One of the rawest and most vulnerable times in a woman’s life is postpartum. Postpartum is the first three months after childbirth. Some people claim it’s the first 6 months after childbirth and others say it’s the first year. No matter how you define it, it’s a time of great change physically, emotionally, mentally, hormonally, financially, and then some. It’s a time when women need to feel supported, cared for and loved. I’ve shared what you can do to help a new mom during postpartum, but how can you really make her feel loved? I covered the 5 love languages of labor and delivery and today I’m sharing the 5 love languages of postpartum.
First, if you haven’t read Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages,” you can take the quiz here to find out what yours is. Mine are Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. To me, there is nothing better than a hug from a loved one or receiving a flower picked from my son or a love note from my husband. Those are little things that really make my day and make me feel deeply loved.
Here’s what you can do to show your love to a new mom by looking at the 5 love languages of postpartum.
After a woman gives birth to her baby, there are a lot of things going through her mind and happening to her body. It’s an incredible time as she bonds with her newborn, but it is also an overwhelming time as she learns how to care for her baby and heal from childbirth. Postpartum can be extremely isolating. And with her hormones plummeting after giving birth, baby blues could set in. This is the time more than ever that she needs your support and wants to feel your love. If her primary love language is words of affirmation, here are some things to say to her to make her feel loved:
You can tell these to her in person, or through a handwritten note, or text message. Knowing that she has your love and support will help build her up and encourage her throughout the day and night.
When you have a baby, you will be shocked by how little you will get done throughout the day besides taking care of your baby. A new mother will feel like she is constantly feeding the baby, changing the baby, or soothing the baby. Finding time to rest herself, eat something nourishing, or take a shower can be a challenge when her newborn is demanding care morning, noon, and night. A great way to show that you really care and love her is to step up and do something. This will make her so happy and feel as if she doesn’t have to do everything now that the baby is here. Whether you are her partner, a friend or family member, there are things that you can do that will really show her that you love her. Here are some ideas:
It’s not about the monetary value. What makes receiving a gift special is knowing that person put in the time, effort, and thought behind it to get it for you. After giving birth, a woman can really have a difficult time getting accustomed to her new body and new life. Showing your love by gifting her a little self-care or a physical reminder of how much she means to you could mean the world to her. As a love language of postpartum, some good gift ideas to get her are:
When there is a newborn in the house, it can be difficult to find the time to have quality time with your partner or friends and family. The new mother will feel like all of her time is being spent taking care of the baby and trying to get sleep whenever she can as well as doing a few chores when she has the energy. When you have kids, it’s difficult to have alone time. This is why parents need to be creative and flexible when it comes to spending quality time together. What she really is craving is your undivided attention without distractions, good conversation, and one on one time with you. If her primary love language is quality time, here are some ideas that you can do postpartum:
Quality time can also mean that you give her the time to meet up with friends. Have her run out to grab a cup of coffee or have a girls’ night. Encouraging her to have time away for herself and friends so she’s not always being “mom” can really recharge her.
Physical touch may seem like that is the last thing that she wants postpartum. Sex is usually the furthest thing on a postpartum woman’s mind, but physical touch usually means a non-sexual connection. It’s using your body language instead of verbal or written language to show her that you love her. And as a reminder to partners, it is not recommended or encouraged for her to have intercourse the first 6 weeks postpartum. It’s the little acts of physical touch that can really warm her heart the most.
Little things like this can make her feel that she is still attractive, desirable, and wanted after giving birth.
With each passing day, you should see the new mother gain more confidence in herself and her mothering abilities. In time, if you notice that she is not acting like herself even after showing her your affection using the 5 love languages of postpartum, sit down and talk to her. Listen to her. And encourage her to ask for help. Postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression shouldn’t be dealt with alone. Have her talk to her doctor for more information and help. The postpartum time can be a very challenging time for the whole family and she should be supported as she discovers her new normal.
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