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Setting Boundaries Postpartum

You just brought another human being into the world, and you’re doing a great job taking care of your little guy or girl … but who’s taking care of you? It can be hard to set the right boundaries when you’ve just had a baby. You might feel like you need to be a supermom and do it all – take care of your baby, yourself, your husband, and visit all of your friends and relatives with your newborn. But it’s important to establish healthy habits, so you don’t get burned out.

In our culture, women are expected to manage everything after their new baby is born, but this time should really be spent in rest, recovery, and focusing on getting to know your baby! It’s your “babymoon,” and you should get to enjoy it! Communicate with your partner and family about what you need. You’re taking care of the newborn, and they should take care of you – no matter how uncomfortable it is for you to relinquish control.

Make sure that your partner, friends, and family know how they can help. Be specific about what you need. No one can read your mind. Ask family and friends to help out with specific tasks, like making a meal once a week or helping you wash and fold laundry.

Employ your partner to help you set boundaries. If you’d only like people to visit for a set period of time, make sure that your partner can help you enforce that schedule and show people out when time is up.

Say no to things that don’t serve you. You’re still recovering and the people who matter won’t mind you skipping out on certain events. You can go to all of the other baby showers, birthday parties, and book club events once you’ve gotten this whole new mom thing handled.

Your first priority is to yourself and your newborn. Focus on healing your body (and mind) first. This is an important time for you and your partner to bond with your baby, so don’t feel guilty about taking that time to enjoy your nuclear family.

As our CEO Amy Suzanne says, as a mom you need to ruthlessly prioritize your time. It’s easier to set strict boundaries at first and then loosen up, rather than to have loose boundaries at first and then enforce stricter ones. Communicate your expectations so the people in your life aren’t left guessing, and you aren’t disappointed. Healthy boundaries help you feel supported, without feeling overwhelmed.