Thank you to WellStar North Fulton Maternity (a local in Atlanta!) for caring enough to sponsor a post about new mothers. We need to support each other as much as we can in times of need.
An Unexpected Gift
The first thing a neighbor may offer to another with a new bundle of joy is a casserole. And while food is welcomed and VERY handy for a new baby, other things might be just as welcome. If Mama is nursing, bring over some pads, lanolin or other staples. Perhaps a sibling may want a treat to feel they are still a part of the spotlight. What about a month of Netflix so Mama can marathon nurse? Flex your creativity and give something useful, but unexpected.
Run an Errand or Two
Pick up that dry cleaning that’s been languishing at the corner cleaners for a week. Fill up the cars with gas or shuttle the kids at carpool. Take Red to Karate. Any task that used to be fairly mundane will seem much harder with an additional small human in tow.
“I’m at the store, what do you need?”
Most people I know won’t let you grocery shop for them. At least, not the WHOLE list. But, if you happen to be at the store, and you know that someone could use some milk, toast or even a pint of ice cream, give them a call. Mama or Dad will be much more likely to give you a short list if you tell them you’re already at the store and can toss a few extra items in the basket!
Seriously, go away. After you visit for 15 minutes, get the heck out! A new Mom is exausted and needs her rest. Not to mention practice feeding her baby, to eat and generally sleep. When I had Red, several people came and stayed for up to TWO HOURS and I wasn’t brave enough to tell them to beat it. Instead, I excused myself to feed the baby and came back. I should have asked Chase to tell them to come again another time! So do that new Mom a favor… schedule a time to say hello and then pop back out!
Clean their bathroom
For reals. Cleaning anything other than baby butts and bottles is a task the newest of Moms don’t really have time for. If they have other children, any “spare” time goes into parenting and caring for them. If your bestie just had a baby, try offering to clean the kitchen, bathrooms or other spaces. If you’re not one for cleaning up yourself, offer a home cleaning service so Mom and Dad can tend to other things and delight in that clean house all the same.
Watch Older Siblings
Older siblings can easily be left out of new baby festivities, and can struggle with the new division in attention. If Mom needs a nap, to tend to baby or other things, offer to have siblings over for a playdate, a walk to the park or just to occupy them in the play area for a few hours. This is a HUGE help!
Hold the Baby (but only if she’s okay with it!)
I’ll admit, I wasn’t one to want to give up my baby girl. In fact, if you weren’t my husband or my Mom, my raging, strange hormones didn’t want to see you holding my little one. I know it was very weird, and I knowingly admitted that at the time. Although I’m getting better as Scarlett ages, having someone watch her for longer than it took me to shower made me nervous. Make sure you ask Mama if you can hold her baby, or better yet, ask the significant other what they think. Mom may be fine with a diaper change, or even 10 minutes of snuggling. But if she starts to hover, reach out or offers to comfort the little one, you had better give it up! 🙂
Diapers, wipes, Sibling Snacks, Coffee. Toilet paper, paper towels, milk and more! Think about a few of the things your household uses up regularly and bring a few over to the family. Better yet, deliver them before Mom and Dad head to the hospital or birthing center. Nothing’s better than coming home with your hands full to a ready household!
Live apart? Amazon can help!
Ooooooh, how I love me some Amazon Prime. You can ship groceries, baby goods, nearly anything you can think of, with free shipping. Find a gift, a local service and more to share when you don’t leave close enough for a quick visit with the growing family.
Keep it comin’!
Meals MUCH later after the first two weeks can really help. It takes about two weeks for a family to find their new normal, and especially after dealing with such a life change, a meal pulled from the freezer or even a fresh casserole for baby’s one month birthday will never be turned away. Be sure to check for any food allergies or aversions.
What are your favorite ways to help a new and growing family? Was there something that someone did for you that was particularly helpful? I’m always interested in hearing about new ways to help a new mother, so leave a comment telling me about your experience!
About the WellStar North Fulton Hospital Experience
WellStar North Fulton Hospital pledges to work with the patient and her healthcare provider to honor the birth plan the patient desires as long as the health of mom and baby allow. We encourage birth plans and offer birthing methods such as natural birth, pain medication, water birth, TOLAC, and midwife assisted delivery. WellStar North Fulton Hospital has midwives and an experienced nursing staff, as well as OBs, and other providers to make the patient’s birthing experience as comfortable and supportive as possible. We’re happy to work with doulas to give our patients a positive birth experience.
Specialized, On-Site Care with lactation counselors and our experienced nurses are available to assist new breastfeeding mothers. WellStar North Fulton Hospital also offers one of the lowest cesarean section rates in the state, and our main concern is the well-being and health of both mom and baby. The Hospital also offers TOLAC/VBAC (Trial of Labor After Cesarean Section / Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) for mom’s who want a vaginal birth experience after previous c-section.