The 10 people you’ll LOVE after giving birth

This article is written by Diana Spalding and is originally published in Motherly.

New motherhood can be one of the most intense transitions in a woman’s life.

That’s why we never forget the people who were there for us during this amazing part of the journey.

To the friends, family, medical professionals, treasured neighbors and kind strangers: THANK YOU.

These are the 10 people you’ll love after giving birth—

1. The medical professionals who helped to safely bring my baby into the world

Whether it’s looking back fondly on a tireless midwife, a calming surgeon, a hand-holding doula or a nurse or aide who helped me to the bathroom after my baby was born—thank you for being a part of our family’s story. I know you do this for a living. I know this is a normal day to you. But this was one of the most magical days in our family’s life—thank you for being a part of it.

To the nurse who wiped my pushing poop, the OB who told me to “reach down and feel your baby’s head,” the doula who repeated my mantras back to me. Our stories are forever intertwined.

P.S. I will never forget the way you made me feel when you looked me in the eyes and told me I rocked my birth—I am invincible.

2. The family + friends who ask if I want visitors at the hospital or at home—and respect my wishes

Thank you for understanding—this is such an intense time in our lives. I can’t tell if I’m going to want to show off our baby Simba-style to our entire extended family, of if we’re going to want to hole up in a cave and hibernate for a month. But to those who ask and respect our wishes, you are the best. I promise we’ll find our footing soon and pass around our new bundle of joy to the entire crew. It just might be after the 6 weeks shots. 😉

3. The lactation consultants and counselors who offer only support, no judgment

To the breastfeeding miracle workers who understand that I’m learning to keep a tiny human alive with just my breasts—a magic trick I’ve never before attempted—and sit and patiently teach and listen and support me: I value you. To those who help me understand what is “normal” adjustment—and then suggest pumping or formula supplementation when necessary: Thank you. “Fed is best.” Thank you for not judging, and for helping me achieve my goals during this emotional time. My baby + I could not do this without you.

4. ‘The Village’ that surprised me with a new mama welcome wagon

The friends who drop off the secret mama + baby products I didn’t know you needed (hellooo Padsicles) or indulgences I don’t need but were totally pining for (I see you, surprise ice cream delivery), to the gift box full of game-changing baby goods (like the nighttime sleepers that zip instead of snap): I didn’t know I needed these things, but you did. You didn’t have to do this for me, but you did. If this is The Village, then sign me right up.

5. The partner who is all support and no pressure

Our marriage is transforming before our eyes. We’ve never been parents before. But every time you tell me how proud you are of me, or cradle our baby with adoring eyes, or wake up with me for the 3 am feeding, I fall more deeply in loveTo the partner who tells me I look amazing, but gives me 0 pressure to get back into sex when the 6 week mark hits—unless of course, I’m ready to get this show on the road, too. I love you—thank you for making us a family.

6. The family + friends who check in every day and ask for more pics of the “CUTEST BABY EVER”

I’ve taken THOUSANDS of them because LOOK HOW CUTE MY BABY IS—but I don’t want to be “one of those people” so I stay quiet… until asked. Thank you for letting me publically beam with pride over this amazing little creature I made. (She’s sooooo cute, right?)

7. The friend who knows to check in after the newborn glow has worn off

People will be all over me and my baby in the very beginning. But somewhere around the 3 week mark, life goes back to normal for them and they start to taper off—and that’s when you show up. To hold my baby so I can shower, to talk to me about non-baby related things, and to remind me that I am still ME. To look out for signs of postpartum depression or anxiety, and nudge me to get help if I need it. This #momlife sisterhood runs deep.

8. To my parents, the new grandparents.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how my life will change, but I want you to know that I see you too. Your baby is having a baby—that must be huge for you. You have taught me so much about love, patience, and parenting, and I will carry that with me as a mom every day.

Watching you fall in love with my baby, your grandbaby, makes my heart so, so happy. Thank you for everything. Now—finally—I understand.

9. To the boss who supports me as I come to back to work.

A supportive boss is one of the greatest gifts a new mama can have. Thank you for understanding that I’m nervous about making it all work—but also for believing that I can.

Thank you for letting me leave a few minutes early that first day… for not being phased when I teared up talking about my baby on my first day back. Thanks for not making my need to pump awkward, and for finding ways to celebrate my accomplishments in those first few weeks back to work. I’m the same talented woman, but I’m different now, too—and I appreciate your support more than you realize.

10. To the pediatrician, who looks me in the eyes and says, “You’re doing a great job.”

Because no matter how many books I’ve read, classes I’ve attended, or kids I’ve babysat, I’m scared. Scared that I’m in over my head, scared that I’m not going to get it right. And I really need a sign that it’s going to be okay. You look at me with confidence, and remind me that while I may be fumbling a bit, I’m doing it with all my heart and love. And that THAT is what makes a mother.

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