Overcoming Isolation When a New Baby Arrives

A new baby changes everything. Your “crazy night on the town” now means you've got the kids in tow. How do you break away from the isolation and loneliness that we sometimes feel once the baby comes home? How do we fall in this trap? And what are some practical ways we can reintroduce ourselves to society?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Overcoming Isolation When a New Baby Arrives

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.


[Theme Music]

Nikki Helms : You have a new baby and everything is baby, baby, baby! At some point, you'll find a desperate need to have an adult conversation about what's going on outside of your house. Diapers, spit ups and breastfeeding. How do you navigate the unfamiliar territory of the first weeks of life at home with a newborn without falling into loneliness and isolation? I'm Nikki Helms, Postpartum Doula and Childbirth Educator, and this is Parent Savers, episode 39.

[Theme Music/Intro]

KC Wilt : Welcome to Parent Savers, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I am your host, KC Wilt. Parent Savers is all about helping new parents from the baby years to the toddler years. We are so lucky to have amazing experts in our show, so shoot us an e-mail or call our hot-line and we'll get your questions answered. We also have a free app, a free newsletter, you can like us on Facebook, you can send us an e-mail, you can call our hot-line, there are so many ways to be a part of our show. Also, did you miss an episode that's been archived, or you want to keep talking to the expert once the show stops? We have a Parent Savers Club where you can download all the archived episodes, get exclusive content and so much more. So jump on in the conversation. I'm a new parent myself, my son Carson he just turned two and I'm joined by three new parents here in the studio.

Johner Riehl : My name is Johner Riehl, I'm a freelance writer and PR consultant, I live here in San Diego and I have three boys, I'm an experienced parent and a new again parent, they're five, three and 18 months old.

Jerry Butanda : My name is Jerry Butanda, I'm 31, I'm a speech pathologist, I have one daughter, her name is London.

Jessica Lamphere : Hi everyone, Jessica Lamphere, I'm 25 years old, I'm a yoga teacher and esthetician and I have one daughter, Angelica, who is 13 months.

[Theme Music]

KC Wilt : Before we start today's show, here is Jennifer Sheer, with tips on how to survive the emotional side of parenting.

Jennifer Sheer : Hi Parent Savers, I'm Doctor Jennifer Sheer, a clinical psychologist with a practice here in San Diego. One of my specialties is working with women during pregnancy and throughout the transition to motherhood. Today's segment is about transitioning between your professional and maternal mind. I refer to professional mind as a part of a second plan to organize, prioritize and problem-solve. It involves our executive functioning. When speaking of the maternal mind, I'm referring to the ability to be fully in a moment with your baby. Mindfulness is the term that describes this experience of being in the moment. And that is what being with baby is really about. Activities that help develop mindfulness are special beneficial during pregnancy. These can be yoga, swimming, gardening, hiking, being with nature or with animals. Repeated experiences that help you feel centered and present. These are mind rehearsals for learning how to access this part of yourself, so you can really engage with your newborn and your own experience of early motherhood. Another way to access this maternal state of mind is to emerge yourself in sensory experiences. Think baby powder on freshly bathed baby bottoms. Feel satin and silkies against your skin. Taste banana and pumpkin, mango and peach, listen to seashells and sand, awaken the part of you that perceives through touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. This is how we attach with our babies, exactly through these sensory experiences. Hold baby, and hold these senses alive. The ability to move back and forth between your professional and maternal mind is so important as a parent. We want to be able to curl up with baby, skin to skin, and snuggle, and also organize and prepare a diaper bag, just to survive outside the house for a few hours. You have the capacity to access many states of mind through mental observation and focusing attention. While you're busy capturing photo moments of your baby on the camera, snap mental moments of yourself as well. This will help develop the flexibility to be able to both manage the moment, and be in it as well. Thanks for listening to Parent Savers, and be sure to listen for more episodes on how to thrive as a new parent!

[Theme Music]

KC Wilt : Today on Parent Savers we have Nikki Helms, Postpartum Doula, and she's here to talk with us about isolation after a new baby. So I've heard you refer to it in the past, what is the fourth trimester?

