Your sister, cousin, best friend or perhaps someone from work has been blessed with a new bundle of joy. She may be excited, anxious or even suffering from a touch of postpartum blues. Either way, you want to support her through those rough first few weeks. But there’s a global pandemic and lockdown laws have been enforced. Where to start?!
Here are a few ideas:
Yum, yum. It can be hard to find five minutes, let alone 30, to spend in the kitchen when you’re in the middle of a newborn haze. Organise for a meal from UberEats to be delivered to her doorstep right around dinner time. Or if you’re able to be extra generous—sign your friend up for a week’s worth of meals from something like Hello Fresh. If dad is in the picture, he will likely appreciate this too!
Grocery Run/Essentials Run
Uh oh, we are out of… everything! Baby will make it hard for your new mother to jump in the car and go down the road like she once did. And chances are, with COVID around she won’t have any desire to head to the shops right now anyway. Text and ask if she needs anything. You can even be sneaky and say that you’re “doing a direct to boot order anyway”, so she doesn’t feel like you’re going to extra trouble. Food is one thing, but don’t forget the essentials like prescriptions, creams, nappies, wipes… it never hurts to ask!
Ask About Her—Not Just About Baby
He or she is finally here—and oh wow, they are sooo cute! But it’s easy to get caught up just asking, “How is the baby feeling? How is the baby sleeping? Tell me about the baby!” and forgetting about the new mother. Post-birth, mumma is feeling a whirlwind of emotions and might be in physical pain/discomfort (depending on the type of birth she had). Spend a little time checking in on her, whether that’s over FaceTime or via text messages, and asking about her needs.
- How are you feeling right now?
- Have you had any wild dreams since having the baby?
- Have you been drinking enough water?
Offering a Hand with Housework
This is a really nice thing to do—but always be gentle about it. The last thing you want is for your emotional new mother to feel like you’re judging her home. But if she was someone who tried hard to keep a clean house before the baby arrived, chances are she is quietly thinking about the dirty bathroom and state of the floors. Be willing to organise for a cleaner to come around and take that weight off her shoulders (cleaners are allowed to continue working under current rules in New South Wales—make sure you always check the latest advice on the NSW Health website).
Even If She Says “No” Be Open to Helping
Sometimes when stress is overwhelming us, we tend to reject help rather than accept it. Humans are funny! For a lot of women, the idea of asking for help feels like she is going to have to make more decisions or must instruct someone on what they need to do… in the cloudiest mindset of their life. “Eghh, it’s all too hard! I’ll just do it myself!”— feels.
If you think your new mother is saying “no” purely from a place of being exhausted and stressed out, it never hurts to gently provide some essentials or help, unasked. The best coffee or chai latte is the one someone thoughtfully left at your front door, right? It’s hard to reject a little bit of help when it’s right in front of you!
If you need more tips, have a question or need advice about your own pregnancy, you can contact us here.