So someone you know is having a baby. Maybe it’s their first child, or maybe it’s their fifth. While support tends to be freely available for a woman with her first child, it’s the moms with more than one child that desperately need the support. So what to do for that mom? Here are some great ideas that she will love you for!
When you have a baby, its a lot of adjusting and sleepless nights. You are exhausted, but fully in love with that new life. All your energy is focused on getting this right, learning to change diapers on time, breastfeed correctly, burping, and sleeping when you have any opportunity. The last thing on your mind is food. However, it is one of the most important things that a new mother needs to rest.
The best things to bring are thick, warming and filling meals, the ones you usually eat in the dead of winter. Soups, stews, pasta dishes. You also want soft dishes, nothing really too hard or crunchy. It’s honestly just too exhausting to expend that much energy to feed yourself.
For bonus point, prepare the food ahead of time and bring it over to mom’s house. Start the cooking of the food for mom, so all she has to do is serve it when it’s done.
2. Easy single portions for mom
While having meals is great, since mom has to still feed everyone, single portion foods for mom is so handy! One of my friends made these breakfast sandwiches with egg, cheese, bacon on sourdough English muffins. That my friend, was the best food ever. I would heat one up when I was exhausted but starving, with no energy to dig out a leftover container, serve up some food and then wait for it heat it up. They were a life saver! I treasured every single sandwich and nearly broke down in tears when they were gone. So making things like breakfast sandwiches, cheeseburger buns (basically a ground beef cheeseburger wrapped completely in dough), chicken salad sandwiches and other simple foods are so appreciated.
3. Adult time
Especially with a mom with multiple kids, they are often left at home all day by themselves. Just having someone come over and talk to them for a bit is welcome. Just don’t expect to be offered food or water, that new mom needs to rest without having to worry about you.
4. Helping around the house
As moms are exhausted and focused on baby, the house will fall into disrepair. Washing dishes, starting a load of laundry, sweeping the floors or starting a meal for mom are all things that are very welcome and very appreciated.
This can be as simple as coming over, telling her that you are here to watch after the kids and ordering her to bed. Naps are one of the most precious commodities with a new baby. It can also be taking the older children and letting mom and dad have a few quiet hours to themselves.
So here are some basic ways to help a new mom out. Don’t be afraid to offer your time, as Mom isn’t going to just come up to you and ask for help (unless you are really good friends). Also, don’t just assume that the mom has all the support she needs. I’m well known within my church group, but have very few close friends. I definitely didn’t have much help at all with my third child. In fact, only my mom, my husband’s mom and two friends did anything. While I highly appreciate what they did for me, I desperately could have used more help, especially around the house and with my older children.
What did you find most useful that someone did for you in the postpartum period?