Nikki Helms : The fourth trimester is a phrase that I picked up from Doctor Harvey Karp, who wrote “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, and what he basically refers to is the first three months after the baby was born, so that's the first three months outside of the womb. It's really a whole family adjustment period, so everybody is getting used to having a new baby in the house, and what their roles look like now that the baby has actually been born.

Johner Riehl : So what do you see as, in generally speaking, the physical and mental state of new parents in that fourth trimester? We know the baby is developing still, but how are parents?

Nikki Helms : They're extremely exhausted,

KC Wilt : Really? Wow!

Nikki Helms : I know, unheard of, right? Extremely exhausted, they're anxious, they're confused, they're getting information from all sides, they're not sure who's right, who's wrong, what to do, and often times they try to keep the baby happy, they try to keep other children happy if they have them, they're trying to keep each other happy and everybody's just really sensitive, it's a very sensitive time to be in house.

KC Wilt : We have a comment on our Facebook page from Samantha Bay, and she says she went from having a ton of people checking on her through the night, visiting, and then nothing, just the three of them at home, so that transition, can that be hard as well?

Nikki Helms : That is extremely difficult, it's almost like being an out of work rock-star. You are the rock-star and everybody wants to know what's going on with you, and they're looking at your belly and they think that everything's fabulous, and then all of the sudden you don't have that anymore, you as a mother don't have that. And all that attention is now focused on someone else altogether. And you start to think that “You don't know them, you know me, I'm awesome, I made that baby!”, and that baby is now on the other side of the room.

KC Wilt : Well how do you fall in the trap of isolation? I mean, you've got all this stuff going on at the hospital while pregnant and then you come home, how does one fall into exclusion and everything else?

Nikki Helms : I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that you are concerned about the baby and how the baby will react to certain things, you're concerned about like right now, cold and flue season, you don't want to take the baby out of the house because you don't want the baby to get sick, you're concerned about how the baby is going to behave in certain situations with regards to crying, or maybe they're going to have an accident, or maybe you're going to have an accident and there are all sorts of things that you're concerned about that just makes it easier to just stay home.

KC Wilt : Especially I know a lot of moms who are breastfeeding, that whole breastfeeding outside of the house with cover, I mean I could not use that cover and then a lot of them need a pillow, all sorts of things and so you can go on and, 30 minutes increments, and that's not enough to go anywhere, even by yourself it's not enough.

Nikki Helms : Right, exactly. And that's what I refer to as the time slip, you realize that you've been home and everything's just easier at home, and next thing you know, it's been three weeks since you've left the house. And you ask your partner who comes home from work can you just pick up something or can you get something since you're already out there? And that makes it easier for you as the home parent to just stay there.

KC Wilt : So is this concept of isolation primarily and American issue or how is that across the world?

Nikki Helms : Well, I haven't really been across the world to investigate. However, I can say that it would be a common experience if you don't have a well established community that's involved in your life on a regular basis, so if you don't have friends that are coming over to check on you, or a church community or some sort of group that's involved in your life on a regular basis, I could see it being very easy to just stay home.

KC Wilt : Well I wonder if you know, places that I've referred to in the past, I know Sweden has a great postpartum doula situation and a lot of other places in Europe were they've got people checking on the mom afterwards. You think that would be helpful?

Nikki Helms : I think it would be amazing, the last time I was pregnant I asked my husband if we could please move to Sweden, he said no, however, what they have I think in Europe, it would be really helpful to have a lot of those systems in place in the United States, because mothers are able to take off for a whole year, they have postpartum care, they home care nurses that come in and look on the baby, look in on the mom, that would be wonderful.

KC Wilt : Do you feel like some parents maybe fall into isolation because they're going back to work in three months and so they're saying “I don't want to spend time with anybody else than just my baby right now”?

Nikki Helms : Right, absolutely. And I wholeheartedly support that, you know, those first few weeks, just being in the family cocoon, and being at home, don't answer the door, don't answer the phone, only schedule visitors for particular time so you know when they're coming and for how long; but when you start doing that and you kind of get in the routine of doing that, then going outside of the house almost becomes agoraphobic, it's just too much to handle.

