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‘Call for Help’

This title came to me as I was heading to see a friend who recently had a baby. This statement is often displayed within a hospital setting when we recognise that the patient, our family member is deteriorating, so we call for help from the medical team.


But in this scenario, this is different and why might you ask. Well generally as women we are mostly used to being independent. Some women have plenty of support, often the elders of the family come in and can sometimes take over when a baby is born. Whilst others are there in the background and there are those that dare not, would not, could not call for help. In some respect having families is a great thing but also countless times I’ve witnessed they can be overbearing too The first few weeks is crucial for the newborn to bond with its family unit, meaning its mother, father and other siblings if there are any.


What type of help is ok and what type of help is considered not ok? It all depends on the communication between the parents and their families. Most family’s norm is to invade soon as a baby is born and for some, this may be ok and the expectation of it. Whilst some new parents have no family nearby as they are overseas and could benefit with some support of some kind. There are also couples that need the opportunity to settle with their baby and routine. Societies norm is to rush in, and I can only label it as invading when the mother, baby or partner hasn’t had the opportunity to step foot in the door. That is the expectation, correct? But this was not the case in this scenario however I will expand more in a mo.


I’ve witnessed countless times, how a mother is left picking the pieces once the family has visited within the hospital or once the baby has come home. There is a massive influx of visitors, and the poor baby is passed around from one body to another when a baby requires to settle into its environment, and we end up invading its space. Baby or not, he/she senses, and requires to do what it requires to do, meaning eat, drink, pee, poo, and then sleep. That’s the cycle until its body grows and matures to engage physically with the rest of the family. Whether you realise this or not, but a baby is engaging and that it does by its cries. They are it words - did you know that?


But with all that aside, how often do we call for healthy help when we are home with a newborn? How often do we ask visitors to visit or not visit at all and not come to see the mother and baby, but support with the home scenarios. Come on women, most of us are used to cleaning and maintaining our own home, correct? Are we game enough to ask for that type of help when you have a baby? What about someone cooking for you and leaving some delicious foods providing it’s not takeaways, or loaded with tonnes of sugar. During this time of the postnatal period as your body is recouping, it needs nourishing, supporting and love whilst YOU attend to the baby and form a rhythm that is supportive for the whole family and household.


So, the women that are reading this blog and not only the ones with with-child, could you offer the following. Not out of I’ve got to help this poor mother and baby but genuinely help because this is what you or your mother (that is full of tales of peril) could have done with all those years ago. So, why not start now? Meaning can you do a bit of cleaning or cooking for them? Instead of fussing over a baby, fuss over the cleaning and cooking. Now it isn’t asking you to cook or clean till you drop but if a woman or man spent an hour or so offering this type of support where would this family be in the long term? Something to ponder over.


Can you cook and make some healthy snacks the mother can go to when she’s feeling peckish or tired. The mother may not have the energy to be in the kitchen to focus, whilst her ears are on the sounds of a baby’s stir or cries. A little help here and there can go a long way. 


I recall a colleague sharing that when she had her third child, a friend came over and offered to clean her house and the newly birthed mother was absolutely grateful for the offering. She stated the house felt so much different, cleaner, and fresher and the mother and baby were able to settle even more.


In my scenario I decided to cook something simple and took it with me whilst I visited this friend. I took several takeaway containers of food, no flowers, no chocolates, no toys, I took simple nutritious meals of roasted vegetables, some quinoa cooked with vegetables to nourish this lactating woman. Ensuring I had asked if there were certain foods she avoided, so I ensured I omitted these ingredients from the cooking. It was that simple. I stayed for an hour or so and supported her with her lactation which can be challenging at the beginning when you are becoming acquainted with your newborn. And I simply left with the offering of my support which could be taken if it was supportive for the mother and baby or simply discarded and that’s ok too.


So, to the women who have just had a baby could you consider wisely the visitors you want in your home or not.


To the visitors could you consider when wanting to visit a mother and her newborn baby? Is the visit essential? Could it be more productive for you to visit as in supporting the mother and baby to settle in?


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