Move over baby showers! Postpartum parties are what new parents need

Kinderling News & Features

While baby showers are a fun way to celebrate a new bub (and get a bunch of presents, too), maybe it’s time we start thinking about what new mums really need. A lot of parents are now opting out of the baby shower experience, and instead are asking friends and family for their time and support in the first weeks of having a newborn.

Showers are fun, but …

Sure, baby showers can be lovely affairs – all your girlfriends and family members together celebrating your bump with tasty treats, cute games and lots of presents for your little one.

But are they really that necessary? I mean, how many beanies and booties does a baby need? Wouldn’t you prefer your ‘village’ to put their time and energy into helping you AFTER the baby’s born instead?

Listen to Kinderling Conversation:

Try a postpartum event

This is where the concept of the postpartum party comes in. What exactly is it? Well, the word party is very misleading. It’s not a party at all (unless you want it to be).

Instead of a baby shower celebration, your friends and loved ones shower you with help and gifts that will assist with your post-birth recovery and the (sometimes harrowing) adjustment of life with a newborn. Basically, it’s a six to eight-week celebration to support a new mum. How cool is that?!

How do they work?

The friend or person who would normally be in charge of organising a baby shower is usually the one to coordinate a postpartum party. With the help of the new mum, they compile a ‘guest list’ of all the friends and family in her network who she often calls on for mental support, and work out exactly what kind of help the mum wants or needs. Then an invitation is sent to everyone letting them know how they can be of assistance. 

Ideas for assistance

In some cases, the organiser might need to be a bit forward, as new mums have a terrible habit of refusing help (even when they desperately need it), but the mum does have the final say over everything of course. The types of support and activities that might be involved include:

  • A digital calendar – Where friends can put their name in for when they are available or set up a visitor schedule, so the mum isn’t bombarded and knows exactly when people will be popping by.
  • Cooked meals – A lunch and/or dinner roster is set up for dropping off cooked meals.
  • Household help – Friends stop by to help with minor tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, putting a load of washing on or picking up groceries. An alternative to this is a paid cleaning service that everyone chips in for.
  •  Babysitting – Help with any other children such as taking them on outings, or watching the new baby while the mum has a sleep, or a shower, or goes on a date night with her partner. 
  • After-care gift package – Presents not so much for the baby but for the mum, such as pamper treats like massages and creams, tasty treats, plus practical items such as maternity pads, nipple creams or a gift voucher for a lactation or sleep consultant.

A night in

Then there’s also the option of having something that DOES actually resemble a party. All your guests come over with a plate of food and drinks for a fun night in, making sure they also clean up afterwards! 

United community

So what do you think? Would you prefer a postpartum party to a baby shower? New mums really do need all the help they can get, emotionally and physically, and we think postpartum parties are the perfect way for friends to support women post-birth. If you’re undecided and your network is strong, then we suppose you could always opt for both!

This post originally appeared on Babyology