TUMMYTOX blogs.

Setting boundaries after the birth of your baby

You've successfully overcome all the challenges of pregnancy, pushed through the birth of your baby, and now you’ve entered the postpartum era. This stage of being a new mum brings physical challenges, as well as psychological ones, so it’s really important to focus on your mental wellbeing.

Let's explore the beauty of postpartum and discover how to overcome some obstacles you might face and set boundaries where they should be.

Setting boundaries after the birth of your baby

What to expect after becoming a new mum

Now that you and your baby are finally at home, safe and sound, your number one priority should be recovery. But as a woman, you can’t help yourself from multitasking

Your mind is probably jumping from breastfeeding, resting, and changing diapers to thinking about the state of your home, washing the dishes, and what you are going to eat today, all while trying to keep your baby happy. 

Stop the intrusive thoughts and breathe. You're doing everything in your power, and so far, you’ve done an amazing job! This is not the time to rearrange the house or to win the cleanest kitchen competition, but to get to know your little cub and yourself in your new role as a mum.

The first few weeks or even months are just for the parents and the baby. No one else, unless you wish to. This is one of the most important stages of the baby’s life, and they only need you. This is the first boundary new parents have to set.

When you’ll feel ready for visitors, you’ll let them know. There is no need to rush and there is no right timeline, let it be 3 months postpartum or 6 months postpartum. It's important that you feel comfortable and ready for those visits.

Your body just underwent major changes for nine months during pregnancy, giving birth and then caring for your baby. Hormones and emotions are all over the place. Postpartum is a time to heal, get comfortable in your new role, and take care of yourself just as well as the baby.

Teamwork makes the dream work

It took two people to get you where you are now, being a mummy. Parenting isn’t just a one-person job – the best practice is to include both of you (mum and dad).

Although challenging, parenthood is a new, beautiful journey for the two of you. Involve your partner in the daily activities and caring for the baby – you can also start during pregnancy!

Talk about how you feel, let him touch your baby bump and share laughs when the little one starts kicking. Make doctor’s appointments a shared activity, and watch how your baby grows together.

After the delivery, let your partner take care of you. Let yourself rest, and in the meantime, let your partner change diapers, soothe the cries, and feed your little one. Parenting is a shared responsibility, not just for the mummies.

Including your partner in baby caring lightens the mum’s load and strengthens your bond as a family unit. And family should always come first.

Postpartum psychological symptoms and how to overcome them

The postpartum period can stretch to 6 months and sometimes even up to a year. Some physical changes take days or weeks to heal, but psychological symptoms might take even longer, sometimes even a few months.

If you wish to read more about postpartum recovery focused on physical changes, feel free to read this article

The delivery of your little cub can start a palette of new emotions, from pure joy and happiness to fear and postpartum anxiety. Some mums even experience postpartum depression. The psychological symptoms you might come across in your new mum era are:

  • Confusion and feeling lost
  • Obsessive thoughts about your baby
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep problems
  • Hyperactivity but at the same time feeling upset
  • Postpartum anxiety
  • Crying and feeling overwhelmed

Many new mums begin to feel blue within the first two to three days after the delivery.This is called the baby blues,and you can recognise it by mood swings, difficulty sleeping, crying spells, and postpartum anxiety. These symptoms may last for up to two weeks, so keep your strength and push through it. You got this.

But if those symptoms become more severe and last longer than two weeks, it may be postpartum depression,which can start during pregnancy. You must understand that PPD is not a weakness, a flaw, or a sign you’re doing something wrong. Many mums experience it, and the best thing you can do is to confide in your partner, call your doctor and save your health together.

How can you make your path to mental wellbeing easier?

  • Tell someone you trust
  • Make resting a priority
  • Try to eat healthy and make time for exercise
  • Join a support group for new parents

Setting boundaries and taking care of your mental health isn’t about barricading yourself and the baby from the world. It's about creating a loving, nurturing, and peaceful nest for you and your family.

Although we know how hard it can be to draw lines with loved ones, it’s important that you do.

7 great boundaries for you and your baby

The postpartum time is reserved for you and your baby. Although you might feel uneasy and challenged to establish boundaries with your friends and family, it’s good to do so early, even before the delivery.

