How To: Holidays Newly Postpartum
Even without a new baby, the holidays are a highly anticipated, joyous event. They can also be stressful, involving lots of planning, arrangements, and definitely lots of people. When you are newly postpartum and trying to navigate the holiday season, it’s good to have some strategy going in. Let’s do what we can to ensure you enjoy this time and step into the New Year feeling fabulous!
You’ve got your hands pretty full at the moment. If you are normally in charge of big meals or other large responsibilities, pass it on to someone else this year. If you absolutely love these activities and don’t want to give them up, at least give part of them to another friend or family member. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You have a tiny human that comes with his or her own needs to attend to.
Follow Baby’s Cues
Everyone is of course going to want time with their precious new family member. If you have a set schedule or routine, it’s safe to plan for it being a little stretched. However, pass the baby during times you know are unlikely to be feeding times to limit disruption for your little one. If you can tell they are getting hungry or are ready to return to you, who they know best, gently retrieve them. If the baby is relaxed, you are more likely to be.
Put Your Family’s Health First
If you have a friend or family member you know is sick, it may be best for them to not hold your baby. It’s your call. If you know you are not comfortable with them having contact with your newborn and are nervous about directly talking about this, a great way to keep the baby close and send a subtle message is to wear your newborn in a sling or other preferred baby carrier.
Take Little Breaks
It will be important to take some quiet moments for you and baby in the midst of all the activity. The perfect time and excuse to go to a secluded space is when baby has to feed or go down for a nap. Allow yourself this time to reset and take a breath alone with your baby, and emerge ready to be once again with all your loved ones. Who knows, you may even want to catch some sleep yourself!
Allow Some Grace
You may consider planning on receiving some unsolicited advice. There’s something about pregnancy and babies that brings out everyone’s opinions and potentially misplaced stories. I’m not at all suggesting that you don’t stand your ground if boundaries are overstepped, only that it can be helpful to be prepared rather than surprised. We’ve all been there. You’ve got this.
We hope that your holiday season goes smoothly and that you are able to relax and simply enjoy this time. You deserve it! Happy Holidays from Music City Doulas.