Bringing a new life into the world is an exciting and wonderful experience, but it's also an exhausting time in a new mom's (and experienced mom's) life. The lack of sleep, constant feeding, diaper changes, and changes in a mother's body all add up to an overwhelming few weeks (and even months) after baby arrives.
In the weeks after a new baby is born, a mother needs her village more than ever.
If she's a first-time mom, everything will be new and overwhelming, and she'll need both help and guidance. If she's already a mom, she may need help with her other children as she adjusts to life with her new baby. Either way, a new mom needs help, even if she struggles to admit it.
I, personally, was one of the ones who struggled to admit that I needed help. The only people I ever asked for help were family members, but they often balked at helping, so I started feeling guilty and stopped asking for help altogether.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of new moms who feel the same way.
The village often isn't available at their time of greatest need, and they feel isolated and alone. That's where we, as friends and neighbors, come in. We can be the village that new parents need by lifting their burden in both tangible and desperately needed ways.
Here are just a few ways we can help a new mom and family during the busy first weeks:
6 Ways to Care for Mom and Family After Childbirth
- Start a meal train. Following childbirth, the last thing a new mom (or dad) wants to think about is fixing dinner, but unfortunately, food is a necessity. By providing dinners, you're lifting one small burden off the new parents' shoulders.
- Pay for a cleaning service. A new mom (or dad) doesn't want to worry about cleaning the house, especially if she's still sore from childbirth, but she probably also doesn't want to live in a dirty house. So, one way that you can provide help to a new mother is by setting up a cleaning service to come in once or twice a week for the first few weeks.
- Offer to hold the baby. This may sound like silly advice, but you'd be surprised at how many new moms just want a couple of minutes without having a baby attached to them. You might also be surprised at how few people offer to hold babies.
- Buy supplies. Another task that many new moms and dads have to do, but dread doing, is shopping. Ask the parents for a shopping list and head to the store. They can either reimburse you for the purchases or if you're feeling generous, you can pay for the purchases as a gift.
- Babysit. If a new mom needs a couple of hours out of the house or if she has other children that need to get out, you can give the parents or kids the break they need.
- Don't ask, offer. One mistake people make when wanting to help a new family is asking them what they need. By asking a new mom to list her needs, you are putting the burden on her. By offering to help with certain things, you are taking the guesswork away from her.
Regardless of what you do to help a new family navigate through the early months of a new baby's life, every little bit helps and will be a huge blessing.