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Milky Cuddles: Why We Said No To Visitors at the Hospital

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Why We Said No To Visitors at the Hospital

The thing I love about the first few days with a brand new baby in hospital is that it allows the world to stop. For that time in the hospital there is nothing else – nowhere you need to be, nothing you need to do. It is just about you, and your baby, and breastfeeding and bonding and healing. I needed this time so much.

We asked for no visitors at the hospital (with the exception of my firstborn and my parents who brought her). We told people in advance if we had the opportunity to throw it into conversation (this is important if you want to avoid the friendly pop-ins), but we also had to tell people who texted us asking to come. We decided just to be really honest, to not feel guilty and to remember that this time was not about anyone else, and though it may sound selfish, it really was all about us. 

Here’s why not having visitors at the hospital was good for us:

  • We really needed the time to get to know our newest family member, to hold her without having to pass her around, to stare at her sleeping face without being distracted by our toddler.
  • We needed to rest and sleep during the day. Nine months of pregnancy is exhausting, birth is exhausting and breastfeeding around the clock is exhausting. Did I mention I needed sleep??
  • I needed to focus on breastfeeding. It is much easier to establish breastfeeding when you have quiet time alone with your baby, when you can try different positions and work on the latch without having to hold a conversation or have someone watching you. I am a big advocate for breastfeeding anytime, anywhere and I have no problem breastfeeding in front of people. But in those first few days I just needed some time to discover how to do it (this was especially true with my first, but also true with my second as every baby feeds and latches differently).
  • The time in hospital is busy. There’s the midwives checking in, breastfeeding, the physio class, hearing test, first bath, immunisations, full newborn check, lactation consultant, professional photos etc. Even without visitors we had very little time to rest!
  • The first few days with a newborn are a special time and with your second, it is the only time that the world stops for you, where there is your new baby and nothing else. We’d waited 9 months to meet our little one, I knew others could wait a few more days.
It is likely you wont know what you want until the time comes. With my first I also thought we didn’t want visitors at the hospital, but in the end I was just so thrilled she was here that I couldn’t wait to show her off. But it was different with my first because we had more rest and recovery time at home. This time around as soon as we left the hospital, we were back to a life of toddler chaos. So it was the right decision for us.

I'm inspired by mums who manage to rest properly post birth. I have never managed to do that properly. But if you are looking for tips I love this piece, How to Postpartum Like a Boss

"I look at that one week postpartum as a little sacred space that I will never get back. It's a space where, for the most part, it's just that brand new baby and me. And I'm selfish about it. And not sorry. Life will keep plummeting forward rapidly and I wont ever stop it. But I can have a week with a floppy new baby on my chest in my bed and I'll take it. And I'll protect it". 

Exactly, I couldn't say it better! 

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