Setting these limits is crucial for your physical and mental wellbeing, so don’t feel coy about them. You are the priority.

Here are some great examples of boundaries:

1. You don’t need visitors; you need support. Frequent visits can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on you, so during the first few weeks tell your loved ones to give you time to rest and bond with your baby. To show their support, they can drop off food, take your pets for a walk, or offer you a ride to the baby’s doctor appointments. Also, not all visitors are the same – some are there to help you, and others are there for their need to see the baby, and it’s perfectly fine to differentiate between those visits and draw the line wherever you feel comfortable.

2. You don’t need advice or their input unless you ask for it. It's really common for mothers and mothers-in-law to interfere with your decisions and lifestyle. Don't let them get to you, and establish boundaries early. They should be welcome to help (when you need it) but not lecture you on how to do your job. Setting this limit will go a long way, even when your baby becomes a toddler and people start to pick on your parenting style.

3. Kissing the baby was a common practice back in the day. Those cute and squishy baby cheeks are hard to resist but kissing them can lead to serious health consequences. A kiss, although given with love, can spread germs that your baby’s immune system isn’t ready to fight. For a few months focus on nurturing your little one and leave kissing for when their immune system is strong enough.

4. To post or not to post? If you, your family, or your friends are big on posting on social media, set some ground rules. You probably don’t want the pics of your cute baby flowing all over socials, even before you are ready to do it yourself. Your aunt’s coworker, Susan, isn’t the first in line to see pictures of your newborn on Facebook, even before your friends and family have had the chance and you decided you want to.

5. Accept help with household chores, such as cleaning, cooking, ironing, and other tasks. This will free up space for your recovery and bonding with your baby.

6. Let others know how you feel about your personal space and privacy. Not everyone wants to take pics and videos of their baby and send them all over the place. Also, when visits happen, not every mum feels comfortable putting their baby into foreign hands and laps. And that’s totally okay! Do what works for you.

7. Prioritise time alone. Make time for only yourself and trust your partner with the baby. Relax, take a nap, pour yourself a nice, warm bath, and read a book. Taking a break from being in a new full-time job is very welcome for your mental wellbeing.

For all the Super Moms out there

After you announce that your baby is finally here, your partner’s phone will probably explode with good wishes and questions about your wellbeing.

In this period, you need all the help and love you can get to support your post-birth recovery.

During pregnancy, you prioritised nutrition and avoided many things (you probably really miss a good glass of wine and some sushi) to fully support your developing baby.

Folate, calcium, iron, vitamin C, omega 3 and many other nutrients are essential when your baby grows in the tummy. But it doesn’t stop there. Postpartum takes all the power in you to fully heal from giving birth and even more if you’re breastfeeding. That's why it’s important to continue supplementing those nutrients, even when your baby is safely outside your womb.

We know that bringing a new life into the world is challenging and brings hormonal fluctuations and constant demands of breastfeeding, not to mention the emotional ups and downs you have to face.

That's why we formulated a post-pregnancy multivitamin formula with 24 bioactive vitamins, minerals, and DHA omega-3, and we named it after you – Super Mom.

As a nursing mum, you have unique needs, even in nutrition. Super Mom is formulated to bridge the nutritional gaps and support your recovery.

What's inside to make it so super?

  • All the necessary bioactive vitamins: beta-carotene, C, E, D3, K2, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin, folate
  • Much-needed minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, copper, manganese, chromium
  • Vegan DHA omega-3 in optimal doses to support your breastfed baby and you.
  • Oregano extract to support your health, breasts, and lacteal gland function.

You take care of your baby; let Super Mom take care of you.

Sources

Romano M, Cacciatore A, Giordano R, La Rosa B. Postpartum period: three distinct but continuous phases. J Prenat Med. 2010 Apr;4(2):22-5. PMID: 22439056; PMCID: PMC3279173.

Raising Children Network. “0-1 Month: Newborn Development,” February 21, 2023. https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/development/development-tracker/0-1-month

Mayo Clinic. “Postpartum Depression - Symptoms and Causes - Mayo Clinic,” November 24, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617.

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