Childbirth is hard work not only that the recovery is always going to be different and some may have been harder than others leaving the recovery a lot tougher on the birthing person. There are so many ways that my husband helped me after each of my children were born, however, he had no time off until we had our third which gave him three months off. During that time I was able to heal comfortably and at my own pace as well as rely on him to help. Some don’t get time off and some do but there are things that you can do even if you have to rush back to work after the baby is born.
Help with the baby and the other children
This is very important especially since they will be extremely sore and tired and trying to recover they won’t have the energy or capability to handle everyone on their own. It is hard, especially since a lot of partners go right back to work but when you are home try to hold baby while they nap and rest, feed baby if you are choosing to bottle feed and take the older kids if you have them to the park. Carrying a baby around while walking to the kitchen is a lot of weight and in the first few weeks that extra weight can make a huge impact on her healing.
Help her move around the home so she puts LESS stress on her body
She just gave birth. Whether it was vaginally or by cesarean section and she is exhausted. Not only that moving after giving birth feels horrible so lend her a hand or your arms, put the weight on you and help her feel less pressure as she moves around the house.
Pick up the slack when it comes to the daily chores so she doesn’t have to
This one was the hardest for me after my recovery from my most recent c section. I wanted to do it all and although I knew I physically couldn’t knowing that there were messes really ate at me. Thankfully my husband put on his cape and would get up at the crack of dawn to make sure the house was clean and the chores were done. I knew he was exhausted especially since he was helping with the three children as well but this helped me so much. Resting downstairs in a clean environment helped my stress level and helped a ton with my anxiety. Even if you have to go back to work help her when you get home, sure you are exhausted but everyone is exhausted.
Rely on everyone in the home to help you
My husband did mostly everything for the first three weeks when it came to grocery shopping, helping me, giving me my medication, cleaning the house - you name it! However even though he did mostly everything he had the older kids pull their weight. Not only did having them help relieve some of the workload it helped the kids understand we work together as a family because that is what families do.
Lend an ear
She just gave birth. She is exhausted and trying to rest and heal. Not only that the first month is nothing but a whirlwind of emotions and sometimes it is really overwhelming and hard to understand. Talk to her to ask her how she is. Just sit next to her and let her cry and vent she is going through so much. As are you! You are going through so much too so the more you talk to her and she talks to you the more bonding there is. Being there to help emotionally helps her recover as well and it is so important that the healing and resting process is smooth.
Just be there. Yeah you are exhausted, everyone is exhausted but right now that is just how it is going to be and until baby is 18 and moves out, nobody will ever sleep again so in the meantime pick up a broom and get to work.
I wish the holidays could be more about spending time with the people we love than feeling like we have to put on a show. There's always so much pressure.
How do you know if you are ready to be a mom?
life has been really hard lately.