I Want to Get Along Well with My Postpartum Helper - Sunday Hug

I Want to Get Along Well with My Postpartum Helper

bathing a baby

A 'postpartum assistant' refers to a professional who helps mothers do postpartum care at home during the postpartum period.  These are those who have completed specialised education on newborn baby care, postpartum care, and healthy diet, and their activities are different from housekeepers.

Today, we are going to talk about ways to develop a good relationship with a postpartum!

How can I build a good relationship with a postpartum helper?

1. We acknowledge the 'adaptation period'.

No matter how professional a postpartum helper is, it is necessary to establish what you expect from this relationship as a first-time mother or an experienced mother. This is because we do not know what one another likes, what we are ok with, and what we dislike. 

It is good to anticipate in advance that it may be awkward during the initial adaptation period. At this time, if there is something you don't like, you need to be honest and not be patient. This is because talking with a postpartum helper is something you have to get used to.

Tip: If necessary, it is also a good idea to tell the story in writing rather than verbally. It is also a good idea to put notes, etc. in a conspicuous place.

2. Respect as a partner.

Trust is the most important component of relationships between people. If you know that the other believes that you will do well, anyone can work with excitement. It's okay to be tolerant of small mistakes, as long as they're not too big of a mistake.  You can use more considerate language, such as, 'Can you do this for me?' But you don't have to go too low-key.

Just because you are usually younger than the postpartum assistant doesn't mean you have to be scared of them. If there is something you need, please ask clearly, and if there is something you do not want to do, it is better to talk about it. That way, you can both spend your time together without stress.

3. Distinguish between negotiable and non-negotiable areas.

Because the postpartum helper is different from me, there may be conflicts about hygiene and childcare.  When doing so, please state clearly what you want. Convey your sentiments precisely, such as: ‘I want the baby bottle to be sterilized with hot water’, ‘I want to receive help and support because I want to breastfeed’, and ‘I don’t want you to clean my baby’s ears with a cotton swab’.

Before choosing a postpartum assistant, it is also helpful to write down what you want and clearly announce it. Divide your priorities and deliver tasks, such as 'I want you to take care of baby's cries, rather than the cleaning or the food.”

4. Each person may have different opinions on household chores.

We should check in advance what areas postpartum helpers should take care of and what areas that are not possible in household chores. For example, they might take care of the mother's diet but not their husband’s, or you might prioritise that they wash baby laundry separately. 

If the postpartum helper voluntarily takes care of the husband's side dishes, you can say 'thank you'. But what if childcare seems to have been neglected by taking care of the husband’s side dishes? Then, you want to manage their responsibilities. Say something like: 'It's okay if you don't take care of my husband's food. When the baby cries, I would prefer for us to take care of it sooner.'

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Author: Lee Ji-hyun

- A Secondary School Level 2 Teacher Certificate

- As a real mother of a child, she ponders specific parenting tips between reality and theory. She has worked as an educational civic activist and freelance journalist.