With the excitement of a new baby, it’s easy for boundaries to be crossed.
One thing I love most about being a doula, is the support I get to provide to new postpartum mamas. Not only do I offer physical support but most importantly, I get to support them emotionally. I sit and listen to all their joys and fears when it comes to motherhood, and an essential piece of my job is to fill in the gaps. Whether it is folding some laundry or taking on newborn duties, it’s important for me to create time for mom to tend to some self-care. It is in these moments of support that I create trusting relationships. A bond that allows moms to feel free to share some of their triggers, rather it be a family member or obligations and I often find myself telling moms “It’s ok to say NO.”
RELATED READING :: Why You Should Have a Doula at Your Birth
Now let’s be clear, not all offered support is bad. If you need the support, please accept it but if you feel uncomfortable sometimes the offered support requires a simple, “No, thank you”.
I’ve had countless clients tell me about the uncomfortable feeling they get from loved ones, who are simply just so excited to meet their bundle of joy. With the excitement of a new baby, it’s easy for boundaries to be crossed. Whether it’s a sense of entitlement from grandparents who want to take over, friends wanting to pop up and hold the baby, constant calls and face-timing, or the unsolicited parenting advice.It can all be too much, especially if your hours of sleep are cut down to little, or you’re breastfeeding around the clock and not able to catch a break. Well, here’s your reminder, It’s ok to say NO.
Here are some tips to help you create postpartum boundaries during this delicate time:
- Hire Support – A postpartum doula is a great tool to have for professional support. Help from in-laws and friends is fantastic but sometimes that comes with extra opinions and an abundance of unsolicited advice. A postpartum doula is a trained person, who offers non-biased support.
- Create a postpartum plan – A postpartum plan is a visual tool that allows you to write your needs and expectations clearly. You can fill one out prior to birth. This is a great way to start early in allowing your family and friends are know your expectations ahead of time.
- Go with the flow of your baby’s sleep & feed schedule – If you are open to having visitors, try and have company during times that feel easy. Avoid trying to keep baby awake for the purpose of entertaining your visitors.
- Prioritize your rest and nourishment needs – Postpartum is a delicate time. Self-care is important for your healing. Try to not over-commit or over-schedule during times where you may feel exhausted, hungry or thirsty.
In all honesty, I started writing this article before the current surge in sickie germs, like RSV and COVID-19. With that being said, this serves a bonus reason to stay in and say no.
Photo Credit :: Queendom Care LLC