiest and if we make people wait they won’t feel as excited and if we don’t let his parents come right away, they will feel rejected. Ah! He promises that he will be frank and tell them that they can come the first day and only stay an hour but then after that we’ll need privacy for a week. I’m like, that is NOT going to happen.
Anyway, I don’t know if I’m being fair or not. I’m probably not. My expectations are probably way out of whack. I just feel like I don’t even know how to hold a freaking baby. I don’t want everyone all over my shit before I even learn how to BF my LO, you know? So, how did you all handle this? When did people come visit you? When do you think is “fair” to have the family over? How horrible and nasty were you feeling after your vaginal birth? Any advice and opinions are helpful! Thanks, Bees!
Post # 2
I’ll let parents and siblings come a few hours after birth, then any family or friends can come the day after, but I’m pretty comfortable about everything. I’ve visted family the day of the birth and they didn’t seem to mind (and they wouldn’t said something if they did!). If your personal preference is to wait awhile then just tell them. For me I know my family would be pretty upset to have to wait a week to meet the baby.
Post # 3
FutureMRS3lastnames: I had visitors the day after, but only immediate family. I had C-sections, but I think it’s kind of similar to a V-birth in the sense that on the day you are incredibly sore, still recovering from painkillers, and have had no rest; but on day 2 you’ve at least had a sleep and been able to clean up a bit. I think it’s unreasonable making immediate family wait a whole week, but it’s ok having other people wait. I actually had quite a few friends come to the hospital on about day 3 or 4 and didn’t mind, but if you want to limit hospital visits to immediate family I think that’s ok.
Post # 4
FutureMRS3lastnames: First off, I hope there is good news for you soon! So I was set to give birth at a birth center where you remain for about 4 hours and then they send you home. I did not want any visitors there. But we ended up transferring to the hospital. Obviously I was exhausted after the birth (unmedicated)- I had a long second stage of labor (pushed for 3.5 hours). I also had a 2nd degree tear and a labial tear and I was so swollen I couldn’t even pee. If you had asked me before I would’ve said HELL NO to visitors. But then one of my best friends who is a nurse stopped by to see me since her shift was just ending. I was naked, just out of the shower, with blood and fluid still leaking out my vag. I was so stoked to see her and told her I loved her. Then my brother, his finacee, his finacee’s two sisters and one of the sister’s boyfriend (who I’d never met before) showed up with food. I was so happy to see them and didn’t give a fuck that I could barely walk and looked like shit (I was so swollen with fluid it looked like I weighed about 250 pounds- I’m normally 115, and when I saw the boyfriend again a month later he didn’t recognize me). A few close friends as well and my parents came the next day and it was one of the best days of my life- just lounging in bed, holding my baby and chatting with friends (we went home that evening, after about 20 hours at the hospital). The point is, I was so high on the birth of my beautiful son and so full of oxytocin that I loved seeing people. I never, ever would’ve expected that- I am a private, introverted person that doesn’t like to socialize when I’m tired. I was also worried about post-partum hormones and being weepy, but I felt great for the most part. I also enjoyed having visitors soon after the birth- I got bored just sitting around with an icepack on my crotch breastfeeding all day and loved it when people brought food and presents and fussed over my precious son. Most people came in the evening and left after just a little bit so it wasn’t intrusive. I kinda looked forward to it all day, since I was feeling a little cooped up. Anyways, you can certainly let people know to give you some space and wait a few days, but you could also just play it by ear- you might surprise yourself by not minding visitors.
Post # 5
Thank you the responses, ladies! I definitely needed some impartial insight.
MrsAKSkier: Good god, I loved your response so, so, so much. Thank you for that! That made me feel so much better! I am a very private person too, probably too private but you gave me hope that maybe I’ll be so juiced up on oxytocin and other birth hormones that I’ll be super down with the love and TLC from the visitors.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Our baby’s almost here, and we’ve agreed that only parents are visiting in the hospital, then immediate family and maybe one of two friends the first two weeks. limiting visitors in the beginning was strongly advised from several nurses at the hospital during our birthing classes, and also a lot of moms on a Facebook group I’m on.
You and the baby are going to be exhausted after birth. If you plan on breast feeding, there’s going to be a learning curve for both of you, and I assume that your preference is to do that with some level of privacy. Most hospitals restrict the number of visitors at a time, so do you really want the bulk of the time frame for visiting hours filled? Probably not.
You’ll want a couple of hours after the birth to recoup, but depening on the time of the birth, you should be okay with his parents/sister visiting the same day. And depending on your relationship with them, you may want them to make helpful visits (as in bring a meal, etc.) once you get home. I agree with PPs that his parents/sister are VIPs for the hospital, but the other family can definitely wait until you are ready, and come visit at home in designated shifts.
Post # 7
rebwana: Just an opposite point of view: I much prefered hospital visitors to home visitors! (So long as they were a couple of days after the birth). Why? Because they’re in and out in a fairly short time, and I had DH + hospital staff as support. The hospital also had limited visiting hours, so at most 3 hours per day was taken with visitors. No one except DH was allowed during other hours. But once I was home, DH was fairly soon back at work, so if a visitor came I had no one else there.
Post # 8
My parents and MIL visited that day. Actually my mom was with us during labor and they went out to the waiting room when I was pushing. It was in the evening, so they basically came in after we were all cleaned up and we had our first hour to feed the baby. They held her and were in with us about an hour. My dad went out and brought us all back food since the cafeteria/food service was closed. They left when they moved us down to our actual room (and it was late- like 11pm).
The day after they all came back, plus my brothers and one of my close friends.
