Nicely asking for no hospital visits after baby
May 20, 2016 8:48 AM   Subscribe

How can I nicely let people know that we don't want any visits in the hospital after my baby is born?

I'm having a baby by scheduled c-section on Monday. I live in a city where it is very common for people to come visit you at the hospital. New parents even prepare food and favors to give the visitors, so anything from 20 to 100 people might show up with gifts during mom and baby's hospital stay.

I did all that with my first baby and hated it. Had my first (unexpected) c-section and then you feel like crap and people are all over you. Also, it's very hard to focus on the baby and on starting a good breastfeeding relationship.
My second baby was premature and everyone knew he had a birth defect and a long NICU stay ahead, so not many visitors showed up.

This time I decided I will be asking people not to show up. I know this is obvious to many Mefites but like I said, visitors are the norm here, so I have to let people know in a way that we don't come off as party poopers. I need help with the wording. I'm thinking of sending out a photo of the baby with a text message that can be forwarded by my immediate family, saying something like this:

"We want to share the good news of Baby Lemonade's arrival. Baby Lemonade and CrazyLemonade are both healthy and doing well.
At this time we want to live these days quietly and in the company of immediate family, and won't be having any visitors in the hospital. We would like everyone to meet Baby Lemonade [at later date?]. Please keep us in your prayers.
Mr. Lemonade and CrazyLemonade"

That's al I have but it doesn't feel quite good to me when I picture it being shared....help me make it better?
posted by CrazyLemonade to Human Relations (27 answers total)
 
We're thrilled to announce the arrival of Baby Lemonade and both s/he and mom are doing well. We'll be taking the next few days to recover and look forward to visiting with you all once we're home.
posted by goggie at 8:52 AM on May 20, 2016 [42 favorites]


Tell the hospital staff too.
posted by brujita at 8:53 AM on May 20, 2016 [27 favorites]


That sounds perfect to me. Very nice...not rude.... And warn your nurses. If people come anyway... the nurses will send them off. This is your special time. Don't worry about hurting feelings to get what you need. Yay new baby!!
posted by pearlybob at 8:53 AM on May 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


You are under zero obligation to tell people when you are scheduled to or have had a baby. If you want no visitors, do not tell people you have had the baby until you are home. If that's a week later, fine.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:54 AM on May 20, 2016 [71 favorites]


I think that sounds very nice! Be sure to tell your nurses, and they will defend your room (I did this, and my nurses very politely told unexpected guests that mom and baby were not seeing visitors...they gave no excuses, just that they could not allow anyone through). I left a list of people who COULD come to my room at the check-in counter, limited to my parents and in-laws, and it worked out great! Congrats on your new baby, and yes, don't feel bad about putting boundaries around this time. When it was me, I just wanted to rest from surgery and spend time with my other children and husband, just us.
posted by I_love_the_rain at 8:57 AM on May 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


That looks fine: simple and to the point. Your husband should absolutely take 100% of the responsibility of telling people that yes, you really do mean it, and no, there are no exceptions, please abide by our wishes, thanks so much for your concern, etc etc. I know it's really hard to let go of all the emotional labor bullshit but really do try to keep in mind that you are absolutely not making an unreasonable request, nor will it make you mean or rude to insist on enforcement (via hospital staff, your husband, etc) of this request. The only point of rudeness will be if people decide your clearly stated wishes do not apply to them.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:58 AM on May 20, 2016 [13 favorites]


Picking a future date is going to help if you're up for planning what in the south sometimes is called a Sip N See. Then the busybodies can focus on that rather than the shock of being denied access to the bub.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:58 AM on May 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


DarlingBri is right. My brother and his wife didn't tell anyone she was in labor, for exactly this reason. It worked out fine. No one hassled them during their hospital stay, and no one really cared that they weren't informed until afterward. It's okay to not tell them until you're ready. Definitely tell the nurses you want no visitors, yes - but if no one even knows you're at the hospital, that avoids some awkward scenes between well-meaning visitors and hospital staff.
posted by Coatlicue at 9:01 AM on May 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Mazel-Tov on your baby!

I think this is perfectly acceptable, especially given what you went through before.

You might want to hint that it's not YOUR decision, but your health care team's directive.

