If your best friend just had a baby, it’s important to show support and congratulate her. As much as she is delighted to be a first-time mother, she may not have the strength to do most of the things on her own.
Also, motherhood can be a confusing phase, which she still has to come to terms with. How can you show concern and support?
5 Ways to Help a New Mom
Get Her a Gift
Everyone loves gifts, and sending her a gift or new baby flowers immediately after delivering the baby shows how happy you are for her.
She will appreciate the gesture, which will go a long way in cementing your friendship. Other than flowers, get her a practical baby gift, like a maternity girdle. Other ideas are things like a baby monitor, car seat, a stroller, or toys.
Opt for gifts that will not only be practical for the newborn stage but will also be a lifesaver months later. Keep in mind that babies are very sensitive to products that are made from non-organic materials or plastic.
If you want to be a thoughtful gift-giver you might consider products that are eco-friendly and made from natural materials, such as fiber, wood, cotton, bamboo, etc.
There are plenty of cute options to come up with, the idea here is to keep it organic and useful.
Help her Get Back Home
It’s always a kind gesture to have your closest friend with you after discharge. She will appreciate that you are there to help carry the baby, arrange for transport back home and make sure nothing is left in the hospital, such as baby accessories.
If her partner is not around or family members, organizing how she will get home with the baby can be overwhelming. Even when she had a natural birth, she may still be too weak to carry the baby or run up and down.
Make Sure She Has Enough Food at Home
Cooking can be an uphill task for a new mom, especially when staying alone. As much as she needs to eat well to ensure she regains her strength and has enough breast milk, she may not have the energy to stand in the kitchen for long hours fixing healthy meals.
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You can offer to prepare her meals for the first month as she rests and concentrates on taking care of the baby and herself. You can prepare different dishes then refrigerate them for her to pick as she wishes. As her friend, it will be reassuring as you will make sure that she is getting all the nutrients she needs to recover, stay healthy and bring up a healthy baby, and she will not be struggling to make the food.
Offer to Do Her Shopping and Clean the House
Most moms try to make sure they have everything they need for several weeks after delivery, but emergencies come up. She may need some medication or to replenish foodstuffs. Shopping with a newborn is overwhelming, but when you offer to drop the stuff she needs, she will be more than grateful. Also, if she doesn’t have anyone to clean for her, offer to do it or run other errands.
Take Care of the Baby
Newborns have unpredictable sleeping schedules. The baby can be up all night, meaning that the mom will have to be awake too. The baby’s father may help at night, but if he goes to work, the mom may appreciate someone watching the baby as she catches a few hours of much-needed sleep. Even when she has relatives come over to help with the baby, offer help now and then, giving them a break. It’s an overwhelming moment for everyone, and any assistance is significant.
Some Things to Remember
Even if she is your BFF, never show up to her house unannounced. New parents need lots of alone time to rest and bond with the baby. If you have to visit, keep it short and meaningful. Also, don’t show up empty-handed. Carry some food. Before holding the baby, wash your hands to avoid spreading germs that may make the baby sick. If you have flu or suspect you have a contagious disease, don’t go to your friend’s house but call and notify her.
Your friend may be going through a life-changing season and may need an understanding friend to talk to when she feels overwhelmed. When she wants to talk, give her all your attention. Let her know that you are there to support and walk with her through the journey.
As much as the two of you spend endless hours chatting and laughing, understand that her life has taken a dramatic turn. At the moment, what she would appreciate most is time alone to rest and recover. The first few days, she may not even have the energy to sit for long hours chatting with friends. Make sure to give her the space she needs. Even when you have to be in her house, attend to the chores, and leave her to rest undisturbed.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.