New moms need encouragement now more than ever. Besides the expected emotional changes and physical healing from birth, new moms are also learning to parent their newborn during a global pandemic. It is common in our society to hear “It’s a Boy! It’s a Girl!”. Did you know other cultures announce, “A mother has given birth!”?
Let the new moms in your life know they are important. They deserve to be the center of attention too! I have the privilege of working with new moms as a Postpartum Doula and these are some of the tips I share with the people supporting them.
Easy Ways to Encourage New Moms
- Bring the new mom a meal or provide a gift card for dinner. Drop off cut up fruit or a basket of one-handed snacks. Nourishing her body helps nourish her soul too.
- Bring a gift! Babies get gifts but I think new mothers love them as well. A new bathrobe, cardigan, nursing tank top, water bottle, cozy blanket, or slippers are all ideas. Or even just a favorite coffee or ice cream would be appreciated!
- Allow the new mom to share her birth story if she’d like—positive or negative. Just listen; do not judge. (Pro tip: avoid sentences that start with “At least…”!)
- Arrange a time to chat either in person (patios or driveways are great for social distancing) or by an online video conference. Do not overstay your welcome and follow their lead. Short chats can be healing while long chats can often be draining for new mothers. Keep the conversation focused on them.
- Offer to help with practical things. Offer to pick up groceries. Pick up dirty laundry from the front porch and bring it back clean. Mow the yard or rake leaves. If you are invited into their home, helping with laundry or meals or emptying the dishwasher can be helpful. Offer to hold baby while the new mom naps or showers, but also understand she may just want to snuggle her own baby too.
- Respect the parents’ instincts about visitors. Being a new parent during a pandemic is overwhelming when trying to keep their baby safe. You may not agree with their choices, but it is important to kindly respect their wishes.
- Offer compliments. Try to look beyond appearances and more toward the skills they are showing as a parent. Many new parents are working toward confidence in their parenting skills and hearing that they are doing something well is appreciated. “Wow! You are a natural at comforting your baby!”
- Two questions I ask the new mothers I am working with are, “How are your postpartum emotions doing?” and “How are your pandemic emotions doing?” Try to listen rather than “fix” any negative emotions they are experiencing.
- If they are experiencing any postpartum depression, anxiety, anger, etc., share that it is ok to seek professional help too.
I am sure there are a million more ways to support a new mom! Hopefully, you’ll find some ways to support the new moms in your life with time, love, and one-handed snacks!