One minute she is a competent woman; the minute after giving birth she is questioning her ability to care for the bundle of responsibility in her arms. This new mom needs to take care of herself, her baby, her environment, her other relationships, and her time. That’s a lot.
It is a wonderful privilege and an invaluable responsibility to help a woman to transition into motherhood. Here’s how to get started.
Ask purposeful questions: Avoid open-ended questions like “How are you?” or “How can I help?” Ask “this or that” questions, “Would you prefer soup or salad?” Ask pointed questions, “What are you craving?” Ask questions with initiative, “Would it make you happy if I held your baby while you shower?” Describe what you see, “You appear tired, can I help you to rest?” Ask about food preferences, “Do you have any food allergies? Any foods you dislike? I was going to bring lasagna, have you received some already?”
Transform her space: Decorate her room. Balloons are fun. Flowers smell pretty. Light a candle. Organize her stuff. De-clutter the spaces she primarily views. Make her bed. Play beautiful music. Drop lavender oil on edge of her pillow case or into bath. Open a window for fresh air.
Give gifts: Send flowers. Mail cards. Gourmet food. Chocolate. Gift cards. Candles. Teacups or mugs. Nice water bottles. Fresh fruit basket. Lightweight pajamas and robe. Fuzzy socks or slippers. Pay for doula services.
Feed her: Purchase her favorite foods. And nourishing foods. Fill her slow cooker. Make meals beyond casseroles. Restaurant take-out. Shelf stable snacks. Cheese and crackers. Fresh, pre-cleaned produce. Fruit and vegetable trays. High protein foods. Soups. Provide disposable paper plates and plastic-ware.
Hydrate her: Lots of water bottles. Make Mother’s Tea. Fruit juice. Provide lip balm and skin moisturizer.
Do chores: Wash, fold, put away laundry. Clean dishes. Vacuum when she and baby are out of home. Wash and vacuum her vehicle. Clear and dust or wipe all counter surfaces. Clean the bathroom. Clean the cat box.
Give time: Hold baby while she showers, naps, goes for a walk. Sleep on the couch for a night to offer evening help.
Encourage her to rest and relax: She can wear comfortable clothes. Rest on a couch with her feet raised. Use pillows to prop her head. Watch her favorite shows and movies.
Well, that’s enough from me for now! I would love to hear how you have helped new moms and/or if you have been a new mom, what you found helpful. Next time, I’ll write about how to support the special relationship between a new mom and her baby. Precious.
Sleep, Pretty baby, Do not cry, And I will sing a lullaby.
~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc
10 thoughts on “How to help a new mom. #Postpartum #Family #Community”
Great motherly advice
Thanks, Jovina! Feeding new mamas is one of my favorite things 🙂
Great ideas! My sisters came to town after my 2nd and brought over bags of ready to cook meals, frozen foods, fruits, etc. from whole foods. It was so wonderful. I couldn’t stop crying begging them not to leave. ha ha
Ooooo, Whole Foods and the like are FABULOUS, Jill! There was a co-op next to where my daughter had her baby so I had access to great ready-made and healthy meals…for all of us 🙂
Just brilliant ideas! Love them! One fun thing a family did for us (that we are actually planning for your darlings) as they lived a good distance away was to order pizza delivered. I like the idea of a dinner delivered from one of the little families favorite places. (hint hint….)
Aren’t you the best! As fate would have it, a really nice new pizza place just opened call Porch Light Pizza. Here’s their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PorchLightPizza
I’m at my airport gate waiting to board in about 30 minutes. While I’m broken-hearted to leave, I’m returning to my family and friends who I miss like crazy! How blessed am I?! Love you (((Diane)))
What awesome advice, Angie! Those are all wonderful things to do for a new mommy just figuring things out. Heck, those are awesome things to do for a mommy who’s been around the block a few times, too, lol!
I would add only 1 thing, and that is about the cat box. Absolutely have someone else change it now. Cat feces can carry a disease called Toxoplasmosis that can cause serious health issues (and sometimes death) in preborn and newborn babies, and anyone else with a poor or compromised immune system. Here’s a link, but the great oracle Google has lots more information, as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis#Transmission
Safe journeys back home, dear Angie! I’m so happy you got to enjoy these precious early days with Henry and your daughter. *hugs* ❤
I’m back in AZ, Ness! Sad to leave but happy to love my life here 🙂 Thanks very much for adding the link to this post, very helpful!
Wow, is it Thursday already? Hopefully I’ll have my feet on the ground soon 🙂 Have a great one ❤
A very thoughtful post, Angie. But then, I’d expect nothing less from you. Those wonderful, detailed questions we can ask of anyone who is unwell or in recovery.
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Thanks always, Diana! Your encouragement means a lot to me. I hope your December is going well ❤