During pregnancy, mothers frequently hear offers of help after the baby comes. Sentiments like “Call me if you need anything!” are frequently heard, and while the people who say this generally have the best of intentions, it is sometimes very difficult for mothers to ask for help after they’ve had a baby. A lot of times, “help” looks like someone coming over to hold the baby (the fun, easy part!) while the freshly postpartum mother cleans the house and does the laundry!
Our society has a very strong mindset of “do it yourself,” and mothers may not feel comfortable asking for help. Even if they do feel comfortable asking, they may not even know what they need!
Here are 6 ideas for things you can do to help the newly postpartum mom in your life!
Bring a meal. One of the quickest and most common ways to help a new mom is to bring a meal to her family. This help can save time and money at a time when it seems like all baby wants to do is nurse! Be sure to inquire about any dietary preferences, allergies, and intolerances before bringing food. Gift cards for takeout will probably also be welcomed, as well as bringing frozen meals that the family can easily pull out and put in the oven at a later time. Even better, organize a food train for the family via a website like Take Them a Meal.
Do household chores. It may not be the most glamorous of tasks, and it may not be as fun as holding the new baby, but coming over and doing a few chores around the house can be a huge help to the growing family! Throw in some laundry, wash some dishes, scrub a toilet, mop a floor, vacuum, then pull the clothes out of the dryer and fold them. If the family is embarrassed to have you do this or you are short on time, you could also offer to hire a housekeeper for a few weeks.
Hang out with the older kids. Sometimes a postpartum mom really needs a nap with the baby, but can’t get one because older children are around. Offer to take the older kids to your house for a while, take them to the park or out for ice cream, or just hang out with them in the living room while mom and baby nap in the bedroom.
Wash your hands before touching the baby. Yes, even if mom doesn’t ask. It’s just the considerate thing to do… nothing scares a new mom like the thought of germs!
Run errands. If you are headed to the grocery store and will be in her area, ask if there’s anything you can pick up for her. She may really need some eggs or some more pads, but the thought of attempting to leave the house with a baby (especially if she has older children) may just be too overwhelming.
Send a care package. If you are too far away to physically help, you can always send a gift of food, reading material, or any other needs through Amazon. You can also book a housekeeper or almost any other service from several states away as well.
Regardless of the method you choose to express your care for mother, baby, and the whole growing family, be sure to run all ideas past mom first, and be careful not to overstay your welcome!