Why We Should Replace Baby Showers With ‘Postpartum Parties’
It’s not hard to get people on board to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. That’s why people have baby showers and trendy gender reveal parties. But what about a different kind of celebration for mama?
Once the pregnancy is over and the baby comes, life is waaay different. A woman’s body goes through various stages, the baby takes over the household, and sleep is at a premium. After giving birth, moms can feel overwhelmed, tired, secluded, and for some – depressed.
So, it’s being proposed that we opt for a postpartum party to help busy moms out. This wouldn’t be a soirée full of sparkling cider, cupcakes, and appetizers where people drop by to see the baby. Nope, not a “Sip-n-See”. Instead, Bust writer Marisa Mendez Marthaller paints a picture that it’s more of a post-birth support team.
Friends and family gather and organize schedules, meals, and tasks so that’s easier to manage life with a new baby. Marthaller suggests that you round up your besties – or they round up themselves – and have them pitch in for things like laundry, housecleaning, diaper duty, and meal prep.
It can be a saving grace in the midst of mounting diaper piles, a crying baby, soiled clothes (mom and baby’s), and no sleep. Having someone around to hold the baby so Mom or Dad can take a nap, run errands, bathe, or tend to the other kids is a huge blessing. Giving mom a little TLC as she adjusts to the physical changes isn’t out of the cards either!
Entertaining groups of well-meaning visitors who want to chat and coo about the baby isn’t always convenient. With all this technology at our fingertips, creating calendars for visitation, meal preparation/delivery, or hands-on help can be a cinch.
Those first few weeks can be hard to juggle, and as Marthaller points out, the “party” would need to rock on for around six weeks or so. Since you can make it all your own, feel free to mix things up with who is included.
One possible hurdle? This all requires willing participation from both the parent(s) and “village”. We know it’s a challenge for some moms and dads to accept help, insisting on handling meals, chores, and baby care on their own. It can be hard to relinquish some of that control and time.
Not everyone has family located close to home, so other options include making arrangements with a group of friends or hiring a doula. While we love baby showers, what happens after the baby arrives is also a hectic time where many moms can find comfort through having one of these postpartum parties.
In a time when we’re hearing more and more families speak up about postpartum depression, perhaps having a support plan in place like this can help meet the physical and mental needs of mom. It makes sense since health care providers encourage parents to have a birth plan and a post-birth plan in place. Your thoughts?
Would you try to set up a postpartum party like the one described here? Who would you want in your rotation?