Why a Postpartum Party Is More Important Than a Baby Shower

I understand why people take baby showers. If you’re pregnant, you glow (it might be excessive sweat from all these surging hormones, but your guests won’t notice the difference). Your hair has never looked better. You are hopeful and wondering about the person growing within you. Will he look like me? Will she like Star Wars? Oooh, maybe the baby will be one of those rare newborns who sleep all night! – and want your friends to enjoy a wonderful secret life with you. And you could probably use all this new gear.

When a baby is born, it’s a completely different story. Your “shine” turns into exhaustion (and your shiny hair begins to fall out in tufts – this is the worst ). Your clothes smell like breast milk, your refrigerator is empty, and your baby turns out to be one of those who usually wake up at 2, 4 and 6 in the morning.

You are unable to be around other people – and yet that is when you need your village.

Bust author Marisa Mendes Marthaler comes up with an idea that I hope will one day become the norm: skip the baby shower, she writes, and throw a “postpartum party” instead :

What if we used all the energy, time, and money that goes into prenatal fanfare and instead direct it to help young parents when they need it most: during the emotional and physical recovery in the first six weeks after giving birth ?

The postpartum party, as you might guess, is not at all like a party. As Marthaler explains, “This event is actually six weeks long, it’s BYOF (food, that is) and will have super cool games like cleaning the house and changing diapers.” Basically, instead of inviting your best friends to play the dreadful game of guess the poop and measure your belly circumference, you take care of yourself by stating, “I need you. Will you be there? » And then offer a list of specific ways they can help. Your “party” guests, a select group of people you love and trust, may sign up for a meal trip or show up at certain visiting hours to support your baby while you sleep, as Marthaler suggests. If you’re nervous about hosting this kind of non-glamorous event, ask your best friend to do it for you. (You can have fun with Evite and everyone else.) People can always say, “No thanks.”

This is part of the postpartum plan , which is just as important as the birth plan. The key here is to create these structures before the baby is born. When I was pregnant with my daughter, people said, “Let me know if you need anything!” but then I had no idea what I would need. Then, after giving birth, I felt like I was drowning, but I was not able to say, “Hey, let’s create a Google Calendar where people can subscribe to bring us dinner.” I wish I had suggested some early action steps.

If you still want a baby shower, go for it. Do it after the party. Don’t be afraid to open doors and let people in.


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