The birth of a baby is a wonderful time. It is so special to hold and cuddle that new life you’ve spent so long creating. Unfortunately, society likes to think that they have equal access to all the baby snuggles too.
Wanting to limit visitors is understandable, between your healing, and figuring out a new human, it can be stressful. The last thing you want to worry about is how to break it to the person at your door that they aren’t wanted quite yet.
Whether you know what you want already or if you haven’t considered visitors, this article can help you navigate the why and how to say no to visitors after birth.
- Why Do You Want to Say “No Visitors?”
- Why Discuss A Visitor Policy With Your Partner?
- 15 Ideas To Help With Visitors
Table of Contents
Why Do You Want to Say “No Visitors?”
Labor and delivery is a time that you have been planning and thinking about, because it is the time when you actually get to meet that little one. It can be so amazing to meet a new baby! However, before you share your baby with the world, here are a few things to think about postpartum and why you may want to have no visitors or limit visitors. Some of those reasons may be to give yourself time to heal, navigate breastfeeding or feeding in general, and your own lack of sleep.
Allow for Healing
It can be a hard journey getting your little one here. And often we forget that we will need time to heal and recover from pregnancy and labor. At the hospital, and for our first week, my parents were the only ones who could come before they had to go back overseas, and who I really wanted to see. I was so thankful for a Mom who didn’t overstep, but thought of so many things I couldn’t in that time.
Limiting visitors so that I could try to find a sense of normalcy was huge. You do not, and should not bounce back to pre-pregnancy in a matter of hours or weeks ( if you are struggling with your new postpartum body you are not alone, read our article on Embracing Your Mom Bod here).
The time to be entertaining guests is not now while you are bleeding and wearing a diaper, leaking from your breasts, and just start crying at random times.They can wait.
Figure Out Feeding
Whether you are breastfeeding your little one or not, feeding them will be a journey. You both are figuring out your rhythm and routine and what works. No two babies are alike. If you are starting breastfeeding, learning how and the correct latch can be tricky.
At least for me, it felt like clothes made breastfeeding so much harder. Not having to think if I could pull out my boob to breastfeed or not, was refreshing because I knew no one was around that I needed to worry about.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, the first few weeks of feeding a new baby are a period of adjustment for everyone. If you feel like you are resenting breastfeeding we have an article for you!
Deal with Lack of Sleep
No matter the time of day or night your baby was born, labor is tiring stuff! Even your baby has gone through an experience to get here. You and the baby will want to sleep and rest as much as you can. Brand new babies aren’t on any schedule, and since their tummies are so small, need to be fed constantly. This can make it difficult for you and your partner because that means frequent wakings around the clock. In those first few days you are kind of just in survival mode as you try to figure everything and everyone out. Who needs the added stress of trying to host when you’re not sure what time or day it is?
Why Discuss A Visitor Policy With Your Partner?
It is important to discuss with your partner what it is you are both thinking when it comes to visitors. If you come from a more social family and they are more reserved, your normals are going to be very different. Getting on the same page will be needed as your partner or significant other often shields a lot of the messages and people for you and baby as you recover.
If you have differing ideas, be willing to hear out both sides. See if any compromises can be made on the who, the when, and the where.
Discussing who could come to the hospital and birth center, who would be welcome to drop by for a few minutes in the days after labor and delivery, and who could wait until after your child gets their immunizations are needed conversations to have. Would you prefer to simply video call? Do you have a select few that can come help you postpartum? What is the max amount of time you want someone with you? These are all important things to think about, discuss, and plan together.
Read about 10 Ways Your Partner Can Help With Baby
15 Ways How to Say No to Visitors After Birth
Having visitors can be a lot to handle, whether you’re an introvert, germaphobe, or just want to cherish newborn cuddles. Thinking ahead of what you may want, will save relationships in the long run and ensure that your boundaries are in place. The best part is, if you feel like you want to change your mind, you absolutely can! If you’re dying to share baby with everyone, then plan a time for them to come and love on baby. Below I’ve gathered different ideas, in no particular order, that you could use for visitors.
Social Media Post
One way to tell people about baby is to do a blanket sweep social media post. Let people know you’ll be gone for a while and that you’ll let them know when you are ready for visitors.
Use Your Provider As An Excuse
I don’t usually condone lying, but in this instance, stating that your Doctor or healthcare provider suggested that you need rest for 2-4 weeks with no visitors is no harm no foul in my book. I’m sure your medical provider would absolutely agree and would probably back you up.
Send a text to your closest friends and family letting them know what you are thinking. You could say:
“We are so excited for baby __ to be born in __amount of days. We are so thankful to be surrounded by such caring and supportive family and friends. As eager as we are for you to support and show love, we will be limiting visitors for __amount of time. We appreciate your understanding and support at this time.”
