What an exciting time welcoming your new bundle of joy into this world! You and your partner are finally meeting your baby after spending the last 9 months envisioning what she’ll look like. So many questions are answered the moment your baby is born and placed into your arms: how much hair will she have, how big will she be? After delivery many couples take pictures to send to their family and friends. It’s so exciting to show off the new love of your life! So the next question is, “When do I allow visitors after birth?”
Covid Visitor Restrictions
During the beginning of the Covid Pandemic, hospitals were not allowing visitors. It was heart breaking for families. There is a positive to every situation though. Many women realized how beneficial it was to have bonding time with just their newborn and partner. Kristen W., a midwife shared with us that there has been an increase in initial breastfeeding success due to more skin-to-skin time without visitors coming and going. She also shared, “I have had many mothers who described the visitation policy as a blessing in disguise.” At this time every state and hospital has a different policy. Some are letting one visitor in at a time and some are still not allowing any visitors, just one support person.
It’s Okay to Have Just Family Time
The questions start coming in, “When can we come visit and meet the baby?” I am here to tell you that it is OKAY and not selfish if you and your partner agree to not have anyone come while you are in the hospital. During this time parents are soaking up every moment they can get before heading home in the next couple of days. For first time parents this is a learning curve for, all including baby. After 9 warm months in the womb, baby is now transitioning into the 4th trimester in this great big world.
Learn From The Postpartum Nurses
Parents take advantage of assistance from the nurses and use it as a learning opportunity. They’ll help you with diaper changes, swaddling, and more. Mom will learn breastfeeding or bottle feeding techniques. Spouses will learn ways to help Mom and work as a team for baby. Ask as many questions as you want. Those first few days postpartum with your partner and newborn are intimate times. I’m not saying visitors aren’t great, who doesn’t love to share the birth of their new baby. However, sometimes being alone with your partner and new baby is all you need in those first few days.
Reasons why not having visitors may be the right choice for you and your family:
- You will be very tired following the birth of your newborn, so your necessary nap time will be unpredictable.
- You may have had a difficult delivery and simply do not want visitors while you recover.
- New moms trying to figure out breastfeeding, often means you will be exposed. Trying to nurse in front of family members and get a rhythm with your newborn may be uncomfortable; this also goes for parents with children previously.
- Both you and your partner are experiencing those “firsts” with your baby and want that solely between you two.
- You just want alone time with your partner and little family.
- You simply just don’t want any visitors until you get home.
Reasons to allow visitors after birth:
- You have older children at home who you want to feel included.
- You have a pet at home and want a family member to take a blanket home that smells like your newborn to allow for an easier transition.
- Your best friend is a nurse at the same hospital so you are okay with her stopping in.
- You could only have one support person during delivery, but really want your Mom there too.
- The extra support from family and friends is an added bonus.
I am here to tell you that whatever you decide about visitors after birth, is okay! Do not feel guilty for setting boundaries for you and your new family. This is a very exciting time and it should be spent how you and your partner see fit! When you get home if you are looking for some extra help beyond family, Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny can support you with newborn care, bottle, or lactation support as you ease into parenthood.
About The Author
Kaitlin’s years of experience on the postpartum/antepartum floor at a local Boston hospital helped solidify her passion for partnering with families welcoming their newborn home and transitioning to the fourth trimester. Her first day there she knew she found her purpose. Kait’s nurturing, calm, and caring demeanor puts families at ease. She loves the opportunity to provide more impactful support in the home where she can help new families establish a healthy sleep foundation. Kaitlin’s first bachelor’s degree is from Southern New Hampshire University in psychology with a concentration in mental health as she later went on to pursue her Nursing Degree and in the fall of 2021, Kaitlin passed her nursing boards!