Sam and I are so, so lucky to have incredible support all around us. Mason has 8 grandparents who absolutely adore him and have provided tremendous support over the past three weeks since Mason’s arrival earth side.
This help meant i could take a shower, wash my hair, have food provided, washing done, house cleaned and even the dog walked.
A lot of these things may sound dismal to those who do not yet have a newborn. I can tell you it means the world to a new mum! All of the above will make her feel alive and human, not a wild animal who popped a baby out and is now carrying around two milk tankers on the front of her chest. She will feel alive, fresh, and a happy mum means happy baby (usually) haha.
Having a support network around you during this time is crucial! My hat goes off to any single mum’s or people who live in other countries to their immediate families, you guys do not have it easy!!
As a new mum you will find that any support will mean the world which was my main reason for starting this blog in the first place. Family is not always blood you can create your own support network with those around you in a similar position. e.g antenatal class friends, other mother’s or pregnant woman in the same community.
If you are expecting a baby or know someone due shortly here are a few ideas from my experience on how to help & support a new mum during the first few week’s post birth:
Work Around Them
First and foremost new parents will be recovering from childbirth and most likely days of missed sleep, so always work around their schedule for visits. Make life easier for them and go to them. During Mason’s first week we were happy to drive to see others but in general make the effort to go to them. Be understanding, if they venture out into the world to visit you, they quite possibly will be an hour late. Getting out of the house on time is no easy feat for new parents neither is driving a tiny, few day old human around. They will be driving slower than your grandma and most likely stopping at nearly every baby noise they hear on the way.
New parents and in particular breast feeding Mum’s will have a huge appetite but won’t get around to eating if there isn’t an easy solution on hand. Feed them! Bring a meal or lunch or even a coffee with you when you visit, this can do wonders.
I have read about people arranging Meal Trains for their friends and family. One person simply sends out a message to the parent’s friends and family, asking them to all please contribute one meal. Everyone writes in the day they will cook and what they will make them. This means no eating takeaways consistently for two weeks but healthy, ready made, home cooked meals for a few weeks time!
Not only do the parents get fed without the stress the friends and family get paid in baby snuggles of course (the best currency invented)
If you are visiting a new mum at home alone and you turn up and the house is a mess, step into housekeeper mode immediately! If not housekeeper mode then offer to hold the baby. Mum probably hasn’t had two free hands that whole morning and has been staring at the washing and dishes waiting for any opportunity to get them done. So free her hands, take the baby and let her finish her duties or take a shower and wash her hair that hasn’t been washed all week. She will feel like a new woman and you will be invited over more, which means more baby snuggles for you! it’s really a win, win situation.
Entering into the new parent world is very overwhelming. The new mum will be having all sorts of hormonal outbreaks, just listen. If she needs to cry, listen and just be there. She may have no idea what she is even crying about but it’s called hormones. Just be there and listen to her and let her cry it out! Hormones are NO JOKE!
Limit Your Visit Time
Within the first week the baby and new parents will be bombarded with visitors. Most likely they won’t have had alone time for quite a few days. They can’t wait to show off their beautiful new baby to you and for you to meet each other but if you visit please don’t stay the whole day and night and then invite yourself over for dinner! Go have your snuggle, help them out and then dismiss yourself. They will love that you showed up and knew to leave when they could barely keep their eyes open.
After the first few weeks they will love long visitors, due to being at home majority of the day without any adult conversation. However during the first week, do not overstay your welcome.
Let Mum Know She Is a F*****g Champion!
Giving birth is seriously no easy task and the fact that women even have the ability to endure this type of pain for hours is an incredible feat! Women in general do not get enough praise for the fact they gave birth. There seems to be a huge focus on “how” they gave birth. Pain medication? Through the sunroof? Whatever the circumstances may be, a mother has carried around a beautiful baby for 9 months straight and then their bodies give birth. This takes incredible endurance and determination. Whatever way a mother births she has still given birth to her child and deserves a bloody standing ovation if you ask me!
She will no doubt be happy to share her birth story, but please don’t judge her story. Tell her she is a star, congratulate her on one of the hardest and most incredible experiences in any woman’s life! Woman should be insanely proud of giving birth regardless of what one person may view as the “right” way to birth. Woman are incredibly strong and i know i’m god damn proud of my birth and all woman should be!
So help a sista out and keep these in mind next time you visit a New Mum.