A post by a new mum begging well-wishers to stay away for a couple of days after bub is born has us all cheering.
Because really, thank gawd someone has finally said it.
A picture worth 1,000 words
Shared by mum of three, Katie Bowman, the post is the message we wish all of our friends and family would hear, without us actually having to say it and also without anyone getting their knickers in a knot about it.
It features a picture of the exhausted new mum in hospital, taken just 24 hours after the birth of her third baby.
With no idea the pic was being taken, Katie looks on as her baby is being passed around family like pass the parcel.
Her expression says it all.
A picture really is worth 1000 words. This is me, roughly 24 hours after giving birth to my eldest. I have no idea who…
Is that too much to ask?
Clearly shattered, the mum is distant from her visitors as they ooh and ah over the new life she not long ago was pushing out of her.
Katie says she posted the pic in a bid to help other mums set boundaries with visitors.
As she writes:
“Before being introduced to your new life as a mother, you have just gone through one of the most painful, exhausting, and mind-blowing experiences in your life. Labour.
“Has everyone forgotten how tolling that can be on both your emotional and physical well being? The last thing you then want is for everyone to be bombarding your room to play pass the parcel before you have even had a chance to recover,” she says, begging visitors to stay away for at least two days.
“Is that too much to ask for?” she ponders in her post.
Owie vag and more
Katie then delves into the reality of having giving birth and then trying to breastfeed, which is particularly difficult when you have an audience.
“Learning to breastfeed is no private affair. You don’t just slip your nipple out and your baby connects to it like a magnet. You get your whole boob out and slide your baby up and down waiting for them to latch on. The nurse comes in and helps you massage some colostrum out. Then you try the other side, so now you’ve got both boobs out,” she pens.
“Your vagina or stomach is in a world of pain. More often than not, there’s been a cut somewhere. You struggle to get comfortable in that hard hospital bed, because no position feels OK. You can barely sit, stand, lie down, or walk.”
“Honestly, my vagina still hurt for 2 or 3 weeks after that. The hospital doesn’t like you to leave until they know you have emptied your bowels without your vagina falling out too. When do you fit in trying to pass that painful lump when your room is full of visitors?”
She has a point.
But for some reason, asking well-wishers to give a new mum just a little (two days!) of time and space seems to ruffle the feathers.
“Just a quick visit”
While Katie fully understands some mums might relish in a parade of friends and family in hospital to celebrate the birth of the new little one, she still feels it should be on the mum’s terms. And in her case, this was the need for two days to bond with her baby and recover a little.
“What I didn’t realise was how hard trying to ask people to stay away for a day would be,” Katie writes.
Instead, people pushed for a ‘quick visit’ and feeling over it and unable to communicate her feelings on the matter (because she was exhausted and unable to think clearly) she was too tired to even ask.
But really, a new mum shouldn’t need to.
It should be expected that a woman who has just been through birth and is trying to navigate breastfeeding, might just need some time to bond with her baby and well, breathe.
But instead, there is this expectation within society that those close to the family will see the baby straight away.
Looking at that telling photo, Katie now urges friends and relatives of new parents to “remember it is not your right to visit a new baby, it is a privilege.”
It seems LOTS of mums agree with Katie.
The post has racked up 40K of ‘likes’ and has been shared 87K times.
There have also been loads of comments from other mums sharing their in-hospital visitor stories.
“This picture breaks my heart,” one commentator wrote.
“Everything you said was so true. My husband’s aunt and grandma still don’t talk to us because I asked if they could wait a couple of days to see our son because I was overwhelmed and that was almost seven years ago.”
Hopefully, Katie’s post will help people to stop and think before assuming it’s OK for them to visit straight after birth.
And hopefully, new parents feel it’s OK to set some boundaries, whatever they feel is right for them.