No, we’re not suggesting you live the wee one with Grandma and jet off to the islands…
What we are saying is that so many mothers (and fathers) are a little bit frantic, postpartum, and they sometimes miss out on some of the best parts of their baby’s first days.
A postpartum babymoon is quite simply taking the time in the weeks following birth to take care of yourself and your baby, to enjoy the fresh baby smell and all the wonders of this new life. Easier said than done, in some cases. After all, there can be older siblings to take care of and partners who are returning to their jobs. Clearing your head mentally and your schedule physically isn’t something that everyone can do, but it’s worth a try!
Your body needs time
You’ve just had nine months of growing a human and hours or even days of birthing a human… And you think you’re going to jump out of bed and get on with your life as if nothing has changed?
Wrong. It’s not just your body’s core including your uterus that needs time to return to pre-pregnancy shape. Your vagina, if you had a vaginal birth, took a beating, to say nothing of your perineum. If you had a c-section, you’ve just had major surgery from which your whole body needs time to recover, to say nothing of the incision. Your breasts are changing even more as the milk flow starts. All of your internal organs need to re-organize and fall back into place and do we need to even mention bowel movements? Because if you’re like most women, you’ve had some issues with those before the birth and since.
All this time, your hormones are going haywire, dropping from pregnancy levels down to normal rather quickly as you change over from baby creator to baby caregiver. And while mother nature has done a pretty good job of ensuring that most of these things go back to normal, she doesn’t work with a magic wand. In other words, it’s not instant!
You need time to adjust to your new sleep schedule (what sleep?) and get into a routine that you feel comfortable with before you start adding new things. In this stage, it’s easy to get sick, anemic, over-fatigued just because you’re overdoing it and your body isn’t ready.
Your brain needs time
Resting and relaxing your body and your brain helps repair everything. Undue stress and anxiety can interfere with your ability to breastfeed and is generally a bad place to be, mentally, when coping with fatigue and a new baby.
Also, and this is an interesting reality for many new moms, it sometimes takes a while to love your baby. I know… it sounds awful, but stay with me. Some mothers, between the extreme dip in hormones and the fatigue, find it difficult to relate to the screaming infant that they are suddenly holding. It’s not automatic for some people and can take some time to develop. That love comes more easily if you have the chance to spend uninterrupted quiet time with your baby. Not time while you’re doing the laundry or cooking dinner. Just time to sit and contemplate their eyelashes and their tiny fingers, their tiny toes and their little nose.
How do you get a babymoon?
It comes down to owning your decision and a little bit of planning. First, you need to own that you deserve this time. If you don’t feel that way, you can’t ask for it from those around you. Then the planning part: you need to arrange to have things done, for tasks around the house to be covered and for your other children to be cared for while you take this time. Ideally, you could take a couple of weeks to rest and restore yourself, but whatever you can manage is better than nothing.
1.Prepare what you can in advance — meals, laundry, costumes if you’re giving birth near Hallowe’en, decorations if you’re giving birth near Christmas… you see where I’m going here. Anything you can get off your ‘to do’ list before your due date is good news.
2.Limit the visitors in the early days — having guests is a strain, even if it’s just for a cup of tea and a peek at baby, so try and limit your visitors for a while to help take some of that stress away. For visitors who do come by and ask if they can do something: don’t be shy! Ask them to bring you a pre-cooked meal or to do the dishes, throw in a load of laundry or do the grocery shopping. All of these things are time consuming and not always easy to get done, while you’re recovering.
3.Start planning — if you want to have a babymoon, plan how you will manage it in terms of your work, financially, the rest of your family and any other responsibilities that you have. Save up so that your partner can take a leave for a few weeks, if that’s a possibility. Instead of getting three diaper genies, register instead for services that can help you: housecleaning, meal preparation services, a postpartum doula who can help you with everything on your list.
If you need an extra pair of hands or help with your new baby, check out our services!