We want to share the good news of Baby Lemonade's arrival. Baby Lemonade and CrazyLemonade are both healthy and doing well. At this time we won't be able to have any visitors in the hospital. We would like everyone to meet Baby Lemonade [at later date?]. Please keep us in your prayers.

Mr. Lemonade and CrazyLemonade


Do let we here at Metafilter know when you're home, we're praying for you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:05 AM on May 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


The ONLY thing I would omit is the immediate family part. The people that you want to be there you can tell and no one will have to ponder "isn't aunt immediate?", etc. Less hard feelings.
posted by ReluctantViking at 9:06 AM on May 20, 2016 [14 favorites]


Do you have to tell them you are going in until after you are back home? When you are back home & ready let them know then. A cute baby will distract everyone from thinking too deeply about it once it's all over & done. That's all everyone wants to cluck at the cute baby & congratulate the family.
posted by wwax at 9:09 AM on May 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


You are under zero obligation to tell people when you are scheduled to or have had a baby

This ship has sailed, heh. Everybody and their mom asked when the baby was coming and I don't like to be secretive about things like this so yeah, everyone knows Monday's the day. I HAVE been telling almost everyone that we wont' be having visitors this time around and people are very much OK with it. The message is mostly for those I haven't seen in a while, like my parents' and my husband's friends and such.

Thanks for the congrats and good wishes. Whoever knows some of my previous AskMes knows we've had it tough, so if any of your are praying people, I really appreciate your prayers come Monday morning.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:13 AM on May 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


what ReluctantViking said. Make the public-ish message to wait until you're home and rested, and then reach out individually to the exceptions. I tend to think "immediate family" divisions can cause confusion and hurt feelings on both sides. But you know your people.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:17 AM on May 20, 2016


-The ONLY thing I would omit is the immediate family part. The people that you want to be there you can tell and no one will have to ponder "isn't aunt immediate?", etc. Less hard feelings.

-I tend to think "immediate family" divisions can cause confusion and hurt feelings on both sides. But you know your people.

Understood, will leave that part out.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:19 AM on May 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh man, I'm glad I don't live in your city! I would also really hate having multiple visitors at the hospital. I agree that announcing a specific plan for when they can meet baby may help. You could say, "We will not be able to accept visitors at the hospital. We invite you to meet baby at our house on June 10 for a 'Welcome baby party!*' Thank you so much for your support during this exciting time." Or maybe it's at your parents' house instead, now that I think about it.
(For the record, it's also okay if you don't have a welcome baby party. I probably wouldn't. But it sounds like you're interested in doing that, so in that case I think announcing it now helps avoid the hospital visitors and also just takes that small step off your plate before the baby is here and things are hectic).
I wouldn't be surprised if you & your family changing this tradition helps some your peers follow your lead. I'm sure there are other parents who feel exactly the same as you. I will send you a prayer Monday morning. Congratulations!



**Can we call that a baby warming?
posted by areaperson at 9:31 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


In addition to letting your nurses and techs know that you are not receiving visitors, you can also request to be a "private patient" / not listed on the public hospital census. That way anyone who drops by or calls won't even be able to confirm that you're admitted or your room number. At some hospitals, you can give special people who you want to have access the pseudonym the hospital assigns and the password. Very cloak and dagger. Best wishes!
posted by charmcityblues at 9:33 AM on May 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


At this time we want to live these days quietly and in the company of immediate family, and...

I wouldn't use this phrasing. This clause means nothing, and is just going to serve as a TL;DR preventing people from getting to what you actually want to say.

I'd make the whole thing one sentence, super clear, "We unfortunately aren't able to have visitors in the hospital after Baby Lemonade is born." You could precede it with something like goggie's phrasing about taking the next few days to recover, if necessary.

Personally, though I think DarlingBri has it. Wait till after the baby is home to announce its birth and you won't have this issue.
posted by Sara C. at 9:39 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I feel you. I absolutely hated that part of having a baby. I had 2 c-sections and just was not feeling it. At all. People coming to visit so soon, while I was laid up, felt very invasive.

I felt very weird and awkward and vulnerable, laying in a gown in a bed while relatives and people I wasn't that close to were hovering over me. I just hated every second. They do not need to be there and it's very draining, having to answer the same questions over and over, putting on a happy smiley face every second, making small talk, having to be "up" when you are medicated, tired, feeling gross, or hurting ( I mean, you did just have an operation.....) etc. It's almost like you're hosting a party that never ends. You do not need that! Sending a nicely worded message will not keep anyone away. They will all think the message doesn't apply to them; it applies to everyone else.