Johner Riehl : I have one daughter now and so, would this kind of seem – 'cause we've been through all of this, the isolation and things like that – would this happen again when we have two, three, more children?

Nikki Helms : Yes! It absolutely will, I just had my second daughter two years ago and we have also an 8-year-old and so when my youngest daughter was born the 6-year-old wanted to go to the park and she wanted to go out and she was used to having that level of activity and with the brand new baby it's hard to, again, it's hard get everything together and you need the diapers and the wipes and the bag, everything, and the stroller and the this and the that. And then you have a 6-year-old that's wanting to go and it just becomes too much and you just go, “You know what, forget it, we're all staying home! Put on a spongebob, forget it!”.

KC Wilt : It's daunting! It is daunting, the second you add another little person in there you're like “OK, how much time do I manage to get outside the home before I come back for naps?”, 'cause now you have two napping schedules, and those naps are sanity for a new mom.

Nikki Helms : Absolutely, I have what I call it a “never leaving the house again” syndrome, because the 6-year-old falls apart somewhere, because you have to leave, because the baby needs a nap, and everybody just melts down, and you just figure, “You know what? I'm never leaving the house again! That's it, we're staying home, we're ordering stuff out the Internet, and we're getting the cable bumped up 'cause we're never ever leaving the house again. Ever!”

KC Wilt : When we come back we'll talk about ways to get you out of the house and reintegrate you into society. We'll be right back.

[Theme Music]


KC Wilt : We're back with Nikki Helms, postpartum doula, talking with us about isolation after a baby. We've talked about ways that we can easily fall into isolation, so how do you not fall into that isolation trap and how do you reintegrate yourself back into society?

Nikki Helms : The first thing I'd recommend is baby steps. I mean you really want to take it slow, you don't want to overwhelm yourself with expectations of what these trips outside of the house are going to produce. I jokingly referred to it with my sister the other day - “lowering the bar”, you got to lower the bar for what it is that you expect to have happen when you leave the house. You cannot leave the house and just think “I'm just going to the store and get two weeks worth of groceries”. No, go out for milk and bread and eggs, and come back. Small small small accomplishments are what build that.

KC Wilt : Anyone knows, when you go to the grocery stores without your kids it's a holyday. It's a tiny vacation. I wanted to share again that on Facebook we have a woman named Monica and she said, I hope this is helpful, “My husband decided that I needed to have some visitors, and we set Wednesdays and Saturdays as the days we'd either have someone over or we'd leave the house as a family. It helped tremendously because I found out from my visitor that I wasn't alone in my feelings and appreciate them while they were here”. And then another woman, Samantha, she writes, “My hope was for a couple of things. Asking for help”, she wasn't good at it so she had to force herself, she said “getting up, putting a cute outfit and make-up”, even if she wasn't going anywhere, 'cause it's just easy to stay in all day. “Joining mommy support groups or things that were outside the house, communicating how I was feeling and not holding it and after hormones regulated, things came a little bit more natural”.

Johner Riehl : That blows my mind a little bit, that isolation can actually bring you together with other moms, once you realize that you're not the only one feeling isolated.

Jerry Butanda : You're talking about baby steps, what are some of the most friendly baby places that you can go when you actually decide to go out of the home? What are some of the best places to start?

Nikki Helms : Well, we're lucky here in San Diego that we have the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, they're just fabulous, and if you have a membership, go! And you can go and not feel badly if you only stay for 45 minutes. You get everything packed up and you go and you hang out for a half an hour, 45 minutes, and then come home. You've been out, you've seen stuff, you've interacted with people, you felt great and now you come home.

Johner Riehl : And I think zoos around the country also are probably pretty similar and have those programs or having good memberships for families.

KC Wilt : Right, absolutely, and I think that that's probably, within the first years of my children's lives, that was the best money we spent, was the money on the zoo membership.

Jerry Butanda : It's a good idea.

