Why You Need a Postpartum Party

Becoming a new mom is understandably a huge change to any woman’s life. And while there’s a lot you can do to prepare for motherhood, much of the focus is on preparing for the baby’s birth. Maybe you’ve crafted a birth plan, you’ve spent countless hours getting the nursery ready and you’ve pored over every item for the baby registry. But what happens when you actually enter motherhood? Aside from having the right number of burp cloths and diapers, how do you…ya know…mother a child? Since babies don’t come with an owner’s manual, a new concept has been tossed out that celebrates the postpartum journey for new moms. Here’s why you need a postpartum party in your new mom life pronto.

What is a postpartum party?

Bust Magazine author Maria Mendez Marthaller recently came up with the amazing (and totally useful) idea of throwing a mom-to-be a postpartum party. “What if we took all the energy, time and money that goes into prenatal fanfare and instead put it toward helping new parents when they need it most: during the emotional and physical recovery of the first six weeks after giving birth?” she asks. So rather than a typical “party” you’d have your BFFs, family members and anyone else in your support system sign up for loving duties during the first six weeks (or longer) of your new baby’s life. They could help with things like organizing meals, pitching in with housework, helping with the baby while you tend to your everyday life things like napping, showering and eating.

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How does a postpartum party differ from a baby shower?

A baby shower differs from a postpartum party because it focuses more on the birth, the baby and the material possessions you’ll need to raise your new little one. It doesn’t touch on what happens after you bring the baby home. So instead of inviting friends over to play “guess the poop” or to estimate the circumference of your belly with toilet paper, it’s letting your walls down and admitting what every mom new feels, but rarely admits: “I need your help, will you be there?” And then telling those in your trusted circle ways they can help you in those critical first few weeks when emotions are high and overwhelm is the norm.

Why a postpartum party is so necessary for new moms

Let’s face it, the early days with a newborn are hard. Any mom who’s been through it already will tell you that having a newborn is rarely glamorous. Pregnancy “glow” turns to haggardness, your clothes are constantly stained from either breastmilk, spit up or pee, you have on idea the last time you ate and as luck would have it you’re the mom who got lucky with a new baby who wakes every two hours. New moms who feel that pain are usually in no mood to be around others but that’s exactly when your support system is needed the most.

How to put a postpartum party into action

If you feel nervous, have a close friend organize the postpartum party for you. The important thing to remember is that all of the setup needs to be done before the baby arrives. People always say “let me know if there’s anything I can do,” but by that point you have no idea how they could be helpful because there’s already so much going on. Have your friend use a Google calendar or something that can organize “visiting hours” so your friends who DO want to help know exactly how when they can be useful. And be ok with asking for help whether it’s having someone pick up groceries, spend time with your other children or schedule a postnatal massage for you. The idea is that they are there to offer nothing but support as you transition from birth to full-time motherhood.

The saying is true that “it takes a village to raise a baby.” For that reason alone you need a postpartum party for after the baby is born. But there’s really no reason why you can’t have both a baby shower and a postpartum party. It’s exactly what new moms everywhere need, even if you don’t know it yet.