For some women, especially first time mums, the postnatal period can be a very difficult time. You may have a sore bottom, vagina or tummy, you might have missed out on 3 nights sleep in labour, perhaps you have a baby that doesn’t sleep and won’t latch on to the breast properly, maybe you’ve got giant and uncomfortable boobs that feel like they are about to explode and perhaps you’ve partner who’s just not interested or helpful.
You may or may not have the benefit of an extended family or someone to help at home- most of us don’t have as much help as we would like or need. But we could all benefit from extra support and whether that is from friends, family, neighbours or paid help, it really doesn’t matter. Just acknowledging that you can’t do everything and learning to ask for and accept help is very important.
Lots of mums find the postnatal period much more difficult than the actual birth or the pregnancy. Many women get frustrated that nobody told them it would be so hard. So you heard it here! It IS hard but you will get through it.
This is the time to call on friends or relatives to help you out or if you don’t have any family close by or able to help then perhaps a maternity nurse or Postnatal Doula can be something to consider, although obviously these are not cheap options. A postnatal doula is less expensive than a maternity nurse- and many are available to work on an ad hoc basis- so try googling ones in your area.
And what about people who offer to help? Should you accept it or does the thought of that make you feel awkward? Accepting help is easier said than done for some of us…if you have never asked for help with anything before…or ever accepted help with anything then being vulnerable and letting others see you as anything other than in control can be really difficult. The thought of someone else in our house fiddling with our things and doing our chores can feel really strange but if you can get past that and say YES when someone offers to help then it could be a really positive thing!
Having someone to watch the baby for an hour, or push the buggy around the block can be amazing if you are desperate for some sleep or just want to snatch a little time to wash your hair or have half an hour to yourself. Letting someone do a load of washing for you or bring you a meal can be glorious – try giving it a go. If someone offers- try saying YES!