Nikki Helms : We also have, you know, museums are a good place to go. Locally, we have free museums Tuesdays, so you can go on Tuesday. The Train Museum is wonderful, you go and the children watch the little trains go around, it's fabulous. There are Mommy&Me Yoga programs, there's Parents Movie Morning, which is my personal favorite, there's a Parents Movie Morning at Hazard Center in San Diego and they show first hand movies, which are shown with the lights raised in the movie theatre, the volume lowered, there's a changing table in the back, there's stroller parking and there are parents in the theatre that are there to see the movie.

KC Wilt : And you're not watching Disney cartoons?

Nikki Helms : Not watching, thank goodness! Not watching “Finding Nemo”, not watching any of that stuff. You're watching, you know, things that are nominated for Oscars.

Johner Riehl : But you're not judging others and no one's judging you.

Nikki Helms : No, right, and if you happen to have to breastfeed, and cover falls off, than you're probably not the only one, not the only one at all.

KC Wilt : How do you do that with older children as well, is that something that you maybe do only with your first child?

Nikki Helms : I actually did it with both, with the 6-year-old I just found inappropriate movies on a Holyday when she was off and the baby was little and you know, everybody go, 'cause mommy has got to get out of the house.

Johner Riehl : It's one of those things that I think, even without kids involved, their time or maybe I just want to stay at home 'cause it's easier, but once you get out and start doing things you feel so much better, you're connecting with others, you're having new experiences, and so it seems like just the big effort is just that maybe you need a push, right?

Nikki Helms : Right, you do, and you have to force yourself just a little bit, but you have to find that there's a thin line between forcing yourself in a good way and then forcing yourself and feeling guilty about not accomplishing it. So you have to find that middle ground in-between forcing yourself and say, “Hey! Yeah, OK, I did it”, and forcing yourself and going “Oh, man, I was only out for ten minutes, I'm lame”.

KC Wilt : Well, if you have two, you go out and you're like, “Well this one's paying attention”, but my girlfriend, she should call in for parenting but she went to Starbucks, just one of the Starbucks, and one kid's freaking out, other kid takes the ornament off the wall and starts kicking it, going underneath people, so she's trying to go underneath there and she spills her drink, you know, everyone just sits and watches. That's not always the case, 'cause there are some helpful people out there, but then it makes you look defeated and you don't want, I mean a coffee, and then, at that moment, you find out where the nearest drive in is with coffee and you never get out of your car again to go in a Starbucks.

Nikki Helms : That's what promotes that never leaving the house again syndrome, because you think about, “I only wanted a coffee, I was trying to do something really small”, and then you just, “Forget it, I don't want to do it”.

KC Wilt : So I like what you're saying, just small things, so don't try to accomplish a lot, even if that coffee was a total defeat, you come home, at least you went out, you interacted with someone and the next day it might be better.

Johner Riehl : And it's actually a funny experience.

Nikki Helms : It is, and afterwards you will laugh about it, it will be hysterical.

KC Wilt : What are some other tips to get out of the house? I know for me I went to a breastfeeding support group at the hospital, and most hospitals provide them. I did not know that, and it's a free thing and I went in this room and a lactation consultant runs it, but there's a bunch of moms sitting there and they're all just chit-chatting, and my baby got the best feeding that day, because I was so busy talking to these new moms about everything, because we had things in common, so he got the best feeding 'cause we were just sitting there for an hour or so and just chatting. There was the changing table, there was no blowouts, nothing to freak out about, but what are some other tips like that that can help moms and dads get out of the house?

Nikki Helms : The breastfeeding support groups are really really helpful, I know a friend who always referred to it as boob group, she would go to a boob group and they would be there, and she did just that, she interacted with other moms, and she was really relaxed, which of course helps breastfeeding, so that was super helpful, I actually facilitate a maiden to mother support group on Friday's, so come in to that group, that's a small accomplishment too, you get out of the house, and you get there on time, that's all you need to do. Finding all these sorts of little new moms groups and support groups.

KC Wilt : How do you find a moms group?

Nikki Helms : I was actually, I found that one at Nature Whisper's Yoga Studio, so you just, honestly, all you have to do is just Google it, I mean I hate to make it sound so simplistic, but you really just sit down, take five minutes and...

