Community is one of, if not the most important things moms need after having a baby. Studies have shown that women who are invested in a community after having a baby are less likely to suffer from Postpartum Mood Disorders. In fact, according to the PPDAI Perinatal Mood Disorders (PPMDs) can occur while you are still pregnant and up to a year after giving birth. So what that tells me is that even after the meal train stops, women need support from their community. If you have been around my online community for any period of time, you know that I value community.
Immediately after giving birth and going home with your new baby, you may have a lot of visitors and people wanting to come and hold your baby, which is great and sweet and kind and wonderful. But sometimes moms are forgotten. People tend to forget that mom just had a significant event just happen to her. Her hormones are raging, her body is healing - it was a dinner plate-sized wound in it that needs lots of time to heal. A big thing women can do is reach out to their community and ask for help. Not just meals though those are helpful in the first few weeks. But people to reassure her that she still matters to them, that it’s ok to feel the things she is feeling, that she will get through this!
Another benefit of having a community in the PPP is that you have someone to ask your questions to. For example, I text my friends after I had my son things like “did your baby sleep at night, or is it just me?” “Did your belly button ever recover from your second birth?” “Why did I think having another baby was a good idea?” “How long until my milk comes in?... oh yeah I remember..I am going to need a bigger bra!” “Will you remind me tomorrow that I am doing a good job?”
Your partner is an excellent resource for encouragement and help in those first few days, weeks, and months. I would encourage you to lean into them but know that they’re going through a lot of changes, too. They are tired, they still have to get up and go to work and worry about you being at home by yourself with the kid or kids. And they didn’t just have a baby, so they might know how long your nipples are going to hurt! Unless you’re married to an OBGYN/ Lactation consultant. Listen, I don’t know your life! I just know having a community around you is very important after you have a baby!
Check out this post for tips on finding a community!
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