One major question after a baby is born is whether or not a mom should welcome visitors to meet her new baby. A popular blog recently featured a piece entitled 5 Reasons I Don’t Want Visitors When Baby is Born. While there are sometimes medical reasons to consider limiting visitors, I believe the benefits of embracing your baby’s fan club can truly benefit your growing family.
Here Are 6 Reasons Moms Should Encourage Visitors After Baby is Born:
1. Life is a miracle.
Witnessing fresh new life is exciting! It is astounding that a microscopic sperm and egg turned into a seven-pound child. A sweet little one to snuggle, toes to count, mom and dad’s baby pictures to compare and an entire new person to love on await your visitors. It is a miracle so exciting we could hardly wait to share ours with the world!
2. Your support system is eagerly waiting to help.
When we ventured into the hospital that rainy winter day, soon to be known as our son’s birthday, we had a very small list of people to notify. We both called our moms, and we texted one friend who said she wanted to pray for me while I was in labor (and how do you pass up that offer!).
We had friends lined up to bring us dinner, clothes and more, filling up our nursery before our baby was even born. Their generosity and love inspired us and we anticipated sharing our child with them long before we even held him in our arms. These same people were invaluable resources as we took our first steps of parenthood and we are so thankful for their involvement in the life of our little man.
3. Showing off your new baby is fun.
I distinctly remember the first Sunday I made it back to church with our firstborn. It felt like everyone in our 400-member congregation wanted a look at our precious little man. My husband and I floated the whole way home—it was such a joy to introduce our son to all of our friends. Post-delivery hormones leave you half a second from tears of joy (or sadness, or in-between-ness, or it’s Tuesday-ness), so why not enjoy the good side of those crazy monsters? There is nothing better than that precious one that you carried for forty weeks and ushered into the world, so why not show him off?
4. Disinfectant + common sense can keep everyone healthy.
My cousin had her daughter just a few days before Christmas one year. I remember standing in line (I have a big family) to snuggle that sweet babe. “Use the Germ-X” was my cousin’s mantra and if there was a sniffle amongst us we would not have dared to get in that line—or that half of the house. We used common sense and realized that no one there wanted to expose her new child to illness.
5. Your baby does not really belong to you.
Sure, he will be the one you load into that intricate car seat you pray your husband installed correctly and take home to raise. You will invest eighteen years of in-home work and then decades of over-the-phone consults and encouragement into that tiny child you take home. But the reality is that you have no control over the decisions that baby will grow up to make.
Our son decided to teach us this lesson at five days old. He had an infection that his tiny body was fighting off, which led to an ambulance ride, a spinal tap, and spending his first Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the hospital. I would have given anything to take that infection from his body, but the reality is that I had absolutely no control over it. I was completely helpless to make him better, no matter what I tried or how hard I cried. This intensive crash-course taught my husband and I early on that each day with our son is a gift. Tomorrow is not promised to any one of us. We knew that meant we could not selfishly hoard our baby away from the world. He was not ours, and our future was not guaranteed.
6. Everyone has a different birth experience.
A friend called my husband with the sweetest of questions during our hospital stay. This friend had endured seven C-sections and the recovery was pretty brutal each time. She recounted everyone wanting to come and laugh, staying for hours at a time. Meanwhile her entire abdomen was writhing in pain, with laughter only making it worse. Her question was simple, “Does mom REALLY want visitors?” My delivery was much different. I inherited my grandmother’s tiny-baby-fast-labor genes and I felt great afterwards. I walked to my post-partum room and once I was cleared for a shower, I was ready to entertain the world. Combining that with an insane adrenaline rush that kept me from sleeping for approximately 72 hours after giving birth, I was ready for anyone.
Everyone’s birth is different. Everyone’s preferences after birth are different. If you want to know, just ask. Mom will be sure to tell you if she is up to visitors or not.