Sure, baby showers are fun. But, have you thought about how much better it would be to get stuff you know you need, rather than just guessing? Or actually being able to indulge in a glass of bubbles at your event? That’s why postpartum parties are a growing trend.
Party planner gives the thumbs up
Ina Jacobs of the events directory website planmepretty.co.za, says postpartum parties get her thumbs up for several reasons. “Firstly, they let a new mom have her arms to herself for a few hours, rather than holding on to her baby. So, a note to other moms: leave your own little ones at home so that you can hold the baby! It’s also a chance for her to get spoiled, which is so important during these early days when she feels tired, overwhelmed and a bit scared. It really helps to have some me-time and a chat with her girlfriends.”
Ina’s tips for hosting a great postpartum party:
Choose the right time
Four to six weeks after the birth is ideal.
Think about the venue
The mom’s house isn’t an option. Not only will she feel pressure to clean both before and after the party, but one of the aims is to get her out the house for a change of scenery. Many new moms experience a sense of isolation because of all those hours spent looking after baby at home.
Plan your activities
Work everything around what mom enjoys. Is she a foodie who loves checking out new restaurants? Would she prefer something more low-key, like a tea party at her bestie’s house?
Sort out the guest list
This occasion is for best friends only. New moms are emotional and have much going on. She may want to have a good cry or talk about intensely personal stuff, and she needs to have a safe space to do this.
Go over the gifts
By now, mom probably has all she needs for baby, so the pressies can be all about her. Ask each guest to bring a spoil, like a magazine, her favourite chocolate or a voucher for a manicure, as well as some practical items, like frozen meals.
Share your feelings
One of the reasons new moms feel so daunted is because they imagine they’re the only person to have felt a certain way. Encourage guests to write down the scariest moments they experienced when they were new moms. End the notes with a reminder that life does get easier.
Draw up a roster
Continue the afternoon’s spirit of support by allocating small tasks for each guest over the next six weeks, like dropping off bread and milk, lifting older kids or popping by to hold the baby while mom showers and enjoys a hot cup of coffee.
Fathima Ebrahim of Memories with Yayay says that it’s a good idea to involve your partner as he’s also likely to be experiencing some of the emotional turmoil that accompanies a new member of the family.
What moms say about postpartum parties
“I had a postpartum shower because we didn’t find out the gender of our baby. It was a really nice opportunity to introduce our closest friends and family to our little guy. However, I think it could be quite stressful if you don’t have an easy baby. You also have to be aware that there is a risk of exposing your new baby to a lot of germs (I’d recommend no kids attend if you are doing it when the baby is still very small). I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it.” – Shanna
“I had a ‘mini’ one with our first child because we didn’t find out the gender. It was just with my closest girlfriends, in total around 15 people. At first it was overwhelming because my son wouldn’t feed so I had to sit and pump. As a first-time-mom I didn’t feel comfortable doing it in front of my friends, so I sat by myself in my room for 45 minutes. I had also developed blocked ducts the night before so I was in agony. After the first hour it was more relaxing. It was nice to have all my closest friend over to catch up and have everyone meet my son. I think it’s a great idea, but I wouldn’t advise doing it at home and catering it yourself. Rather go about it exactly as you would pre-baby and have someone organise it for you.” – Natalie
“I had what the planners (my sister and friend) called a sip-and-see. It was a ‘shower’ three months after my baby was born. I lost my first baby the day after my baby shower so wasn’t keen on having another one with my next baby. It was great because everyone could see the baby. And we could use the upcoming “shower” to limit the number of visitors to the house in the first weeks after coming home from the hospital.” – Leonore
About the expert:
Ina Jacobs has been working in the Events & Hospitality industry since 2005. She is the owner and manager of an online directory and inspirational party blog, www.planmepretty.co.za, planning & styling events as part of the Plan Me Pretty brand, and social media manager for various creative entrepreneurs and trendy coffee/eatery spots and venues.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.