Johner Riehl : I think meetup are really good for finding those things.

KC Wilt : Yeah, meetup.com.

Johner Riehl : In fact, just to plug our next show, we'll be talking for a dad support group to Jasen Kreidman from Dudes to Dads. Just an example that there's these things out there for dads to get them up there and connected as well.

KC Wilt : Yeah, a friend of mine, she has a support group that she found through one of the local things and they all get together, and there are dads, 'cause there are stay at home dads, you know, and there are groups for stay at home dads to get together so just because you're a dad it doesn't mean that you have to be by yourself taking care of a kid, you can go to the park with another guy.

Johner Riehl : Totally. One of the things that happened with us is, when our first son was born, he is six now, my wife really felt isolated, and alone, and I think she went to a couple of pretty rough months, but Facebook kind of blew off by the time we had our second kid, she got a lot of pleasure from feeling more connected with people through social media. But I think there might be other people who think that there are some downsides to it too. What do you think about using social media, on-line forums to connect with others, do you think that it's a good thing, a bad thing, what are some of the aspects you see of it?

Nikki Helms : I can see both sides of it, I see that it can be a good thing, because you don't have to send 75 emails to show the latest pictures of your baby, and you don't have to figure all of that out, that can be a lot, so if you just post a picture on Facebook and say “Look”, then anybody who wants to see can see it, and you don't have to worry about it.

Johner Riehl : And then the likes start pouring in and you feel better...

Nikki Helms : Exactly, and then the interaction starts that way. However, it can be easier too to just do that from home. So, “Look at what we did, it was awesome, see?” and we went home, OK, great. And then you know that you've interacted outside of the house, but you didn't have to leave. So, it's a two sided coin, you can contact everybody and everybody gets to see, but on the other hand you are still not leaving the house.

Johner Riehl : Right, that can't be your only activity.

KC Wilt : When I find sometimes I get interaction with other people and I choose the social media over, you know? Like, we all know that, we've all been on our smartphones, and there's a real person, a live person who's breathing right next to you, and you get on your phone, and sit there, and you scroll through Facebook, as you all do right now, you pull your phones out sometimes. I find, sometimes, if I'm in the middle of something and I hate to admit it to all the listeners all these horrible little dirty secrets about me, but my husband comes home from work and I'm like, “Hi!”, keep scrolling, keep scrolling. And there I have my husband being attentive, but I'm more interested in writing someone back about toddler solutions, or I'm more interested in...

Johner Riehl : ...Getting through your timeline.

KC Wilt : Yeah. Interacting with people through that, and I feel like sometimes you can go too much into that, that you... You know, they've done studies that we're leaving in a really lonely time right now, even though we've had so much interaction through social media. So I wonder what you think about that, Nikki, and as a new mom, you're already in that realm of isolation, you know, how do you get out of diving in the social media instead of people, you know. How is that fine balanced?

Nikki Helms : It's tricky to find, when you were just telling that story I remembered that just a couple of weeks ago my husband and I – he was downstairs, I was upstairs, we have the two year old, we're putting her to bad, and I sent her downstairs for a kiss from her dad, he text me a picture of her kissing him. So I text him back, “Send her back upstairs, it's time for bed”. So that's super easy to do and it's hysterical, because I took a picture of the interaction, but it's really, it's a hard thing to do, it really is, because it's just easier to not have to communicate in an emotional way when you can just text, or you can just send a email, you can send a Facebook message. Interacting with actual people can be kind of daunting because they are going to react right there, while you're looking at them and you may not like what they do.

KC Wilt : I think that's nice that you use meetup and Facebook to create in-person meetings. I didn't know anybody as a new mom, so I used meetup to find other new mom groups, even if you're just having a play group at your house, you don't have to leave and you know, make someone else leave and come over, and you can still interact at least, so go for a walk or you know, have some type of communication for an hour.

Nikki Helms : And then the kids play and it's a new type of mom hang out that you never really knew about before.

KC Wilt : Will it pass as your child gets older?

