I found this article online that does a really nice job outlining a few points on postpartum care. From recent experience, I found I could relate directly to a couple of points.
If you want, please read...I've put my comments on my own experience at the end of this post.
First, I have not and probably will not read the book reference. I just don't have time; what I was more touched by was the discussion that followed the quote. My connections to this piece are on the emotional well-being of the new family, not the state of medical care.
I had a great birth experience. I loved my group of midwives. I loved having only my husband and my support person present for the birth. I loved the hospital that we gave birth at. Let me start there. We had our daughter at the height of the H1N1 scare in California, so all local hospitals were closed to visitors before, during and after birth. I LOVED THIS. My husband, my baby and I were left in a little cocoon for 3 days (one day of birthing and two days after), where the fantastic nursing staff doted on us, anticipating our every need. I felt so supported that I didn't really want to leave. I felt like Travis and I were allowed a special bit of time to met our daughter and begin being a family. We didn't have to worry about anything. Then we came home and had the expected line of visitors. I'm happy that everyone was excited to meet our daughter, but it's stinking exhausting having people in your home when all you want to do is curl up with your baby and get to know her.
I love the tips the blogger listed. Travis and I are already discussing what we will do after the birth of our next child (no, we're not pregnant), and I think we're going to use some of those tips. One of my closest friends had a home birth almost two years ago. I still think about how wonderful her postnatal experience was. She and her husband told all friends that they were not accepting visitors, but they would let us know when they were. They spent over a week tucked away in their bedroom with their baby, experiencing everything together. No one was offended (or if they were, they were smart enough not to say anything!) and we all eventually met the baby. It's not like the parents said, no one can come visit until the baby is one year old. No, they were putting their needs as a family above the wants of other people, as they should have.
The transition from married couple to family is difficult. Not only did I have to learn how to be a mom, and my husband learn how to be a dad, but we had to accommodate visitors at the same time. We said no when we needed to, and most people understood, but it was still hard to make the transition. I know what we'll do differently next time, and I know people will understand. Our friends and family love us and they want to support us, so they'll understand. After many discussions with my mom, my sister, my husband and my midwife, I KNOW I did not experience postpartum depression; I can only imagine how hard it is for women who do.
I will make the distinction between the "isolation" the blogger writes about and the self-imposed isolation that I write about. I'm interpreting the blogger's term isolation as neglect; the hardworking woman and her husband/support person being overlooked by medical staff or pushed aside by family and friends so people can met the baby. I know that comes from love, but it can still be hurtful to the new family members, physically and emotionally.
I write about a self-imposed isolation, not related to medical care. I write about a voluntary bubble that the new family may enjoy, if they so choose. I know it's not for everyone. I know there are people out there that want others around because they feed off their energy. Great! It works for you and that's fantastic. But it doesn't work for everyone. But if your loved one or best friend says, give us some time. Please listen to them and honor their wishes. It's not about you. It's about them. Get over it :)