I am lucky enough that I have had quite a few friends have babies recently. This week I’ll be visiting a new mum friend, and for today’s blog post, I thought I’d share with you all what I will be doing for her. When we visit a new mum friend, we’ve got to make sure that we are super supportive, and that we make her life easier, not harder, when we visit.
Here is what I’ll be doing, and what I advise you all to do as well:
1) Always wait to be invited:
Showing up unannounced to visit a new mum is a terrible idea. You may interrupt the new mum or the baby napping, you might come in while the new mum is breastfeeding, or not dressed for visitors, or you might come on a bad day after a long night. Babies also have a lot of appointments in the first few weeks, either at home, or at the nurses office, hospital or at the Drs, and showing unannounced might mean they aren’t even at home or are occupied with a home visit. At the very least, send a message the morning you would like to visit and see if it’s a good time. Or even better, text the new mum to say you’d love to visit whenever she’s ready to see you, and allow her to choose the day that suits best.
2) Bring food:
This is my number one rule to visiting a new mum friend. You should always, always, always bring food. When someone is recovering from birth, dealing with sleep deprivation, and learning to take care of their baby, the last thing they need to be doing is cooking. New mums might also be experiencing the most severe hunger they have in their lives. The early days of breastfeeding and postpartum recovery new mums often experience a lot of hunger and have higher nutritional needs compared to pregnancy and other times in life. I recommend making a home cooked meal to a new mum on the first visit. Lasagne is a popular option, but I also love things like casserole, pasta bake, and curry. If you’re not much of a cook, some snacks are also great! Protein balls, lactation biscuits, slices and anything that can go in the freezer are all great options. Bringing food to a new mum is a practical way you can support the new mum through her postpartum journey, and it’s also a kind gesture just to show your love.
3) Bring a New Mum Gift Hamper:
As the owner of Baby and Mumma Gifts, selling hampers for new mums, I always recommend gifting a new mum hamper. You may be tempted to purchase a cute gift just for the baby, but remember that the new mum will probably receive many of these types of gifts. A new mum hamper is something that is made just for mum, and is filled with gifts that are focused on the new mum and her recovery, self-care and wellbeing. New mum hampers are a great way to show your love for a new mum, and encourage her to focus on her own wellbeing and recovery. You can see our new mum hampers here, or build your own. My personal favourite is the new mum gift hamper.
4) Do a chore for her:
When you’re caring for a new baby and having very little sleep, it’s really easy for the housework to be completely neglected. You can help a new mum out by doing some chores for her. For me, folding laundry is the one job that is most often neglected, and one I love to offer to do when visiting a new mum. Other chores include dishes, unpacking and repacking the dishwasher, tidying the kitchen, walking the dog, or anything else that needs to be completed. Doing housework is something that is a real challenge for many new parents, and helping them out with this is a great way to allow them some more free time to focus on themselves and their baby.
5) Make the new mum a coffee or hot drink:
Sometimes new mums can have a hard time making and finishing a hot drink while caring for their baby. Some babies want to be held all of the time, making hot drinks very challenging. Make a hot drink for the new mum, and offer to hold the baby for her while she drinks it. If she says no, or would prefer to hold the baby herself, listen to and respect her wishes.
6) Hold the baby for the new mum so she can shower or have a minute to herself:
If she has a baby that wants to be held all of the time, or a baby that cries a lot, it can be challenging to do everyday things like showering and looking after yourself. Offer to hold the baby her the new mum while she showers, eats, or does anything else she needs to. If the baby cries a lot while you are holding them, this can be stressful for the mum, so give the baby back if they ask.
7) Tell her she’s doing a great job:
Being a first time mum to a newborn is hard work, and it can be easy for new mums to feel like they are failing, especially if their baby is crying or if they aren’t sleeping or feeding well. Tell the new mum she is doing a great job, and tell her how well her baby is doing. This can mean a lot to any parent, especially a first time mum.
Doing each of these things when visiting a new mum will show your support to the new mum, and provide her with practical assistance that will help her through her postpartum period and the beginning of her motherhood journey.