5 reasons to say 'no' to visitors in the first 24 hours after birth

It's okay to impose a 'no visitors' rule.
It's okay to impose a 'no visitors' rule. Photo: Shutterstock

Countless movies and television shows would have you believe all your nearest and dearest will be waiting outside the delivery room dying to meet your newborn. The reality is your family and friends will be at home or work waiting for the phone call or text message announcing the arrival of your little one.

Once news of your baby's arrival hits the airwaves though, family and friends will want to meet the newest member of your family as soon as possible.

As excited as you may be to show off your newborn, here are five reasons why saying 'no' to visitors, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, in the first 24 hours after giving birth is beneficial for you and your baby:

1. Bonding:

The first 24 hours is an important time for you and your baby to get to know each other. Some people fall in love with their newborn instantly, while others take a little longer. Skin-to-skin contact - that means you and your baby cuddling with shirts off - will help the bonding process. If you will feel self-conscious being topless, you will not want visitors during this bonding time.

2. Feeding:

While breastfeeding is instinctive, it is still a new skill to learn for you and your baby. From learning your baby's hunger cues to ensuring your baby latches on correctly, this time can be quite stressful. You may find it helpful to be in a calm, relaxed and uninterrupted environment where you can give your baby all your attention.

3. Recovering:

This is a part of childbirth that is often overlooked when preparing for a baby. You will need some recovery time whether you have a natural birth or a caesarean section. Some mums are up and walking around straight after giving birth, and other mums need help to get out of bed and go to the bathroom. Only time will tell how your body will recover from giving birth and how long that recovery will take. Prioritise your health and well-being before worrying about entertaining visitors.

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4. Sleeping:

Having a baby is physically and emotionally exhausting. You cannot anticipate the length of labour, the ease/difficulty of labour, or unexpected health issues for you or your baby. Therefore, it is difficult to prepare for these aspects of labour. However your baby enters the world, the experience will likely leave you and your baby in need of a good sleep within the first 24 hours. When your baby sleeps, you should sleep, whether day or night.

5. Less stress:

Everyone wants as little stress as possible around a newborn. Knowing you will have the first 24 hours alone with your baby and partner will allow you to rest assure you will not have any interruptions during bonding, feeding, recovering and sleeping time. You will also be able to learn how to take care of your newborn without stressing about your appearance and entertaining visitors. In these first 24 hours, you can focus all your attention on helping your baby adjust to the outside world and getting to know each other before sharing him/her with the world.

Before your baby is born, let family and friends know that you will be imposing a 'no visitors' rule for the first 24 hours after your baby is born. Some family members and friends may show up uninvited or express their disappointment if not pre-warned. These are issues you should not have to deal with after childbirth. Therefore, it is best to prepare people of your expectations in advance. Besides, there will be plenty of time in the weeks and months ahead for family and friends to visit.