While giving presents and showering the new parents and baby with a welcome home surprise is all part of celebrations, the one thing new moms won’t tell you is that while physical gifts are thoughtful, if you’re a close friend or relative, what a new mom will really appreciate are small acts of encouragement and kindness in the days after delivery. It’s not just taking care of a new baby that makes being a new mom hard. It’s the complete shift in your life that happens so suddenly. As new moms go through so much, from recovering from delivery to dealing with hormone shifts, issues with breastfeeding, navigating their relationship with their spouse with a new baby, body image and anxiety. It’s a lot and a little help from close friends and family can be a great way to show support and kindness towards the new mom.
Here are some ways you can relieve their stress:
With a new born baby keeping new moms up all night, while mothers are recovering and healing from delivery, a home-cooked meal and baked goods are a great way to share some of their burden. The last thing they want to worry is about preparing a home cooked meal. Getting three meals a day on the table in a home with a new baby is basically impossible, so dropping off anything nourishing is such a welcome gift. Chances are the new parents won’t exactly remember who purchased what off of their registry, but they will remember every meal delivered. What’s truly helpful are those who just show up and help. If you’re going to drop off a meal, don’t send a million texts asking about ideal menu or time of delivery, just figure it out and drop it off.
Honestly, patience and compassion are huge! At the grocery store, save the sidelong looks or huffy comments when a mom is struggling with her kids. Just have some compassion because it’s hard raising little humans. If you can, just offer a helping hand, if you can’t, just being supportive and acknowledging her hard work and effort it takes to raise kids goes a long way.
Don’t ask, do
Use less open-ended questions. Often, new moms get asked things like, ‘What can I do?’ or ‘What can I bring?’ With all the things going on in the new mother’s head, making another decision is hard. So, use more focused questions like Is it okay if I do the dishes? or I made you cookies, when can I drop them off? or Where’s the diaper bag? I’ll change him, go a long way.
Unless a new mom is specifically asking for advice, it might be best to keep your advice to yourself. It’s always well-intended. And sometimes even super helpful! But it’s overwhelming enough for a new mom; let’s avoid dumping unsolicited advice on her until she asks. On the flip-side, new moms: If you need help or advice, ask.
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