New Delhi: While one may be thrilled at the thought of cuddling a new life in their arms, remember that the new mother may have her own set of apprehensions while welcoming visitors to her home.
Recovering from the gruelling hours of birth, adapting to the round-the-clock demands of breastfeeding while striving for a minimalistic sleep, a family with a newborn may have their own ground rules set for friends and family visiting them.
Dr Vanshika Gupta Adukia, Pregnancy/Childbirth, and Lactation Specialist share five things to keep in mind while visiting a newborn and their family:
Make that call before you leave: Always check in with the family to ensure your visit hours do not pose an added stress for them. They could be napping, or feeding or may have just had a rough previous night! Adjust to the schedule of the new mother & baby, rather than just showing up at their door at an hour that may truly be inconvenient to them.
Do not expect to hold the baby: Newborns are sensitive to touch, smell, and light. They are best left in their comfort zone which is with their mother. Besides, with their immunity still building, the new parents may be worried about their newborn catching any infection from the visitors coming in to see the baby.
Don’t make it about you, it’s about them: This visit should not be about you sharing your parenting journey or your newborn care tips. Instead of giving advice or being reactive, lend an ear and be mindful of the emotional and physical needs of the new family. Spend some time simply letting the new mum vent out her emotional build-up, if any. Postpartum anxiety is real, help ease her discomfort.
Offer to assist instead of expecting a scrumptious welcome: This is not a time to have the new family look after you on this visit. Instead, step up and offer to lend a helping hand in any way possible. In case of a nuclear setup, ask if you could bring them some food/snacks, offer to do their groceries, or drop off their laundry. Check if they need some assistance with their older child or pet! If you aren’t comfortable with any of these, don’t feel offended if you enter a partially cleaned home or are offered a cup of tea with simple biscuits!
Be mindful of basics around a baby: Don’t visit if you’re sick, even an otherwise harmless cold would count in this case. Avoid wearing any perfumes, colognes, aftershaves, heavily scented body creams, among others that could irritate the baby. Wash your hands if you are to interact with the baby. Keep your volume down and your tone soft. Never kiss the baby. It is the easiest way to pass on germs and infections. Never click any pictures without the parent’s permission & never post any of those pictures on any social media platforms.