Most everyone wants to help a new mom, and luckily, there are many ways to help a new mom. It can be a rough transition, whether she is a veteran or not. So here is what I suggest to help any woman who has just given birth: give a specific plan.
Here is how to set up a solid plan. Tell her & do the following:
- What you will be doing (bringing a meal, cleaning, laundry, emotional support, etc.)
- Give a specific time.
- Follow through! Don’t leave a new, exhausted, and hungry mama waiting for you.
I suggest learning their love language – this can help you know what they might appreciate most from the list below. These are the love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Then, cater your service for her to that love language when possible.
What can I do for a new mom?
Here are a few ideas on what you can do for a new mom. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions, and you’re welcome to branch beyond it.
- Bring her food
- Let her sleep—take care of her baby and/or other children and let her take a nap.
- Help around the house – dishes, laundry, clean bathrooms, clean kitchen, vacuum, etc
- Get her a present—for her (non-baby related)
- Listen to her—sit and chat (if that is what she needs at the time, and don’t stay for too long)
- Help at night—if you are willing and able to help with babies at night, and mom can pump breastmilk or have formula for you to feed baby, then this is one that I highly recommend. I had my sister-in-law come over a couple of times, and she took care of my newborn twins all night long. As a result, I could sleep better and wake up to pump and then go right back to bed.
- Go grocery shopping or run errands for her.
When brainstorming how you would like to help, think of basic human needs. There is an excellent chance that this new mama is struggling to meet her own basic needs. Make it so that those needs are easily met. At the root of it all, moms need to be validated, fed, and rested.
What to bring a new mom when you visit?
If they have agreed for you to come over, consider bringing one (or more) of the following with you:
- Groceries—ask mom what things she needs at the grocery store when you are going
- A meal
- A treat (chocolate, cookies, cake, muffins, etc.)
- A cozy blanket for them (not baby)
- Comfy pajamas
- Their favorite drink
- Clean, folded laundry (that you took home with you the day before)
If you can’t afford to bring something that costs money (and that’s okay), be sure to dive straight into helping that new mom as soon as you arrive, and be sure that you have the mama’s permission to come over. Some moms prefer not to have anyone in their home. If that’s the case, drop something off (see the list above for ideas) or send something that doesn’t require you to go into her home (see below list).
How to help from afar?
Now, many of us have friends and family who live away from us, but we want to help that new mama in any way we can but feel unable to because of distance. There are plenty of ways to help that new mom feel loved and taken care of:
- Meal delivery—use a delivery service to have food delivered to mama and her family
- Text and/or call to check on how she is doing, and remind her that she is doing a great job
- Send a care package—subscription gift boxes, etc. (Some of my favorite boxes are Bright Boxes)
- Send diapers and wipes
- Gift a maid service
At the very least, check in on her and check in often. A good friend (near or far) at this stage is priceless.
What if they don’t ask for help?
Short answer: help anyway. Actions speak louder than words, and anything you can do will be much appreciated. And if a mama doesn’t know what to ask for then, I suggest directing her to my post about what she can ask for.
Don’t ask what you can do to help, say, “I am bringing _______, on *this day* at *this time,*” or “I am going to come clean your house on *this day* what time works best for you?”
What to do after the newborn stage?
Even after your mama friend makes it through the newborn stage, she’s going to need support. So here is what I suggest:
- Allow her some “me time” – more than just a shower or a chance to run to the grocery store. Watch the baby so she can get a massage or get her hair done
- Offer to watch the kids
- Bring meals, snacks, or treats
- Plan girls nights and other activities to help mama get out of the house
Just by reading this, I know that you are a good friend who is willing to help. Now, get out there and help that mama!
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you (or your friend) need a free fifteen-minute consult, you can schedule one with me by clicking here.