How to help a new mom after childbirth can feel difficult. Every single childbirth experience is different. Us mom’s love telling our delivery story whether it be peaceful, insanely quick, or painstakingly long. Somehow each story is a little bit different. This is why every mama’s recovery can be different and why help and support could be needed in different ways.
Here are some of the most important things to remember when offering help, signs to look for, and understanding how a simple kind word can make a new mama’s day.
1. Express interest in meeting the baby but don’t push.
Everyone is always so excited to meet a new member of the family, or a friend’s new edition. Respecting the family’s time and space are super important. This is a HUGE change, even if it is not the first child, let them bond and adjust. Letting the parents set the pace is essential.
Congratulate and offer up visitation whenever they are ready, whether that be at the hospital, at home, or weeks from the birth. Don’t take it personally!! Let them know you are here for support and ready to help them in any way.
2. Send groceries, diapers, and warm meals.
Try to skip the flowers. Flowers, as pretty as they are, do not help a new mom. Instacart grocery essentials, stock the fridge, make homemade soups, order their favorite meal, and diapers always come in handy.
Ask what they need help with. Sounds too easy, but just ask. Does the family need help with their dog, laundry, school drop off, cleaning? Here are three ideas:
Spoonful of comfort– Delicious comfort soups for the new parents.
The honest company– Mama and baby needs minus the chemicals.
Send a Whole Foods order– There is nothing like a full stocked fridge. Let the parents relax and not have to leave the house for a while. Think healthy, quick meals easy for the parents to navigate but packed with healing nutrients. Read here for suggested postpartum foods.
3. Instead of gifts offer up time.
Offer your time to watch the baby while the mama naps. If they have other children, offer to take the children to the playground or any activity to give them mom some time alone with her new baby.
Feel this one out. Some moms have a really hard time letting go of control, or asking for help. You might have to work a little harder and convince them.
4. Look for signs of postpartum depression.
Anger, guilt, hopelessness. Agitation toward the baby. Not wanting to hold the infant, mood swings, and crying. FYI sleep deprivation can also cause depression, anxiety, and emotions.
If you see any of these signs there is the SAMHSA Hotline to call for help and guidance. If you are a friend, voice your concerns to their partner first. As I said above as a partner or friend, help the mama rest.
5. Sit outside or go for a slow walk.
Getting outside in the sun can do wonders!! Vitamin D and mood lift from the fresh air is sometimes all you need to brighten up a day. Nothing strenuous!! If it is winter you could sit in a sunny spot in the house.
Helping new moms out is monumental in the motherhood journey, not only postpartum but as the child gets older. Be there for your partner, friend, or family member. If you financially can’t afford to send food or diapers, your time or a phone call is free and can be just as effective. Comment below creative ways you have showed up for a new mama, or what enormously helped you our postpartum! I would love to hear about it!
Flourish Postpartum SHE program is NOW launched and accepting new clients. Check it out here! The ultimate 3-month postpartum package for all your mama needs.