Nikki Helms : Yes, it will pass. It will get better, it will pass, you will find yourself leaving the house a little bit more often because you want to enjoy the fact that, as tiny person, first look at the world, they see the world so much differently than we do, and once you see them interacting with the world, than you yourself want to interact with that whole experience. You know that walking down to the end of the block it's only supposed to take 30 seconds, but when you have a 1-year-old, it could take an hour. Because they're looking at every little thing, they're picking up all the germy stuff that you don't want them to pick up, and nasty habits, but their interacting with the world because they are seeing it all for the first time. And so the fact that they're seeing it all for the first time really inspires you to take some time and look around and be outside.

KC Wilt : It's true, not to fall back in the social media, but I have found myself, you know, I work on this and I'm in front of the computer a lot and my son's playing in front of me, and so I'm working on Parent Savers and the next thing, I'm on Facebook, because you always scroll, do one thing, and the next thing is that you forgat why you were there, and my son's playing in front of me, and he wants to do something and I'm like, “No, not now, not now”, and I think it's a conscious decision: shut the computer, sit down, look at him, see what he's trying to do. And it could be something silly, something that he's discovered and I blew it off, because that's that, but I think it is a conscious decision to interact in his world and not be hurried to get through his world to get back to mine. So how can your spouse help you overcome this or, if you're a single parent, what are your resources?

Nikki Helms : Well, your support network should really be just that, they should support you, and trying to find innovating ways to get out of the house, take a walk, go to the park. But you want them to be supportive and not forceful, and, again, there's a thin line between “You really need to get out of the house!” and “Come on, let's go to the mall and just walk around the mall”. That gets you out and it's supportive and it's not forceful. If you have a spouse or a partner you may want to start scheduling a date night, and just say OK. Facebook persons have mentioned that, they had scheduled, “OK, these are the days of the week we're going to go out, these are the days of the week that we're going to have visitors”. And when you have that, it doesn't surprise you when it happens, you know it's coming, you know it's going to be on Wednesday, from 7 to 9:30, the sitter is already arranged, look forward to that time. But, as the partner, I would recommend going ahead and making the arrangements, don't ask what they want to do, just say, “Here, I put this all together for you, here you go”, so that way it's less stressful on the mom to not have to put any of that together, not have to make any decisions, just get in the car and go.

KC Wilt : Yeah, and that includes babysitter. I mean if your spouse gets the babysitter and everything and just says, “We're living at this time” and sets everything up... 'Cause my husband would leave loose ends and then it's all like, “Why did we even try?”, and then the next thing you know, you're driving to the place arguing, “This isn't relaxing for me!”

Johner Riehl : We're sorry, we tried.

KC Wilt : And that's the response, and then you feel bad because, “I'm sorry, I know you tried”, you know?

Nikki Helms : Yes, but that's a good model to set up for once a month, there and out, after you have a baby, let your spouse or your partner set up a date night. That will help to, that's a whole family wellness kind of thing, that will help to make your relationship better and you as parents better, and if you are in a good place with your partner, than you will be better parents. So date nights, check-ins, I have friends that get up at 5 in the morning and they have coffee together, and they just check-in, like, “How are you? How are you doing?”. And that quiet time, without the kids and the diaper and the spit-up and the breastfeeding. It's really important to help establish the foundation of your family, and the benefit goes so far, it's miraculous.

KC Wilt : Another thing for all those parents listening out there – my husband would come home from work and say, “Why don't you go upstairs for an hour?”, or “Why don't you go take a shower?”, you know?

Nikki Helms : Excuse me?

KC Wilt : But in peace, in peace! For me, I was like, “What? I can shower today?” But I feel like just those little times, even if I'm sitting in my house, but those moments away from my child. But having my spouse take over instead of being like, “Here! He's yours!”, and storming off, but having my spouse take initiative and giving me time off, or saying, “Why don't you go to the store by yourself?” I mean, you have to phrase that nicely...

Johner Riehl : Yes!

Nikki Helms : The tone is very important!

