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What's a Postpartum Party and How Do You Host One?

Skip throwing a baby shower and do this instead

Published on: August 01, 2018

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Young couple with baby

Baby showers are fun, but what do new parents really need? Help after baby arrives! 

So instead of playing yet another game of “Guess how big her belly is!” host a “postpartum party” for the new parent(s) instead. 

While not technically a “party,” this idea gives a new parent exactly what they need: Help. The idea is that you think a step ahead and organize a series of ways for you and those who'd attend a baby shower to pitch in during the six weeks following birth. 

To start:

  1. Sit down with the parent(s)-to-be and get a list of contact information of anyone who would’ve been invited to a baby shower.
  2. Next, consider the family’s possible postpartum needs. Do they have older children who will need entertaining or a ride to lessons or school? Will Mom need a companion to ferry her to pediatrician appointments or postpartum appointments? (If she has a C-section or difficult birth, driving and getting a car seat in and out of the car will be hard!) Is there a dog that will need walking? Flowers that need watering?
  3. Create a schedule. Consider scheduling a helper at least a few times a week. First, fill in known needs such as “bring dinner” or “babysit siblings.” Then, schedule people in one- to two-hour blocks to just be there to help. When someone comes over, they should just jump in and do what needs to be done without needing to be asked. 
  4. Brief your "helpers" (a.k.a. the same friends and family you'd invite to to a baby shower). Let friends know that they should be ready to do any tasks such as the following: entertain/babysit the older siblings; make a grocery or diaper run; cook; help around the house including doing the dishes, running the laundry and helping with yard work; hold baby while the parents take a nap; and chauffeur older children.

If the new parent(s) are really uncomfortable with friends helping or most of your guests are unavailable during the day, consider pooling your funds and hiring a postpartum doula.

Regardless, the important part is that you're helping welcome this little one into the world. 

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