Village, Village, Where Art Thou?
So we all agree that "it takes a village”. Right?
Can we also agree that moms need that village from the very beginning?
Our friends and family are so excited to find out a new baby will be joining the fold. Excitement mounts for the gender reveal, if you choose to find out beforehand, then everyone gathers for food, fun, and to support the new parents by bringing gifts to the baby shower. After waiting seemingly forever, the big day arrives and everyone is eager to see the baby shortly after he/she is born whether at the hospital or once the new family is settled at home.
Then, after the novelty of newborn cuddles and new baby scent has worn off, everyone goes back to their own lives leaving the new mom to fend for herself. In those first few grueling weeks after giving birth, she has to learn how to balance caring for a newborn and keeping the house in order while trying to recover from birth in what can feel like a foreign postpartum body, while quite possibly being the most sleep deprived she’s ever been in her entire life.
Did you know that the postpartum period, our fourth trimester as it is now called, can be one of the most isolating and loneliest times of a woman’s life? Because our society is driven by so many things, it is easy for friends and loved ones to me more consumed with their day to day responsibilities including jobs, their own children/families, and other commitments.
A new idea has recently been circulating around the mommy blogs and social media groups. This idea includes foregoing the traditional baby shower and hosting a postpartum party instead. Now, no one really means to do away with baby showers and this is not a party in the popular sense of the word. A postpartum party would last at least 6 weeks. There are practical things that new parents need and could definitely use a hand in securing before the baby is born. However, instead of having guests feel awkward about guessing the new mom’s girth, provide them with an opportunity to gift you some things that well help in the transitional time after the baby is born.
Some examples could be:
· Create a Meal Train for volunteers to provide dinner for the family a few times a week.
· Create a SignUp Genius for visitors so that the new mom can choose the best hours and doesn’t become overwhelmed by entertaining guests.
· Create a list of tasks that would be helpful to the new mom might need assistance with once her partner has returned to work.
· Provide an easy way for friends and family to donate monetarily to hiring a postpartum doula.
Remember, having a new baby is foreign territory. Many times new mothers aren’t looking for someone to keep their home spotless. With all the tips, tricks, and new mommy advice out there, they may also have a well-stocked freezer full of meals. Sometimes it’s about making connections. They really just need someone to talk to, someone to listen, and someone to help make them feel more like a human being and less like an alien or zombie as they traverse this new terrain. Be the village.
If you’ve had a baby before, what was the most beneficial thing for your friends and family to do for you after your baby arrived?
North Atlanta Concierge Doula Services discusses helpful tips for postpartum during childbirth education classes and as a part of our platinum doula services package. Contact us today to find out how we can support you during pregnancy, labor, and the fourth trimester.