The postpartum period is not a set amount of time. It can take months or years for a family to feel the transition is complete. Deepening question: Given all you know about you and your partner what expectations do you have for the postpartum period?
You need to be a mind reader. Okay, not really, but kind of. You need to be a mind reader because it can be hard for someone who just gave birth to get their thoughts in alignment and then out of their brain and into a kind statement. This means it will be really helpful if you keep your eyes open for and think ahead about what they need and then act on your intuition. Little acts mean a lot and can help your partner be less overwhelmed. You don’t need to get everything right but it is important give it effort. Deepening question: When in the past have you done something for your partner that landed perfectly and scored you big points in the love bucket?
Your partner is healing. You may not be able to see all of the areas that are healing but they are! Your partner might be managing postpartum bleeding, sore breasts or nipples, healing scars, imbalanced hormones, sleep deprivation, and dramatic emotional shifts all at the same time! A restful, low stress environment is best for healing. Deepening question: What questions do you have that will help you understand what your partners body might be going through?
Your baby needs you and your partner needs you. I once heard the advice that “Moms should rest and partners should do all the rest.” I do not like that advice. You are going through a lot of changes too! If you are running around like a task master or trying to return to normal life too quickly you might miss out on some magical bonding moments and run yourself too thin. Try to spend some time each day as a family and just be together giving each other tender loving care. Deepening question: What time of the day do you feel most comfortable playing and relaxing?
All those things you did before that were really cool, or productive, or healthy. You can’t really do that anymore—not for a while at least. Most extra curricular actives get greatly reduced in the postpartum period. Your family needs you to be around and that means that you have to sacrifice part of what you love, temporally. After 5 or 6 months (give or take) people are able to work hobbies back into their lives but it is never quite the same. Opening your heart to the change that comes is part of everyones process as a parent. Deepening question: What are you open to letting go of?