I remember I couldn’t wait to give birth to my son. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was absolutely exhausted like most moms and ready to have him! Once he arrived I quickly realized that exhaustion was not waking up 50 times a night to pee because my baby was laying on my bladder. Exhaustion was staying up all night with a newborn who did not want to sleep and even when he did, the minute I fell asleep he would wake up. I was reminded of this when my friend newly gave birth. Listening to how exhausted she was I began to remember that hard time and really wanted to be there for her.
Here are some tips to help your new mama friends:
1. Instead of asking to do things, just do it. I have come to realize that many times new moms will decline help instead of accepting it.
2. Cook meals and leave them there instead of offering
3. Create/prep easy breakfasts such as breakfast burritos, parfaits, overnight oats, etc.
4. Buy groceries, stock up their fridge, even if it is just the basics. Buy tons of easy to eat snacks for the middle of the night feedings/pumping sessions.
5. Buy toilet paper, paper plates, essentials
6. Stock their house up on water! Nothing is worse than a sleep deprived and dehydrated mama
7. Encourage them to take care of themselves, shower, change their clothing, etc. Or offer to do their hair or paint their nails, it is amazing what a little self-care can do to a person’s mood!
8. Clean their house or do some minimal tidying up so it looks decent
9. Offer to watch the baby while mom showers or naps (really encourage this!)
10. Offer to drive your friend to any appointments or errands they may have
11. Offer support and make sure to check in with the new mom every other day or so. A lot of times our strongest friends become the most vulnerable during this time.
Remind them that they are doing a great job and that you are there for them for whatever they need. Answer their crazy/new mom questions without laughing at them, because remember you were that mom too!