May 12, 2019

With over 25 years’ experience in midwifery, Liz Wilkes, midwife and Philips Avent ambassador’s ‘first visit’ memories range from emotional, delightful moments to absolute cringeworthy disasters.

This time should be special for both parents and visiting friends and family, so here are a few tips to consider to prepare for baby’s first visitors.

  1. Make a visiting time each day

While your friends and family will want to visit your new baby, feel free to have them work around you and bub. There will be an adjustment period, so try to balance the time you have the best you can. Usually late morning is a good time for visitors, and suggesting they bring lunch is a great option. This means you can have a sleep-in, be up and showered, and enjoy your visitor’s company over food before retiring for a rest in the afternoon.

  1. Be open with visitors

There are a few things parents should consider talking to their visitors about ahead of them meeting bub. If your baby has a sore area from birth, let visitors know to be gentle around that area or avoid holding them. Before the birth of your child, agree on how you feel about vaccinated visitors with your partner, and let close family and friends know this ahead of meeting bub for the first time. Children, including siblings, with vomiting, diarrhoea, any childhood illness such as chickenpox or hand foot and mouth should also stay away from a new baby and seek GP reassurance before visiting.

  1. Keep it clean

Visitor’s hands should be washed prior to handling baby as well as afterwards. If you have pets at home, this is something to consider ahead of coming home with a new baby. If yourself or your partner would rather keep a pet away from your new baby in the first few days, you might like to ask a family member or friend to look after them.

  1. Capture the moments

Be prepared for lots of photos and try to remember to capture the important visits for yourself too; beautiful photos of grandma with her first grandchildren are priceless and you want to be able to capture those memories. If your partner, best friend, sister or someone close is happy to be taking some candid shots it’s a great way to give them an important role and take one thing off your list.

  1. Ask visitors to come to you – especially at first

While the house may not be pristine, having visitors come to you rather than you to them, can be easier for parents in the first weeks. You may wish to have an area set up for visitors that is easy to keep reasonably tidy, as well as an area you can withdraw to during visits for feeding. Using a breast pump is great for when visitors are around so you can pump peacefully and feed bub readily and easily. I recommend the Philips Avent Single Electric Breast Pump which has a soft massage cushion to gently stimulate milk flow so that you feel relaxed even with visitors in the house.

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  • Dont be afraid to say no when your not up for visitors. Its important for Mum and Bubs to get enough rest and not be overwhelmed. Its great to share your bundle of Joy but remeber that there is plenty of days and visitors do t need to all come at once.

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  • New mums should have a say in what happens and that they are able to cope with it all. Yes offer to do some of the chores or meals, even a nappy service can help.

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  • Isn’t it amazing that other mums forget what it was like when you first come home and do everything to you that they disliked having done to them? I must admit I had one amazing friend who just bowled in and took over some of the jobs I had left undone and was a tremendous help.

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  • It can be tough getting a lot of visitors just after the birth

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  • I wish I had visitors, I felt so alone, everyone say if you need anything to call them but when you say you aren’t coping they run a mile

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  • If visitors come to visit you within a fortnight of you coming home from hospital they should keep visits short, not pick baby up unless awake and you give consent and be prepared to help with easy chores. I have visited a new Mum and immediately offered to do some washing for her. It has to be one of the hardest things to cope with. If you hang it out and bring it in it saves a lot physical strength for the Mum


    • Offering to do jobs is so kind and so helpful for new parents.
      We do the same thing and it is appreciated.

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  • Visitors bringing food and snacks is always so helpful for new parents.

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  • There’s usually a rush on visitors when a new baby arrives. It’s important to let people know how you want things to be and for them to work around you.

    Reply

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