The days, weeks and months after having a newborn can be difficult for any Mama.
Whether it’s baby number 1 or number 5 each new baby brings their own challenges.
A new mother’s body has just been through the most amazing (and exhausting) achievement, they now have a baby that relies on them for everything and literally drains them of nutrition.
They are physically and mentally exhausted and they also have a barrage of people who want to come and visit. It’s bloody rough.
It difficult for a lot of women to ask for help.
For some of us (and I say us because this is 100% me) we feel like we have a need to ‘prove’ ourselves as new mothers.
Or perhaps she doesn’t want to admit she needs help, or maybe she doesn’t know what to ask for.
There are times when I wished people would just stop asking if they could help, and just do something to help.
But then again, it’s difficult to know what to do and what you can do to help without pushing too far.
To make things easier, here’s a list of simple ways to help a mom with a newborn.
These are just a few ideas to get you started – I promise she will thank you a million times over, even if she is too exhausted to say it.
1 – Wash The Dishes
Whenever you pop over for a visit, just walk into the kitchen and wash the dishes. It will only take you 10 minutes and make such a difference to her day.
If there are no dishes to wash, stack the dishwasher, or unstack the dishwasher and just do a general kitchen tidy up.
Seeing piles of dishes or an untidy kitchen can just be a reminder of all the housework that keeps piling up when all a new mom really wants (and should) do is just relaxing with her baby and having all the cuddles.
2 – When The Baby Is Sleeping, Offer To Watch The Baby
This one can be totally dependent on the Mama, and she may not want to leave her baby and that’s totally fine too.
But if she does just want to get out and have a few moments to herself, the offer of having someone you love and trust watch your baby, even if it’s just for a half an hour, can be amazing.
She can go and collect the groceries, go and sit at a café… whatever she wants.
The thought of getting out of the house as a new mom can be incredibly overwhelming, and therefore you kind of get stuck… not going anywhere.
If you can just watch the baby if Mama wants some time out it could really rejuvenate her and recharge her batteries.
3 – Bring Over Food
Find out her favourite meal and make it for her.
Be generous and make sure there is enough for her to freeze for an easy ‘go to’ meal on the days when she just doesn’t have time to cook.
A Mama who has just given birth is recovering from a major event, she needs good nourishing food in order to help her body recover.
Plus the last thing she wants to do is prepare that good, wholesome food. So, bringing her an amazing meal is going to be so incredibly helpful.
4 – Sweep The Floor
This comes under the same banner as washing the dishes.
Just do it and don’t let her object. The whole house feels so much more fresh with a clean floor.
I know I shouldn’t have to say it… but I will. Don’t vacuum.
It’s noisy and if the baby is sleeping that’s a big no. If the baby is awake, it’s still a big no. Go old school with a broom and dustpan.
5 – Let Her Shower
Showers for a new mom consist of quickly ducking in under the water while the baby sleeps and poking her head out every minute thinking she has heard the baby crying.
Give her a chance to just lock herself in the bathroom and do whatever she needs to make herself feel bright and fresh.
Assure her you’ll call for her if the baby cries or wakes, but until then she should just enjoy the alone time to steam up and just relax.
6 – Don’t Expect To Be Entertained When You Visit
This woman has just had a baby, the last thing she needs is to feel like she has to entertain you.
Be the friend that cleans when she comes over or brings food. Or just sit there and let her vent, or just sit in peace.
Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone around, especially when you’ve been around a baby day in and day out.
I mean, babies are cute and all, and they smell amazing, but sometimes being around another adult is just what you need.
7 – Let Her Nap
When you stop by to visit, send her to bed.
Take the reigns in watching the newborn and allow her to just go and nap. It’s amazing how much of a difference just a half hour nap can make.
Or, if she would prefer, let her lay on the lounge and watch Netflix while you do all the things needed for the baby.
Assure her you’ll wake her if the baby seems hungry, but other than that you’ve got it handled.
Bonus points if you cook her dinner or do the dishes while she naps.
8 – Bring Cake Or Her Favourite Sweet Treat
When breastfeeding, women are ALWAYS hungry.
A sweet treat every now and then will be greatly appreciated, especially if you show up with her favourite donuts.
Be sure to ask before you show up (of course), or simply drop it off and keep on going if she isn’t up for visitors.
You don’t have to be there to help.
You can always just drop off the treats. She will still love you and appreciate the gesture so much.
9 – Give Her A Break
As much as she would love to see you, there has possibly been a hoard of people trampling through her house in attempts to meet the new addition.
Check first to see if she wants visitors and make sure she knows it’s okay to say no.
Dealing with visitors after having a baby can be incredibly stressful.
Don’t add to her stress by insisting you visit every day.
Give her space, offer to help, and always make sure she knows it’s okay to just hide out on her own with her new little babe.
10 – Help With The Older Kids
One of the hardest things about having a new baby is having to keep up with the older kids and make sure everything is still happening for them.
Even though all you want to do is snuggle with your baby and bask in the newness, the older kids still need to be fed, entertained and ushered around everywhere.
Give a new Mama some alone time with bub where she can lay in bed and feed, enjoy the quiet of the house and not have other kids waking her or the baby up.
Take them to the park, offer to do the school run or even just take them out into the backyard to play so she can have some space to breathe.
11 – Be There To Listen To ANYTHING She Wants To Tell You
Day 5 after the baby is born is notorious for the blues.
The adjustment of hormones causes women to become more emotional around this time and it can be incredibly exhausting.
If she wants to vent about her leaking boobs, her lack of sleep, her post-baby belly bulge, her inability to pee without screaming, her husband who seemed so wonderful who now is frustrating her, the endless stream of people parading through her house, the ever-increasing pile of washing – anything at all, just listen.
Don’t offer advice; don’t compare your situation to hers. Just listen. Then ask what you can do to help and do it.
If you have a friend or family member who is a mom to a newborn, please do just one of these things for her. Feeling generous? Do a few.
If you’re a mom to a newborn and don’t know what to say when people offer to help then share this list.
Post it to your Facebook page, text the link to your friends. These are simple ways to help a mom with a newborn and they make a massive difference.