Having a baby is a life-changing experience. But after basking in the warm glow of post-delivery, you will discover that things are not necessarily as easy or magical like the movies portray it to be. Your baby’s tears, for instance, will not always sound like Beethoven and all that mid-night feeding will leave your nerves rattling.
But this article is not about having a new baby. It is about how we can support mothers with new babies. As I said, it’s a huge life shift and a lot to take on at once. Here are a few ways to show practical support and make the journey a little less nerve-racking.
Don’t show up unannounced
The new mother maybe your best friend but still, don’t show up unannounced. Don’t also assume that she wants to have visitors immediately. People process things differently. Some people like having the company of people or friends around while others just want to be left alone with their baby for a little bit before entertaining company. So, find out if they’re ready for visitors and when you can come and when you do show up, don’t come empty-handed; which leads me to my next point.
There are other things you could bring with you when you visit but this I believe, is a top priority. Cooking would be the last thing on anyone’s mind unless they have a chef, and until things settle a bit, it may take some time till they get back into the routine of cooking. Despite this being the last thing on anyone’s mind, they’ll still have to eat. So bring food or if you enjoy cooking, cook for them at their place.
Offer to help around the house
Do some cleaning, wash the plates in the sink, help with laundry or just carry the baby for a bit…anything! Even if your friend has a house help, extra help is never wasted and would always be welcomed.
Pay attention to the new mum as well
Naturally, the newborn gets all the attention and this is understandable. But it would be nice for the new mum to get some attention as well, positive attention. Now is not the time to tease her about her weight. Ask her how she’s feeling, and compliment her(this is not only for her husband to do), pay for a spa or pamper session for her.
Allow her the freedom of processing this new season in her life in her own way and just be there for her. Listen, and don’t impose how you think she should feel.
Have you had a newborn recently? Tell us the kind of support you appreciated.