Thoughts: Leave a message on social media saying you're doing it differently this time and don't want any visitors until you go home and are ready, don't update anyone until it's time to go home, tell the nurses, tell your husband. Congratulations!
posted by the webmistress at 9:50 AM on May 20, 2016


One of my friends had a C-section last week, and used "doctor's orders" to keep folks out. She reminded folks that a C-section is major surgery and that she and the baby are at risk of infection, so that kept most folks out of the hospital room, and she stayed sequestered at home til her staples were out. Congratulations, and hope things go well!
posted by jhope71 at 10:03 AM on May 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


My own draft, pull from it what you like:

We’re so glad to let you know that we’re now the parents of a [weight] [height] bouncing baby [boy/girl], [name].

Please note we’d like to spend these first few days alone with our new [son/daughter], as father, mother and [son/daughter] will be spending some much-needed time both recovering and bonding.

(if planned) Your presence would be greatly welcomed at a gathering to introduce you and little [baby first name] to each other, on [date] and [time].

(if not planned) After mother, father, and baby have settled a bit into our new roles and lives, we’d love to make plans to get together, but ask for your patience in the meantime. We’ll be sure to be (sending lots of photos/posting lots of photos on Facebook/etc.) until then.

Thanks so very much for your understanding!

posted by WCityMike at 10:11 AM on May 20, 2016


Oh! I feel your pain! I left the state to have all three of my children, and the weird hospital customs played into that decision. Here in the south, it is common to have everyone and their cousin sit outside the delivery room, waiting. They will even go in and visit mom while she is in labor!

The proper etiquette here is to have your mom tell everyone to stay home because your doctor felt it was the best thing for you or some other random excuse. If your mom won't do it, the lady at your church who organizes meals should do it. Basically, it shouldn't come from you or your husband but from an outside source. If your mom is really sweet, she will encourage your well wishers to make a meal schedule so that you don't have to cook for 3 weeks.
posted by myselfasme at 10:31 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the answers. All very helpful. Selected some best answers to look back when writing my final message, I still have to translate it as I'm in Mexico and might end up looking a little wordier.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:33 AM on May 20, 2016


Hope it's not too late to offer my congratulations! Best wishes for a quick recovery from surgery and adjusting to life with your new little one!
posted by kat518 at 11:44 AM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Congratulations! One thing that I noticed:

Please keep us in your prayers.

Including this as phrased could give people the incorrect impression that there's something wrong, and that's why you don't want people to visit. Of course, even if that were the case, it wouldn't be anyone's business, but if all is well, you might consider phrasing this more positively to avoid giving the wrong impression or sparking well-intentioned but concerned outreach.

Instead of "We would like everyone to meet Baby Lemonade [at later date?]. Please keep us in your prayers," maybe something more like "We would like everyone to meet Baby Lemonade at [later date]. We'll look forward to introducing [him/her] then! In the meantime, thanks for everyone's prayers and well-wishes!"
posted by limeonaire at 4:09 PM on May 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


You have the right to do the alias thing, but every nurse and doctor will be on the lookout for the normal reasons people have aliases (domestic violence, victim of a crime, other security concerns). A well meaning staff member and family member could get into an altercation for no good reason.

I'd use hospital protocol: the lemonade mixes are fine, and happy. Due to risks of infection, and babies inability to have vaccinations yet, they ask that we have as few people as possible visit. We will be home soon and everyone can welcome baby lemonade into the world!
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:50 PM on May 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do you know about "sip and see" baby welcoming parties? This is mainly a southern custom that takes place several weeks after a baby is born and parents feel recovered enough to host a little welcome-to-the-world afternoon open house for just a couple hours, usually with champagne and pretty desserts.
posted by Elsie at 4:32 AM on May 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hi all. I'm happy to report the birth of Baby Lemonade. He's a beautiful huge bundle of 3.830kg (8.4 lbs).
I sent the message we wrote (thats me, plus your help) and it's been well received. We'll see how the day goes tomorrow.

Thanks everyone who sent me good thoughts and prayers. I'm so happy with my rainbow baby. =)
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:22 PM on May 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


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