You've waited and waited and waited for the arrival of your new baby. And so has everyone else - your parents, your siblings, your best friends. Everyone cannot wait to meet this new little bundle of joy.
And before your baby arrives, you probably have visions of showing her off, beaming radiantly as everyone oohs and aahs over that sweet little face. At least that's how it always is in the movies.
But I'm here to tell you: Just say no.
Say no to too many visitors immediately after the birth. You will be glad that you did.
This is a special time in the life of your new family. A time to bond - not just for the parents but for the baby too. It's not selfish to want to keep your new baby all to yourself instead of pass him around. In fact, it's a great thing for the new parents to keep him skin to skin during these early days, rather than fully-dressed and making the rounds among your friends.
This is also an overwhelming time.
Establishing breastfeeding (if that is what you plan to do) is seldom easy. In fact, the reality of what it takes to breastfeed a newborn often hits home at the most inconvenient of times - when you have a house full of visitors. If you are not comfortable being topless in front of Great Uncle Max, it might not be the best time for him to visit.
It's also important to remember that you will be hormonal and sleep-deprived. The comments from your cousin that normally roll right off your back, might trigger an emotional breakdown during this postpartum time. Save yourself the stress and surround yourself only with those closest to you.
And remember, there is a difference between your support system and visitors.
Your support system arrives with a hot meal, sometimes they just drop it off on the front porch or other times they hold the baby long enough for you to eat with two hands and then leaves. Your support system comes over and loads up your dishwasher or folds a load of laundry. Your support system doesn't grill you on how the baby is sleeping or sanctimoniously command you to enjoy every moment of this. No, your support system listens while you fall apart and agrees with you that this stuff is hard.
We are not talking about limiting visits from the support system.
We are talking about the visitors. The people that just hang out for hours, clueless to the fact that you are basically an extra from The Walking Dead. Or the ones that only want to have some baby face time while you end up doing all the stuff you are too tired to do. Or visitors that really don't understand the demands of breastfeeding a newborn and "helpfully" offer to feed the baby a bottle over and over again. These are the types of visitors that you need to just say no to.
Because this time is fragile.
You are navigating an entirely new relationship with an entirely new human being and you need to be nurtured and supported and built up during this time.
This time is for you, not the visitors.