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Are you a new mom-to-be who would prefer to have no visitors after birth?
If you are apprehensive about having visitors during the early days of your postpartum recovery, you are NOT alone in your concerns!
While new parents are genuinely excited to introduce their baby to the world (and some are truly okay with visitors), others have serious concerns and fears about hosting visitors too soon.
Do you feel obligated to allow family and friends to come meet your newborn right away? Would you rather wait before having visitors?
These are very common feelings. But… did you know that it’s TOTALLY OKAY to request no visitors after birth? In fact, it’s actually GOOD for moms and newborns!
More and more new parents are choosing to delay visitors.
Instead, they are focusing on rest, bonding, breastfeeding and special family time during the first two weeks with baby.
The purpose of this post is NOT to convince you to avoid visitors after birth. Instead, I want to validate those of you who already feel this way and support your decision to do so!
You may also be “on the fence” with this decision. Hopefully, this post will help you decide what is best for YOUR family!
Wait… can I really request no visitors after birth?
In fact, if you think that this is the best decision for you, then I highly encourage it.
Yes, it can be very tricky navigating family politics, and you may even offend some of your friends or family members, but don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for your needs when it comes to this decision… And don’t feel guilty or shamed either!
(Actually, this time of the pandemic makes it way easier to enforce a “no visitors policy!”) 😉
If you aren’t sure how to approach this topic with your friends or family, check out these great ideas for how to gently make your request for no visitors after your baby’s birth.
Does “no visitors after birth” mean no help?
This is something that you seriously need to consider.
If you and your partner feel strongly about being on your own with your new baby, keep in mind that you may be forfeiting your chances for recovery help as well.
I have seen parents choose this option because of difficult family relationships. (In some cases, new mamas don’t want their own mothers or mothers-in-law around.)
While this may be how your feel initially, be open to changing your mind once baby is here.
When faced with the reality of caring for a newborn, many new parents begin to feel differently about having postpartum support.
For this reason, I encourage you to be careful how you initially communicate your wishes to your friends and family. Don’t cut off their support completely. Leave room to assess and adjust as your needs change!
Good postpartum self-care starts with proper pre-baby planning!
If you choose to delay visitors or forgo in-person help, then make sure that you plan your baby-moon, get pre-baby freezer meals ready, stock up on postpartum essentials and get all your ducks in a row before baby arrives!
There are also some really great postpartum supplies and baby care products that will help you out during this season. Here are my favorite mom and baby products!
Related: 25 Rules for Visiting a Newborn
Are there good reasons that you should consider a “no visitors policy” after YOUR baby’s birth?
Keep reading to learn more…
10 reasons for delaying visitors after birth…
1. Mom needs sleep and recovery time
You will be exhausted after giving birth. When you get a chance to sleep during the day, YOU NEED TO TAKE IT!!
Not only will you be getting up several times at night for newborn feedings, but your postpartum body needs time to heal. Here’s what you can expect during your postpartum recovery.
Having visitors coming and going during the day seriously impedes your chances to nap. This is a really big reason to limit or delay visitors during the first 2 weeks.
2. Hubby or partner needs sleep too
Yup. Your partner will most likely be exhausted as well. Enough said.
3. New families need privacy and bonding time
Do you really want an audience while learning how to breastfeed or change your baby’s diaper? After a long pregnancy and birth, most new mothers look forward to some quiet time to snuggle and get acquainted with their newborn.
Not only that, but visitors are often quick to offer advice or tell you what you are doing wrong.
While some new mamas welcome the baby advice, it can also make a new mom feel inadequate or question her ability to care for her baby.
I often hear words of regret from parents who say that they wish that they would have had less or no visitors during the first couple weeks. They felt that they missed out on special bonding time with their newborns because of the chaos or busyness of the first couple weeks. 🙁
Newborns grow so fast. Put your busy life on hold and embrace this time of calm, rest and newborn snuggles! You will never regret slowing down and savoring this special sweet family bonding time.
Have you considered taking a postpartum baby-moon to rest, recover and bond with your newborn?
4. Mom may be very emotional
During the first 2 weeks postpartum, it’s very common for new mothers to experience a wide range of emotions.
This happens because there is a huge hormonal shift that occurs shortly after birth as a mother’s body adjusts from pregnancy hormones to breastfeeding hormones.
In fact, even when a new mom has decided against breastfeeding, her body still goes through these hormonal changes. We call the strong emotions during the first 2 weeks the “baby blues.”
Moms often report that the extra stress of having visitors triggered emotional breakdowns that they were not expecting.
5. Mom and baby need skin-to-skin time
Moms and babies do much better during the early weeks with plenty of skin-to-skin bonding time. (Not just in the hospital!)
Studies show that skin-to-skin helps establish breastfeeding, stabilize baby’s vital signs, comforts moms and babies, helps with mom’s hormonal adjustments and so much more!
When there is a constant flow of visitors, it’s almost impossible for moms and babies to get enough time for skin-to-skin in between feedings, sleep and other mom and baby care needs.
6. Establishing breastfeeding takes time and privacy
If you are planning on breastfeeding your baby, you will probably be surprised by how much time it takes in the beginning. It can take a while before you feel comfortable with the whole process.
Breastfeeding may be “natural,” but it’s not always easy during the first 2 weeks.
Many new mothers prefer having quiet and privacy as they learn how to properly latch their babies.
7. New parents get more time to hold their baby
When you have lots of visitors during the early weeks, it’s sometimes hard for new parents to actually get much time to hold their own babies!
Less holding by parents means, less skin-to-skin, less breastfeeding, less bonding and less baby weight gain. Sad, but true.
8. Visitors can create extra stress for new parents
Many people who visit new parents and newborns are totally clueless! They have no clue how tired, overwhelmed or anxious a new mother may be feeling.
Although some visitors can be very helpful and supportive, there are always those who create more work or stress for the new family.
These rules for visiting newborns may give you some ideas of ways that you can ask for help or advocate for your needs during the early weeks with your new baby.
9. Babies love social distancing!
Did you know that newborns LOVE social-distancing? During this pandemic, a midwife group in the UK has reported that the newborns in their care are THRIVING!
They believe the reason for this is that (with less visitors) moms and babies have more uninterrupted time for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin!
It’s also true that some babies can get easily overstimulated by all the activity of visitors. This can interfere with mother-baby bonding, breastfeeding and sleep.
Read more about why and how newborns are doing so well during this time of social-distancing and the benefits of quarantine for newborns in this post.
10. Preventing germs!
Last but not least, we all know that limiting visitors can prevent exposure to unwanted sickness. This is especially true in today’s Covid-19 world.
While we are on the subject of germs, I must mention the many health benefits of breastfeeding.
In particular, exactly how breastfeeding protects your baby from viruses and other pathogens. In layman’s terms, here’s how your body knows what antibodies to create for your breastfeeding baby.…so amazing!
How to Plan a Postpartum Baby-Moon and LOVE Your 4th Trimester!
Whether you decide to allow visitors (or help) during the first 2 weeks or not… either way… it’s CRUCIAL that you have a plan!
Don’t wait until baby is already here to get a postpartum plan ready, either!
As a postpartum doula, I have lots of free help on this website to show you how to create a postpartum plan and I teach you exactly how to get ready for a sweet postpartum baby-moon.
I have even written a very affordable online course with step-by-step planning tools to help you get ready for the 4th trimester. The course comes with virtual postpartum doula support, too!
You can check out my online planning course here.
Have you tried a no visitors after birth policy?
How did that go for you? Would you do it again? Any other tips or ideas to share with expectant parents?