Most of us have been to our fair share of baby showers — including our own. They generally occur during the final trimester of pregnancy and involve silly games, a pink or blue cake, a little bit of food and a lot of presents, consisting of items moms-to-be totally need — like diapers and baby bottles — along with many items that they don’t, like that ridiculously expensive newborn dress your daughter will likely never wear.
Baby showers are designed to offer support to the almost-parent, which they do in the form of material items. However, one woman is arguing that there might be a better time to shower a mom, and that is postpartum.
In an article composed for Bust Magazine titled "Skip The Baby Shower And Throw A Postpartum Party Instead," Marisa Mendez Marthaller offers a compelling argument that we should be taking all of the “energy, time, and money that goes into prenatal fanfare and instead put it toward helping new parents when they need it most: during the emotional and physical recovery of the first six weeks after giving birth.” After all, this is the time period when many women suffer from postpartum depression and many are forced to return to work shortly after giving birth.
While she uses the term “party,” her concept isn’t an actual event. Instead the “postpartum party” is a six week long period in which “guests” will sign up for games like housecleaning and diaper changes and BYOF (bring your own food). Sometimes, they will just be responsible for “mothersitting,” which basically consists of offering a new mom support so she can go to the bathroom, take a shower, nap, or just give them someone to talk to.
Her idea is actually pretty brilliant, and she details the “party planning” process on the website. As a mom who brought two children into the world, hundreds of miles away from family, I could have used this sort of help and would have gladly forfeit my actual baby shower. It takes a village, after all, and perhaps we aren't doing enough to provide one for new moms.