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