Giving mom and dad some time at the hospital is a good idea
He's here! You've got the call that you had been waiting for the past nine months. Your best friend has just delivered her baby. What do you do now? Your initial instinct will probably be to get in the car and head to the hospital, but should you? Although you may feel the need to celebrate, the hospital may not be the best place for your first visit. Whether the new mom is your sister, your daughter, your best friend, your co-worker or a friendly neighbor there are some rules (that you and a first mom don't know until you break them) to be followed regarding your first postpartum visit.
The most important rule regarding this visit is to avoid the hospital if at all possible. The time spent in the hospital is busy, exhausting and overwhelming for most/all new parents. When determining whether or not you should visit a new baby in the hospital you should gauge your relationship status with the new parents and determine how difficult it will be for the new parents to eliminate your relationship (This may seem like an exaggeration, but nothing is certain when dealing with a new mom laying uncomfortably in a hospital bed). For this reason, immediate family is exempt, but the farther you branch out on the family tree or into the friend zone, the more caution you should take. Without going through the miracle of birth it's hard to fully understand the nature of the hospital environment. After delivery, the new parents are completely exhausted, overwhelmed and greeted by round the clock checkups by doctors and nurses. Needless to say they won't be the best hosts and although you may not mind, they could feel differently.
There are a couple primary reasons that mom and baby are advised to spend two days in the hospital and neither of which is to entertain guests. One reason is to rest and recover. The labor and delivery process is obviously very draining and two days, at the very least, are needed to begin the healing process. Another important reason for the two night hospital stay is for the new parents to start to get to know their child and soak up all of the knowledge (and free supplies) they can from their doctors and nurses as they make their endless rounds. The revolving door of hospital related visitors is enough to exhaust a new mom and the addition of non-hospital related visitors has the potential to put her over the edge.
Unless you are immediate family or you absolutely cannot avoid a hospital visit (because you are dying or leaving the country and that’s about it) a trip to see the new baby at home is advisable. New parents want to celebrate the birth of their new child with all of their friends, but they would like to entertain after they have been able to shower, take a nap and begin to get acclimated to their new life at home. If you value continuing your friendship you will want to give them some time as well.
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