10 Things To Do For A New Mom (Other Than Gifting)
You were there for the baby shower and while she was in nesting mode. Now that her little one has arrived, you may be wondering what you can do! The fourth trimester is a time of transition that includes physical recovery from childbirth, adjusting to newborn care and bonding with baby. Since her nursery is already stocked with all the necessities, you want to know how to help a new Mom navigate the whole new world of motherhood. Get inspired with our top 10 ideas for how to support a new Mom, because it really does take a village.
Why It’s Better to Support a New Mom With Thoughtful Acts
- She’s too exhausted to ask for help. Try not to add another task to her list - just go ahead and do it!
- Time is precious. She needs a few minutes to shower or soak in the bath while she physically heals from childbirth.
- Socializing can be soothing. How to support a new Mom can be as simple as a short visit for some real talk.
Adjusting to motherhood is a process. Having someone mirror back what a great Mom she is can be really reassuring.
10 Things To Do For A New Mom
While she’s busy falling in love with her little one and figuring out how to feed and soothe them, small gestures will make all the difference in her life right now.
Here are our top 10 ideas for how to help a new Mom in your life:
- Feed her and her family. A postpartum Mom is not only recovering from her delivery, she is busy caring for a new little. If she’s breastfeeding, she needs to keep her energy up (snacks like trail mix and granola bars will be helpful). Organize a group for a meal train so she knows what days someone is bringing dinner, send a food basket or drop off healthy dishes she can put in the freezer (check in with her partner about drop off times and only come in to meet the baby if they offer!).
- Check in and keep checking in. Remind her what an amazing mother she is. Don’t underestimate how much your encouragement will mean to her during this vulnerable time. Send a card or just a text, ask how she is with no pressure to respond, and help her feel seen.
- Create a support system for her. It can be a huge relief to have a community of other Moms around you. Get a few Mom friends into a group chat where she can ask all the questions she’s googling in the middle of the night. It’s helpful to poll other Moms on things like how to swaddle and the best nursing pillows.
- Give her time to sleep. Newborns sleep in 2-3 hour cycles and those night wakings can be tiring, especially when you still haven’t caught a wink since labor. Not every parent will be comfortable with someone else caring for their newborn, but it’s worth asking. Offer to come over for a few hours and hold the baby so she can nap, or stay late to be her night nurse.
- Take older siblings out. How to help a new Mom best usually means taking some of the load off her shoulders. Offer to take the big kids out for the day and do something fun together. It gives Mom peace knowing someone else is doting on her little ones and it gives her space to bond with her new baby. Pack lots of snacks and toys in a pouch to keep them content throughout the day.
- Help with her household. Wash and fold her laundry, do the dishes or prepare dinner for everyone. Take her dog for a walk or pick up her older kids from school. You could even hire a cleaning service while she’s out of the house if she’s comfortable with it. Though an unannounced visit may not be something she wants, casually offer to pick up groceries for her on your way home or drop by with a coffee from her favorite shop.
- Show up emotionally. Having a baby is a life changing experience! Be there to hold space for how she is feeling. Let her guide the conversation and focus on how she is doing (because everyone asks about the baby). How to help a new Mom can look like a simple reminder that you are there for her and it’s normal to feel all the highs and lows.
- Give her permission to prioritize self-care. When you are busy with a newborn, it can be hard to take care of yourself. Get her out of the house - drive her to a massage appointment or a yoga class while you stroll around with her little one for an hour. Having a small window of time to be on her own is a really nourishing way to release tension. A diaper bag stocked with diapers, wipes, cream, extra clothing and swaddles will keep everything sorted when she hands the reins over to you.
- Get her a postpartum doula. Give a group gift and book a doula to support her in the 6-8 weeks postpartum. During those early newborn days when you have nonstop questions and curiosities, doulas are there to care for Mom in her postpartum journey and help with newborn care and breastfeeding support.
- Be her family photographer. Whether it’s your camera phone, a film camera or an instant camera, she will love having a few photos of her with the baby and the whole family together. It’s a great opportunity to dress up her little one in that outfit that won’t fit for long. Have the photos printed and framed or order a photo book for her.
Thoughtful gestures that go beyond a baby gift will have a lasting impact on her experience of becoming a Mom. While she’s basking in her new baby love, she’ll be grateful for the little things people do for her during this season of change. We hope these ideas for how to support a new Mom have inspired you to offer up help that is both attentive and practical.
Frequently Asked Questions
Keep visits short and sweet. The last thing she needs is visitors who impose on her limited time. Bring lunch and don’t overstay your welcome - an hour is plenty.
The 12 weeks after giving birth is considered just as important for maternal health as pregnancy. Moms are recovering from childbirth and may experience several weeks of postpartum bleeding, wound healing and emotional lows like the baby blues.
Avoid saying anything dismissive of her thoughts and feelings. Try supporting her with statements like “that sounds really hard” or “becoming a Mom is so emotional” or relate something helpful from your own experience to make her feel less alone.