10 rules for visiting all mums with newborns need to know

You've just given birth and now the whole world wants to visit. Overwhelmed? Set these rules to avoid the common visitor pitfalls at the hospital and when you get home

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At the hospital… make your partner the gatekeeper

As much as you love your family and feel touched that they want to come and visit your newborn baby, you’ll also need your own space and warning when visitors are approaching!

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Make your partner the gatekeeper and get him to spread the word that you need time to rest, recuperate and bond with your baby. Get him to keep watch and take charge of the visiting schedule, so you can concentrate on recovering and spending uninterrupted time with your baby.

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Be clear from the start about when family can start visiting

Ok, so you may not need a megaphone to relay this message, but sometimes it’s hard to spread the word to everyone.

Tell friends and family to hold off with the visiting straight after the birth, until they get the nod from your gatekeeper. If need be, quote etiquette experts who say that the maternal grandmother should always be first in the queue. This should stop everyone flocking to the hospital minutes after you’ve given birth.

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Visiting rules – Put off people bringing hundreds of flowers and gifts to the hospital

Save the bundles of gifts, flowers and food for home visits

Receiving gifts and flowers is wonderful, and even though the thought is there, tell friends and family not to bombard you with hundreds of bouquets, baby balloons and food while you’re still in hospital.

As lovely as these gifts are, you’ll have to get them all home when it’s time to leave the hospital, as well as your baby and his essentials. Getting to grips with how much baby gear you’ll have to carry around from now on is daunting enough – hundreds of helium balloons will only add to the pressure!

Tell your loved ones to save their gifts until you get home, so you can fully appreciate them.

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Visiting rules – Make up a secret sign for when you’ve had enough

Make up a secret sign for when you’ve had enough

Being surrounded by people day and night can be tiring, especially after you’ve given birth! If you’ve had enough but feel rude telling people to leave you be, make up a secret sign that only you and your partner know.

Then when you’re starting to feel like you need time-out, send out the signal so your partner can subtly hustle visitors out without you saying a word!

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Visiting rules – Have a must knock policy in hospital room

Have a ‘must knock’ (or ‘must text’) policy

After you’ve given birth or been surviving on minimal sleep, it’s fair to say you won’t be looking your best. To avoid embarrassment and feeling insecure around visitors popping in, set up a ‘must knock’ policy for the hospital room. That way, no one can walk in unannounced, catch you half-naked or invade your privacy.

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Alternately, have your partner spread the word that everyone needs to text if they plan to visit – this gives you the chance to suggest a later time or different day if you’re really not feeling up to it.

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