When the Help & Support Goes AWOL After You Had Your Baby
When the Help & Support Goes AWOL After You Had Your Baby
Have you ever felt disappointed with the lack of support after you had your baby?
Maybe you felt isolated because no one showed up to help you.
You may have even felt unprepared and also that your boundaries weren’t even respected by people who are coming around. (Scroll down for the video version)
These are really common problems and I really want to help mums be able to speak up and and receive the help and the support they need.
In Australia, America and other countries we’ve forgotten and in fact not even aware of traditional cultures where a mum is cared for in those first few weeks after birth.
These traditional practices, whether it’s 40 days or four or six weeks after birth, knew how to nourish and nurture and completely support a mother.
So that she can focus on healing and recovering and bonding and breastfeeding and just being there for her baby and family.
If you’ve just had a baby or if you are about to have your first baby or even your second or subsequent babies, now is the time to actually start learning how to speak up and say what it is that you’re needing help with.
For most women that’s really hard to do.
If you’ve never had a baby before, if you haven’t been around people who have had babies, you don’t know what you don’t know.
That can make it hard to plan ahead of time.
If you have been there before, and the first time around there were a lot of challenges, maybe you were isolated, people ghosted you.
Some mums have FIFO partners, so they’re in mining towns and feel isolated. There’s other mums who just feel like they don’t have anyone and and it can be so challenging.
I feel like no one knows no one. Everyone’s got someone that they know even if it you feel isolated. You need to sit down and write out just a handful of people, just start with two or three people, that you know could be there for you.
You also want to match the person with the task. Don’t ask an auntie or a friend if they don’t like cooking, to prepare a meal for you.
People don’t necessarily know how to help.
That’s why a lot of people pull back and then the mother feels like she’s being ignored or rejected or isolated.
You need to find your voice.
First get clear on what you’re needing help with, what area you think that would make the biggest difference for you.
Second, list two or three people that you can ask to help.
Thirdly, be specific with how you want them to help
Ask someone who you know is a good cook, and give them some recipes that you’ve got. Note: I’ve got some recipes in my FREE guide, too that you can use to give to family and friends.
Ask them, can you please make this for me? Have them simply drop it off and not stay at this point or you feel up to it, invite them to help warm up or serve it up. Follow your own intuition there.
Remember, keep the meals easy to digest, warm, nourishing, and with lots of protein and good fats as well.
Maybe someone can make a batch of protein balls and you’ve got them ready when you’re breastfeeding. Grab and snack.
If you know someone who enjoys housecleaning, ask them or hire a house cleaner.
Have someone come and just specifically focus on that one job. Maybe they can boil the kettle for you and make you a cup of herbal tea while they’re there.
But Mama, you need to ask for this. Speak up and say oh, hey, would you mind making me a cup of tea please?
We have become really conditioned to do everything ourselves and have this Super-Mum cape on. Drop. the. cape!
The next issue – setting those boundaries.
Some mums tell me that they haven’t had their boundaries respected. This is challenging – and frustrating.
I’ve been there too. I didn’t really get good at it unfortunately for some for most things, and for others I was ok.
I’m much better now. You need to cultivate confidence in yourself and your self worth. Know that you’re worthy that your boundaries matter.
Sit down and working out what you value, with your partner. What is important to you and putting that into into a boundary so that you can let family and friends know.
For example “If you’re coming to visit please make sure you’re not wearing any commercial perfume, deodorant or strong essential oils. You won’t be holding the baby if you are.”
It’s absolutely your right and privilege as a parent.
You can set boundaries around when to hold the baby or when to visit, the environment that you want to have around your baby etc.
If speaking up is hard, pick one boundary that’s going to be relatively easy for you to communicate and then get confident with that. And then you can bring in more as confidence develops.
Remember: How other people react is not your responsibility. It’s your responsibility to communicate clearly, kindly and firmly.
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Postpartum Nurturing acknowledges the traditional custodians of Australia and honour their sacred connection to this land. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and traditions and to the elders past and present and emerging.