If you need another pattern to follow check out this short video:
If someone shows up unannounced on your doorstep there are three things you could do:
1) Don’t answer the door. Yes, you do not have to answer the door if you are home
2) Have your partner deflect and tell them thank you, but that Mom and baby are resting,
3) You answer the door and tell them it is not a good time, you appreciate them stopping by but you’ll call or text them to schedule a time that works in the future.
Silent/Vibrate Your Phone
Let family/friends know that you’re limiting your texts/calls and then actually put your phone on silent or vibrate. If it is an emergency you will hear about it. You don’t need to get to their texts right away, it’s OK.
One sure fire way to avoid visitors is simply not to tell them or post that you have had a baby. It’s not selfish to take care of your needs and your family’s at this time. I also know someone who told people a different due date on purpose so that they wouldn’t be bugged until a few weeks after their baby was already born.
Just Say No
While this sounds like a different kind of slogan, just remember that no is a complete sentence. You can in a polite tone simply tell someone, no. Often it is just our guilt that makes us want to provide an excuse or reason. But no, is sufficient.
Assign An Interceptor
Assign a close friend, spouse, or close family member to be the interceptor. They get to shield all guests, texts or calls for you. Hopefully if you’ve already sent out a message, this won’t be required, but in the case of those few who just aren’t listening, it may be needed.
Have Prepared Lines Ready
Having prepared lines ready to share with people on a saved note in your phone can help you when you’re sleep deprived or scrambling. Something along the lines of:
“It means the world to our family that you’re thinking of us. Life is a little busy right now, so we are actually not accepting visitors, but thank you so much for offering. We will let you know when it’s a good time to come over.”
Prepare your Visitor Policy In Advance
Have your visitor policy ready before baby even arrives and announce on social or at your baby shower what you are thinking. Again, nothing has to stay set in stone if you feel ready postpartum. But letting the expectation be known in advance, may cause less ripples when you back up your policy as your due date approaches.
This runs along the same lines as silencing your phone, but if someone messages you, you can simply not reply. Those first few days postpartum are precious. I think most people will understand when you do finally respond with a picture of your little one, when you are ready, why you were so quiet.
Out of Office
If you don’t want to ignore or simply ghost people, you can always set your phone or email to an “out of office” message for the first few days postpartum. Something like:
“Thank you for your message, we have just had a baby, and while we are ecstatic, we are also extremely tired. Please give us a few days to adjust to our new normal before we get back to you. Thanks”
There will always be those who just want to help so badly. They simply will not be deterred. Yet if you’re not up to them visiting, you can ask them to do something for you which can still let them know they are appreciated and take away some of your mental load.
“I am so thankful you want to come over, no matter the state of the house, but we’re still not the best company. Do you know what would be so helpful? If you could, (enter a task here) if you are able, it would help me so much. When we are more settled you’ll be one of the first people we text to come visit. Thank you!”
Use Your Baby
This may sound strange, but hear me out. Family and friends care about your baby, that’s why they want to come see them so badly, they won’t wish anything to happen to the baby. Leveraging this to get your point across you could say:
“We just aren’t accepting visitors at the moment. Baby’s (immune system isn’t developed yet; baby’s needing lots of attention, etc.) so we don’t want to risk something for a few more weeks. Thank you so much! Let’s check back in, in (x amount of time) when we could plan to have you over.”
Whether it’s cold season, throwing up season, or flu season, use sickness as a way to keep people at bay. Newborns have undeveloped immune systems and are more likely to develop infections from bacteria or viruses.
“While we are so thrilled that you want to come and support us, we are waiting (x amount of time) until baby’s immune system builds up as (__ sickness) is going around. What may be mild or a few days for you can be deadly for a newborn. Thank you so much for your understanding!”
Having a newborn is such a special time, it really does feel like they are little pieces of heaven. Thus it is OK to want to limit visitors for a time. Sometimes visitors can be a lot to handle and can be draining. It is important to discuss ahead of time with your partner what it is you both want in terms of who’s coming and when. Finding ways to set your boundaries with family and friends will allow you time to recover and heal, while also protecting baby.
Niki Cowan has a background in Medicine and Public Health. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist as well as a Medical Assistant. She’s passionate about Women’s Health and empowering women in their journeys. She is married to her wonderful husband Kevin, and they have an active son. While trying to have another little one hasn’t worked out yet, she is pursuing her passions and hoping to gain further education and experience in the area she loves, while playing with her son. She’s an avid reader, Original Great British Baking Show watcher, and very amateur kickboxer.