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New Mom Pens Powerful Post About Why People Should Think Twice Before Visiting Right After The Birth Of A Baby

New Mom Pens Powerful Post About Why People Should Think Twice Before Visiting Right After The Birth Of A Baby
Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

A new baby born into a family is always a huge event.

Everyone wants to meet the baby and find out all the little details: the sex, the weight, the length, their name.

The detail that is so often skipped over, however, is how the new mother is feeling about all of this.

Often new mothers' wishes are dismissed as fragile or insensitive, but it took one mom voicing her own needs online before any kind of productive conversation started to bloom. Katie Bowman, mother of three and author of the "Living My Family Life" blog, wrote a powerful post on Facebook earlier this month about the hardships in brand-new motherhood, particularly the lack of having one's own needs met.

Bowman began her post with a picture of herself, sitting on a hospital bed and looking off-camera to the relative or friend embracing her new baby. Physically, she appears exhausted from giving birth, slouching forward on the bed and surely ready to get some sleep.

Her expression says, too, that she is done with whatever engagement has taken place, and she's ready for some alone time and some quiet. From her words, this is not far from the truth.

Bowman opened her post, asking:

"1 or 2 days. Is that too much to ask for?"
"1 or 2 days for a new mum to come to terms with the fact she had a tiny human emerge from her body. 1 or 2 days for her to finally have a shower and wash the sweat and blood from her body."
"1 or 2 days for her to push through the pain of her sore nipples as she learns to breastfeed. 1 or 2 days for her to try to have some sleep because she is absolutely exhausted."

Bowman then goes on to describe how problematic this is, and how invasive these early visits can be.

While everyone else is concerned about meeting the new baby, the new mother also wants to become acquainted with the child they've carried nine or so months.

If they're a first time mom they need to learn all of the "basics," which are more difficult than basic, like breastfeeding and diaper changes. Not to mention healing from the whole physical ordeal.

Bowman wrote:

"Before being introduced to your new life as a mother, you have just gone through one of the most painful, exhausting, and mind blowing experiences in your life. Labour. Has everyone forgotten how tolling that can be on both your emotional and physical well being? The last thing you then want, is for everyone to be bombarding your room to play pass the parcel, before you have even had a chance to recover."

Bowman then gets really candid about the lack of privacy involved when the mother and her baby are learning how to breastfeed together, as well as how difficult it is for the mother to begin her bodily healing process when the room is noisy and there are no chances at rest.

Bowman shared:

"Learning to breastfeed is no private affair. You don't just slip your nipple out and your baby connects to it like a magnet. You get your whole boob out, and slide your baby up and down waiting for them to latch on. The nurse comes in and helps you massage some colostrum out. Then you try the other side, so now you've got both boobs out."
"Your vagina or stomach is in a world of pain. More often than not, there's been a cut somewhere. You struggle to get comfortable in that hard hospital bed, because no position feels ok. You can barely sit, stand, lie down, or walk. Honestly, my vagina still hurt for 2 or 3 weeks after that. The hospital doesn't like you to leave until they know you have emptied your bowels without your vagina falling out too. When do you fit in trying to pass that painful lump when your room is full of visitors?"

Finally, Bowman looked unblinking at the face of the problem at hand: the number of hospital visits, and friends and family members who prioritize their want to meet the new baby over the needs of the mother.

Not to mention the inconsiderate nature of taking pictures of everyone holding the baby except the mother, and comments on how the mother looks today.

Bowman stated:

"Everyone is so excited to have a photo with the new baby, the new mum doesn't get a photo with her own d--- baby! I had to ask for a photo with mine, other than that one photo, the only others I have are of her fresh out of my uterus, with us laying there naked and covered in blood. Thank you to the saintly midwife who was kind enough to grab my phone and capture the most precious photos that exist to me. From there on, it's mostly selfies."
"Everyone wants the bragging rights to say they saw the new baby within 24 hours. They simply must satisfy their need to hold this new baby. If you don't allow them to come visit you in the hospital, you're a selfish, delicate, drama queen. Then people come in with their comments of "now you only look 4 months pregnant instead of 9" or "you look tired" I'm sorry, but in what world is it ok for you to comment on a new mother's appearance? WE ARE SO BLOODY FRAGILE RIGHT NOW! If my vagina wasn't so sore, I might have pulled some Kung Fu Panda on your a--."

Bowman's candid take on the early days and often unmet needs of motherhood resonated with many mothers who similarly felt that their wishes were not considered, particularly in those early days of new family life.

So many wrote about how friends and family pushed to be in the hospital in the early hours while the mother was in labor, or forced their way into being present in the delivery room.

Others recalled how they were still blurry with anesthesia after having a caesarian section, and there were already family members in the room, holding the new baby the mother hadn't even met yet.

And of course, there were dozens of examples of family simply being present too early or too often at the hospital and the early days at home.

There were also far too many examples of mothers voicing their needs, wants, and concerns, and either being pressured to do things a different way, being gaslighted for being too sensitive or impractical, or being ignored in their wishes altogether.

Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

Katie Bowman - Living My Family Life / Facebook

For any other area of life, someone being so totally dismissed for how they wish to do things would probably seem unbelievable. A person planning the construction of their own house surely wouldn't be ignored if they wanted a bathroom on the first floor, or wanted white walls instead of pink. A person wouldn't be ignored for how they approached completing a business plan.

But for some reason, when it comes to mothers and bringing in new life, the excitement of meeting the new baby far outweighs any other needs of that new family, most of whose bodies have just gone through quite a deal, between the new baby being born, the mother delivering, and any other present supporting figures quite possibly not sleeping.

Because the extended family and friends want to invite this new life into the world, and become a part of that day, all other needs are left on the back-burner.

Bowman's account, however, is a thoughtful one and surely something that will leave friends and family thinking, at least a little, before they gather everything up and hurry off to the hospital.

The book The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year is available here.