MIL stayed with us the first night home. My mother stayed with us the first week.
Other people (other close friends and FIL) stopped by over the next 2 weeks.
I was exhausted in the hospital (people come in at all hours of the night to do things and check on things and wake you up plus having to try and wake a sleeping baby every 3 hours plus visitors) but I LOVED having my mother stay with us for a week. She did all the cooking and cleaning and even watched baby at 8am so I could sleep in. She also took me out to run errands (you will probably want to get out of the house!) or ran errands for me. I was really sore the first 3 days (I was okay once I was standing and moving but going from sitting to standing sort of felt like my butt was going to fall out of my body) but they give you so much (mesh undies, huge pads, ice packs) that I certainly wasn’t bleeding all over the floor. I did bleed for 2 or 3 weeks but after the first 5 days it was pretty light. It was only really heavy the first day or two. I cried almost every night thinking about my mother leaving after the week was over lol. I cried leaving the hospital, too. Like you will wonder how you’re supposed to be responsible (or allowed to be) for this little human…!
I liked having visitors (as long as they didn’t stay for hours on end) because it’s nice to have some variety! Those early weeks can feel very long and like you’re a shut-in so it’s nice to see some people or to get out for a trip to target or the baby store.
Post # 9
My mom was in the waiting room while I pushed and met the baby when she was less than an hour old (I did make her wait until I was clean and sewn up). DD was born just before 2am so My BIL and SIL came later that day as did one of my best friends and one of DH’s best friends and his family. A few others visited in the hospital over the next 2 days.
As a PP mentioned, I liked people visiting in the hospital more than I did at home. In the hospital, they never stayed long – someone was always coming in to check vitals or check on breastfeeding or whatever so people would leave. when they visited the house, they stayed forever!
As as for how I felt , I actually felt really good! I had a vaginal delivery with a 2nd degree tear, 2 hours of pushing. tad bit uncomfortable but really not bad. And my bleeding wasn’t too crazy either!
Post # 10
rebwana: Thank you for the response. Limiting visitors because of babe’s health is a good reason. One little flu from an adult and the baby could get very seriously sick. I will bring that up to DH. I’m thinking now that maybe parents and sisters the day on or after the birth is okay but I think I will be firm on limiting aunts/uncles/cousins. I’m still not sure what to do with my husband’s little old granny. He’s pushing for her to come visit that first day with the parents and I’m not really down with that. First, she’s a grumpy old lady who hates me and secondly, she’s actually so feeble just imagining her holding the baby makes me worried.
aussiemum1248: I’ve read this in a lot of the older posts as well. Home visitors linger, hospital visitors are more likely to be in and out. That’s definitely something to consider.
kes18: I love my mom, and I love my MIL but I’m not sure I would want them around my house all the time after the birth. I feel like they would just get annoying and since my husband has two weeks of paternity leave, he can pick up the slack for me. I know my sister LOVED my mom being there though because my mom was a fountain of information about babies and knew how to support my sister better than her husband did!
All of these responses are starting to convince me that maybe visitors are nice. Like, maybe I’ll be so happy and proud and overjoyed that I’ll WANT everyone to meet my LO!
Post # 11
FutureMRS3lastnames: I gave birth on a Tuesday. My mom was there for labor but not the delivery. She did make sure I got into my room alright (since I was carrying the baby, my husband was carrying my bag) and she was just being a mother hen. His mother came by on Wednesday. And that was it. No one else came, and no one else saw her until she was nearly 8 weeks old. That’s what we wanted. We wanted that time to be parents spend time as a family, and just get used to taking care of a child. I had an easy delivery, no tearing or any of that, but I for sure didn’t want any visitors until I was ready. Why is your DH so adamant on everyone seeing her? Depending on when you give birth you could be in the height of flu season.
I enjoyed having that 6 weeks without anyone coming by and bugging us. And, yes, it was nice for us. But that’s what worked for us. It sounds like your husband expects visitors to just come through so you may only be able ot compromise about the home visitors or hospital visitors.
Post # 12
I really liked having visitors at the hospital! My family and a lot of our friends came by the day my son was born. It made me feel very loved and supported, and visits at the hospital are usually pretty short. And as PP said, during a hospital visit, you’re not a host like you are in your own home. People are taking care of YOU, bringing snacks and beverages 🙂
Post # 13
FutureMRS3lastnames: We didn’t contact anyone until a few hours after the birth when we felt settled in. My uncle, who works at the hospital was one of our first visitors that day. My in laws got to visit as well. The next day my parents came as did my brother, and he brought a few friends (who are close to us too). It didn’t bother me.
I did make sure the nurses knew to ask me first before letting visitors into my room. They sort of failed the day I left the hospital by letting my MIL just waltz right in (and I was breastfeeding which was a huge undertaking for me), so next time I will make it super clear that is not ok.
Honestly, I freaked out when I was pregnant about visitors. I anticipated letting no one visit, and I felt so good after giving birth and wanted to share my son with everyone that I let whoever come, and I don’t regret it. We got a lot of time together at home, and we got our private moments after 7 at night when we told everyone to leave. We made it work because we were clear with visitors when they could and couldn’t visit. And everyone was really respectful towards us honestly.
Post # 14
FutureMRS3lastnames: I’ll let immediate family the day of, close friends and family while in the hospital, and then have the first week home be more sequestered as we get used to things having just immediate family over.
Post # 15
FutureMRS3lastnames: Yeah, my husband was at home (he works from home)…but he’s not really a great cook or cleaner either lol. And I was terrified of being alone with her (like I’d screw it up haha) so it was nice to have someone there with some experience!