Having a baby is a wild ride. Especially if it’s your first baby but even if it’s your 5th. A new mom is filled with so many emotions. Some moms are undergoing a lot more stress than they even let on. 80% of women suffer from the “baby blues” in the first weeks after having their baby and 10-20% suffer with postpartum depression which can extend far beyond that time. Small acts of kindness can go a long way to a new mom. She’s probably overwhelmed, tired, and maybe even sad. She won’t ask for help most of the time, even if she needs it. Unfortunately for some moms, they don’t have anyone to help them. They may be a single mother, or their partner had to return to work too soon.
I remember the things I wished I had the most help with during those days. I also remember the things that my friends and family did that helped me so much while my husband was at work. Additionally, I have asked some other moms for their input and have compiled a list of the best ways to help a new mom.
Help Her Recover
After giving birth, her body needs time to heal. Especially, if she had a c-section. She may simply need help getting around the house or putting shoes on. Offer to spend the night if you can or stay until someone else gets home. She may still be in a lot of pain for a few weeks and any assistance from someone would benefit her and baby.
Give Her an Outlet
It is possible to always be holding a baby but still feel lonely. A new mom needs another adult to talk to on a regular basis. Call her or text her if you cannot stop by to talk in person. Send her funny memes or talk to her about anything besides what the baby is doing because that’s all people ever talk to her about anymore (unless she wants to talk about that, of course). Let her know that you’re available to talk or listen whenever she would like to, and she can vent about anything on her mind.
Offer to Clean for Her
There is so much on her to-do list that she just does not have the time to do right now and having a messy house is already stressful. Even though she will probably refuse for you to clean her whole house, offer specific things like folding her laundry or doing her dishes. Ensure her that it’s not a burden for you and that you genuinely want to help her.
Hold the Baby for a Minute (or an Hour!)
Some moms are hesitant to let someone else hold their baby – so don’t try to pry them from her arms – but occasionally, she would love to have both hands free for a while. Tell her that you would love to get some baby cuddles while she showers, sleeps, or does whatever else she needs to do.
BRING HER DINNER
Hey, she’s still got to eat. And if she has older children or a partner, they do too. Instead of her or her partner making dinner, offer to bring her something home cooked or take-out. Another idea is putting together a meal in the crockpot and bringing it to her earlier in the day so it can cook and she doesn’t have to think about it later and can use that time for something else. You can even make a few freezer meals for her so that she can pop them in the oven whenever she needs an easy dinner option on whatever day of the week.
BRING GROCERY ITEMS
Offer to go pick up some groceries or household things for her. If you’re going by the store anyways, call her on your way and just ask if there’s anything she needs. I’m sure she would rather not have to bring her baby into town to grocery shop!
SURPRISE HER WITH A GIFT
Give HER something nice. She probably has all the bottles, outfits, and bibs that her baby needs for a while. But giving her a new throw blanket, lotion, or iced coffee (my personal favorite), is sure to brighten her mood and show that you still think about her and her needs outside of being a mom.
ABOVE ALL, SUPPORT HER.
If you’re a mother, let her know that you’ve been in her shoes and that she isn’t alone. Support her decisions. Every parenting style is different, so try to avoid giving “advice”, unless she asks you. Tell her how great she is at being a mother because she is probably second-guessing herself. And tell her that she is loved.