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If you or someone you know is having a baby soon, keep this list handy for how to ask for help, or how to help you friends with a fresh, sweet babe.
There are many ways we can come alongside postpartum moms – whether it’s by hiring a postpartum doula, offering to clean, giving meals, or running errands. Read the list, and let us know…Which one of these would you have appreciated as a new mom?
Bring her food and stock up her freezer – and enlist others to do the same.
Ask ahead of time to come over and choose a task to do for her: laundry, dishes, errands, or taking the kids out to the park for a few hours so she can focus on rest
Give her space to heal in the ways she needs to, whether it’s by processing in conversation or holding space for her by physically being present.
Take the older siblings to a fun outing for a day or a few hours, and ask her ahead of time to pick between a few dates/times – which are best for her.
Avoid talking about her appearance, telling her to do more, or giving her your harsh opinions, whether by tone, volume, language, etc.
Help her figure out new contraptions, like the haakaa, breastfeeding pump, cleaning bottles, or how to wear a nursing bra. A lot of times we forget between babies, or baby things change drastically through the years.
Always ask her what you can do to be helpful, whether you are stopping by with food or meeting for coffee. Ask until she gives you a tangible answer… or give her options and let her choose.
Pamper her. Schedule her a spa day, pedicure, hair salon certificate, get her a new bathrobe, or do something comforting that she enjoys, similar to these.
Help her with thank you notes for baby gifts – by organizing, listing, or getting the stationary, pens, and stamps for her.
Wash your hands before holding the baby (without having her ask you, first).
Don’t overstay – and don’t take it personally.
Mind the conversation – newborn bliss (or mania?) is on her mind. She may want to talk about breastfeeding, meconium, and the family shift, or she may not.at.all. Take a bit to ask her or feel out the conversation, and don’t take offense if her preferred topics are not what you expect.
Document the new family – please, take pictures of her! Pictures of her, not just her and the baby. Moms always forget to take pictures of themselves, and the camera roll is filled with babes instead. Take a picture of her in that new mama bliss, and frame it for her, to give to her on Mother’s Day, or some other special time when she desperately needs the reminder, the focus.
Hire a postpartum doula for her! Find one that does overnight shifts, and even take an “offering” for doula services at her baby shower, or in secret with friends and family, to gift her with. Keep adding to her village, sweet friend.
What would you add to this list? What kind of support would you have wanted as a new mom – or, how have you supported your mama friends with a fresh babe?
~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama
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