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How You Can Help a New Mom

May 23, 2017

Adapting to life with a new baby can be difficult for parents, especially for new mothers as they also deal with recovery from childbirth. With all of the changes and added responsibility, it’s important that their “village” step up and help out wherever they can. Whether you’re a grandparent, sibling, cousin, neighbor, fellow church member, co-worker, or longtime friend of a new mom, any act of service or kindness you can show her will be much appreciated and strengthen your relationship.

Here are some ways you can help a new mom.

Help them sleep

Unfortunately there is an ironic paradigm that occurs after childbirth: babies don’t often sleep through the night or have good sleep habits at all, but new moms need extra rest to recover from delivery.  The term “mombie” has been coined to describe new moms dealing with this paradigm. But this is where her tribe can save the day. Offer to come over for an afternoon and take care of the baby while she sleeps. Change the baby for her, put the baby down for tummy time, if possible feed the baby a bottle, etc. so mom can get rest. This might be the most helpful thing you can do for a new mom.

Get the groceries

This is something you can help with before the baby is born, too. Getting to the grocery store is going to be tricky for a few weeks at least, so offer to pick up at least the essentials for mom in the week after the baby arrives. With several grocery stores offering pick-up service, you can even have mom do her grocery shopping online and then go pick it up for her to make sure she gets everything she wants. She needs to keep her energy and health up, so make sure her fridge and cupboards are stocked for when she needs a snack.

Clean the house

Again, recovery and sleep deprivation will make it hard for mom to take care of her usual responsibilities. Especially more intensive chores like vacuuming and scrubbing floors will be difficult while her body heals. Offer to come over once or twice a week for a month or so to help with basic housekeeping. Offering to do the dishes, laundry, clean the floors (especially), and scrub the tubs and showers will be so appreciated.

Clean the car

If it’s hard for mom to clean her house, you can bet the car isn’t a priority. And with another family member to add clutter, mom’s car could probably benefit from a good clean-out. Offer to clear it out, vacuum it up, and make it shine so she can travel in comfort (at least for a little while).

Walk/play with the dog

Fur babies don’t often make the top of the priority list, either, when a new baby comes home. But it’s important that they don’t develop jealousy issues and behavioral problems from a sudden lack of attention replaced by the baby. Offer to come over to walk or play with the dog to keep him/her content. Bathing and grooming the dog would also be very helpful to help keep the home clean and prevent the new baby from being exposed to unnecessary dirt or allergens.

Carpool for her other kids

For a while, the other kids in the family will also have to cater and adapt to the new baby, and this can be difficult for them. Having to miss practices, recitals, play dates, or other social events can be hard on a kid, and helping them out helps mom out a lot. Offer to have them over to play, to drop them off or pick them up from school or another activity.

We all need our support system to get through hard or changing times of our lives, and having a baby is a major life event that can be made easier by the support of a good tribe. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any new mom you know and offer help. Even if she’s reluctant, she will later thank you endlessly for being there in her time of need.

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Avatar for Angela Silva

Angela Silva

Angela graduated with her B.S. in Exercise and Wellness and is a NASM certified personal trainer who specializes in postpartum fitness and recovery. She enjoys writing, cracking jokes, and spending time with her family, preferably while fishing. She shares many of her life adventures on Instagram as @angelagrams

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