KC Wilt : Or like let's say you're talking to your husband that day and saying, “I have to go to the groceries store”, and having the husband respond back, “Why don't you do that when I get home and I watch the child and you can go by yourself”, that's a good way to put it.

Nikki Helms : That's super helpful, way more helpful than, “Well I'll just pick that up on my way home”, 'cause then again you're just setting yourself up to be isolated. But, yeah, tone is super important when you've got this sensitive persons that her hormones are kind of out of wack, tone is very important.

KC Wilt : What?! You want me to take a shower? I smell bad?!

Nikki Helms : Yeah, “What are you trying to say? I couldn't take a shower, I had to take car of the kid all day, what do you want from me?!”, and it goes south, south of south now.

Johner Riehl : In general, the spouses are coming from a happy place, with teammates and partners, I think that's important for everyone.

Nikki Helms : Absolutely, absolutely, they just want to help, they really do.

KC Wilt : That's great. Are there any other tips you can add before we finish up? How we can reach out for help with our spouses, or our friends, neighbors, churches?

Nikki Helms : I always tell people just, you know, to put up a smoke signal, throw out a white flag, you have to be able to let people know that you need help. Because otherwise, if you don't say anything, everybody just assumes that you got it all together, you're alright, you know.

KC Wilt : And will give you space.

Nikki Helms : Yeah, “I don't want to try and tell you how to raise your kid”, and that's what happens a lot of times, so you got to be comfortable with asking for help, and I am not one of those people, I am not one of those people that's been comfortable asking for help ever. But when I had my first one, I had to learn to be comfortable asking for help. And postpartum doula, they're out there, they want to help you out.

KC Wilt : And I actually thought, I wanted to say, we have Owen, he is a panelist on this show sometimes, and he actually did another spouse thing to do, he would call his wife's girlfriends and invite them over. 'Cause I feel like sometimes I can't ask people for help, I can ask my spouse, 'cause I feel comfortable, but I can't even ask my friends for help, 'cause they're doing their own thing and they got babies of their own and everything else. But having the spouse reach out to my friends when I needed girlfriends' support, and say, “Hey, girls, everyone's coming over to our house, it's wine night”, or whatever. And Owen did that for his wife and I thought, “Oh, that's a great idea”, the husband helping you reach out for support if you can't do it by yourself.

Nikki Helms : Absolutely.

Johner Riehl : I thought about another idea, and I talked, actually I did a blog post for this for Parent Savers, about finding support systems and getting help when maybe you don't have someone, maybe you're a single parent or maybe your parents don't live locally and other people do. One of the things that I think are really good tip is to pay a forward first, offer to help other people, offer to help other people in these situations, say, “You know what, I'll take your kid for the night, you go out”, and then you would get that paid back to you as you go forward.

KC Wilt : That's a great tip. Well, thanks so much, thank you Helms for helping out learn about how to avoid isolating ourselves after the baby comes. If you want more information, go to today's show on our episodes page on our website at ParentSavers.com. Our conversation will continue Nikki after the show for our Parent Savers Club members. We'll be asking about the services postpartum doulas give and how they can help you get back on your feet. See our website to sign up.

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KC Wilt : We have an email from one of our listeners, and this one is from Samantha, from Kentucky, and she writes, “Hi Parent Savers! I have a question about the Parent Savers club, how do I listen to the archived episodes once I've joined? I've downloaded the app, but all the archived episodes are still locked. Help!” Good question, Samantha. What I'm thinking is you haven't gone to the settings yet of your app. So you go on to the setting of your app and then you log in your information into the app. And then it unlocks everything and voila! There you go! Let me know if that helps, and if you have anymore questions, drop them on-line. That raps up today's episode, we'd like to hear from you. If you have any questions for our expert about today's show or the topics we discussed, call our Parent Savers hot-line at 619.866.4775, or send us an e-mail through our website parentsavers.com or Facebook page and we'll answer your question in an upcoming episode. Don't forget to tune in to behind the scenes Parent Savers Club to keep listening. Next week, we're talking about a new breed of dads! Thanks for listening to Parent Savers, empowering new parents!


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.


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