Tuesday, November 16, 2010

postpartum

A pregnant friend of mine asked me to share the the postpartum plan I taped up on my refrigerator shortly before giving birth. Having it eased my anxiety and made me feel more in control toward the end of my pregnancy. I can't find the original list, as it had been handwritten. But here's what I remember.

Postpartum (for about the first two weeks)

Do:
Offer to bring a home made or store bought meal.

Offer to take the older child(ren) for a couple of hours to the park or for a play day.

Feel free to stop by the house, but don't expect mom and baby to be available. They may both be sleeping.

Offer to vacuum or do dishes. Insist if the mother refuses. There is always something to clean, especially in a kitchen.

Don't:
Don't ask to hold the baby. This is a crucial bonding time for mother and baby, especially for breastfeeding mothers (I assume, since I've only breastfed).

Don't take unflattering photos. A mother should not be made to feel self-conscious about her appearance so quickly after giving birth.

Don't invite the mother to go out to eat or out shopping. She needs her rest. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the body takes 18 months to fully recover after having a baby.

2 comments:

Heather said...

Ok, this makes me feel like my fears after the baby comes are not crazy. More and more I am afraid of too many people wanting to be around me and the baby after she is born, and I just want to be able to spend time with her before I have to go back to work. At least I am not the only one who realizes how important a mother and child relationship is.

Azalea said...

Yes, it's crazy that in America a brand new mom is supposed to host friends and family immediately after giving birth. It takes a lot of effort for the body to grow that baby and even longer to completely recover from it.

We need to take care of our own bodies and babies instead of trying to be polite after childbirth.