Do you have a friend who’s expecting a new baby? Show her some love! Everyone is busy, but those first few weeks of parenthood, while fleeting, can be extremely difficult. Try to take time out of your schedule to love on a new mom!
I wasn’t prepared for how difficult those first few postpartum weeks would be. While we enjoyed many special moments after bringing home our new Little Dude, we also experienced the torture of prolonged sleep deprivation, a barrage of new emotions, breastfeeding issues, and the conundrum of how to make our tiny house feel like a home again, now that it was bursting at the seams with baby stuff. And that was just the baby stuff! There were other difficult things going on at the time, because life doesn’t stop when it changes.
It was the best of times and the worst all rolled into one indelible spring, and we emerged into summer battered but finally shaped into what we already were–parents. When I look at Little Dude’s wide-smiling face now, it’s all I need to forget the challenge of those early weeks.
But I don’t want to forget, ever. I want to remember the difficulty of caring for a new baby so that next time, I’ll be more prepared. And I want to remember so that when I see another mom who’s about to enter the postpartum stage, I’ll know how to help! For me personally, the postpartum period was much harder than pregnancy. I am so grateful for my friends and family and each bit of help they were able to offer.
If you know a couple who’s welcoming a new baby, I want to encourage you to think outside the box a little for ways that you can love them. I don’t want to downplay–at all!–the huge blessing it is to provide suppers to new parents. But there are other ways to help, too!
Here are 10 more ideas to help a mom with a new baby:
1. Bring breakfast
We always got a slow start in the mornings, and once Eric went back to work I struggled to get a square meal in before 11:00, even if I had already been up for hours. It would have been amazing to have something tasty and nourishing ready to go! If you know that suppers are covered, why not bring breakfast for the new parents, instead?
Now I don’t mean that you should show up at 7:00 am when everyone’s doing their best to sleep in! Call ahead and bring breakfast during the day. My sister dropped off a French toast casserole for our Easter Sunday breakfast–perfect because we could just pop it in the oven to heat up while we got ready for our day. You could also bring a make-ahead meal for the freezer, so the new family can enjoy some homemade “convenience food” when they need something quick!
2. Find out what her favourite snacks are and bring those
Insatiable hunger doesn’t end after pregnancy–not when you’re breastfeeding and trying to rebuild your body’s reserves! So ask the new mom what snacks she likes (and if she has any allergies) and buy or make those so that she has something on hand when hunger strikes. Here are 21 healthy snack ideas for pregnant mamas that would work great for breastfeeding mamas, too!
3. Offer your housecleaning services
“An upset nest yields an upset mother–and baby.” When I read those words in The Baby Book a week or so postpartum, I burst into tears! My little cabin was a wreck, and it definitely didn’t sit well with me. If you want to be a superhero, wash dishes and sweep floors while the new mom takes a nap with her baby!
4. Go grocery shopping
It’s hard to get out the door with a newborn! Harder still if the family shares one car. Ask your friend to make up a list of things she needs from the grocery store, and shop for her. You can bring the receipt when you come to drop off the groceries.
5. Give her a gift certificate for pedicure, massage, or chiropractic adjustment
Every postpartum mom needs a little pampering! When I was six weeks postpartum, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law swept me off to get a pedicure and lunch out while Little Dude stayed with his grandpa. It was amazing! Besides a pedicure, a massage or adjustment are also great gifts–your body goes through a lot when you’re pregnant and in labor!
This one should be pretty easy, right? You get to hold and snuggle a sleepy newborn while the parents get to sleep, go on a date, or just enjoy some time away from baby.
7. Be a friend
For the new mom, it can be a little lonely to be on her own with the baby all day long. So join her and provide a little company. Talk, watch some Netflix, make a pot of tea–just be there!
8. Provide a diaper service
This is truly a labor of love, but if your mom friend is cloth diapering her newborn, you can offer an unexpected blessing by offering to do the diaper laundry! Washing cloth diapers really isn’t too difficult, but it is an extra thing on a new mom’s plate. If you live nearby, you can pick up the wetbag once a week and do a laundry load. You’ll save your friends money on buying disposable diapers, and relieve their chore load!
9. Help her with her To Do list
There may be things on the new mom’s To Do list that she didn’t accomplish before baby arrived. Ask her what she wants done (even random, miscellaneous things), and do it! It will free her up to focus on the baby.
10. Take care of older siblings
If there are already children at home, offer to babysit them, take them on an outing, or help with homeschool so that mom can get some rest!
Are you expecting your own little one? You can get free week-by-week pregnancy updates HERE–and they’re from a natural perspective!