Leaving the hospital with a newborn can be the most exciting yet scary and vulnerable day in a new mom’s life.
After buckling that precious baby into the car seat and heading home, it starts to sink in.
The constant 24/7 help available at the hospital is gone and its just the new mom and her little one.
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For many first time moms, those first days and weeks home with a newborn is a whirlwind of emotions and activity. Adjusting to motherhood is a transition like no other. It’s hard to fully grasp without experiencing it.
How long does it take to adjust to being a new mom? The Bump suggests that it takes nearly 5 months to take to your new role as mom. Does that mean around the 5 month mark, new moms turn into seasoned, savvy mother mavens? Nope. It just means she’s a little more confident.
Motherhood is a daily journey of learning, self reflection, patience and loving someone else. If you know a new mom this post will tell you everything you need to know about supporting her in the time immediatly after childbirth. Even if you’re a new mom yourself, you can learn how to let others know what they need to do so they can help you.
What Can I Do For A New Mom?
So glad you asked. Here are some practical suggestions for new mom assistance.
Let her sleep
It is inevitable that a new mom will deal with some degree of sleep deprivation. Maybe not the first few days, but those opposite newborn schedules will take their toll. Offer to watch the baby while she catches up on sleep.
Bring food or prepare meals
During the early months, new moms can often face a choice that may seem to simple to the rest of the world. Do I sleep or eat a meal? She is simply too tired to cook anything. Offer to bring her lunch or dinner. This is also a helpful way for someone who lives far away to get involved, because due to the availability of many services and apps, food delivery is just a click away.
Don’t Bring Up Body Changes
It should go without saying, but a woman’s postpartum appearance should not be discussed unless initated by the new mom herself. Please, no questions about workouts, clothing or hair! Postpartum hair loss is a real thing. The pressure from society to “snapback” after childbirth is immense. Don’t add any extra pressure on to the new mom with talk of any of these subjects.
Allow Her Some “Me” Time
While we’re on the subject of self care and personal care, if you want to gift the new mom a gift card to a salon or massage, it’s a good idea! It lets her approach the appearance subject on her own terms and timeline.
Help With Household Chores
Offer to complete a specific chore like laundry, cleaning the bathroom or doing the dishes. These are things that she wishes she had time for. A clean house is so refreshing to come home to or wake up to.
Get Her A Non-Baby Related Present
New moms receive a lot of gifts, but most of them are for the baby. Cute onesies and baby blankets are nice and welcome, but do you know how special a present just for her will make her feel? There are so many options that could brighten her day, here is a list of gifts for new moms if you don’t know where to start.
Listen to Her
Being at home with a baby can leave new moms feeling isolated and lacking in the adult conversation department. Especially if she’s used to working outside of the home or just speaking to others daily.
From exciting baby first milestones to frustrating days, listening is a free and useful way to let moms express their feelings.
If you find yourself in need of some encouraging words for moms, I’ve shared some things you can say to help struggling moms.
What To Bring A New Mom When Visiting?
If the new mom has agreed for you to come over , then consider bringing any of these things with you
- A meal
- Comfortable pajamas
- Bath bombs
- Personalized mom jewelry
- Comfortable blanket or throw
Help For New Moms at Home
If you live with a new mom, make the most of her time and yours.
Delegate chores to yourself. Don’t wait on her to ask for help with the things that need to be done around the household, just do them!
If it’s feasible, hire a local cleaning service to take care of things like cleaning the kitchen, dusting, mopping and bathroom cleaning.
For breastfeeding or pumping moms, offer to help wash and clean any pump accessories or bottles.
Help with nighttime feedings. Mom shouldn’t have to do these alone. Just taking one nighttime feeding can make a world of difference.
Help her manage guests and visitors. If you have a large social circle or eager family members wanting to come over, the new mom can feel like she has to entertain guests. Help her choose who gets to come over, especially in the early days.
How To Help A New Mom Far Away
If you live a considerable distance from the new mom where its not feasible to physically show up, you can still help her!
Here some options for support:
- Meal delivery, use a food delivery app or a meal subscription service.
- Send her a message or call her. Check in with her and remind her that she’s doing a good job.
- Order diapers through a subscription service
- Send a care package. DIY one from any of these ideas or use a curated box service.
What To Do When New Moms Don’t Ask For Help
Some moms won’t accept help for many reasons. They feel like they don’t need help, they’re scared to ask or just feel like they should have it all together.
What can you do when she turns you down or just wont talk about it at all?
In some cases, actions will speak louder than words. Instead of asking is there anything I can do to help, just do it, if its not too intrusive. If you see a sink full of dirty dishes or bottles, clean them!
Most importantly, acknowledge and validate her feelings. If she doesn’t feel like you’re coming from a place that’s judgmental, she may just open up to you and tell you what she needs to be supported.
It’s not hard to be a good friend or support to a new mom when you are thoughtful, respectful of her time and wishes and considerate of all the major changes happening in her life.