i am pregnant with my 2nd baby, prepping myself mentally for being postpartum just 14 months after i was with my son. it feels like just yesterday i had a little newborn but it also feels like it’s been an eternity.
looking back, i wish i would’ve known more of how to support other mamas in my life, but truly, i had no clue what pregnancy, labor, and postpartum looked like until i experienced it myself. now, i feel like i can better support those in similar seasons since i have personal experience.
so, i thought i would share some tips i have for others out there who have a friend or sister who is about to give birth or just gave birth and want to know how to support them through this unknown season.
send lots of love through texts!!
new mamas are tired beyond words. it would mean the world to hear from a close friend or family member some words of love and encouragement. things like, “you’re such a good mom!,” “you got this!,” or just simply asking them how they are doing (not just physically but mentally).
i had a friend start a meal train for me after my son was born and that was extremely sweet! for about a week, we had at least 1 meal a day dropped at our door. moms and dads with a newborn tend to not have the time or energy to cook meals, and it’s so important for breastfeeding mamas to be getting enough nutrients in their bodies! a meal can go a long way, and it doesn’t even have to be homemade (although, after having hospital food, homemade is extra special).
i don’t personally like coffee, but i know most mamas do, and when you’re so tired, someone door dashing or picking you up a coffee would make your morning a bit more manageable.
watch the baby while they take care of themselves
one thing i was surprised by postpartum was the lack of time for showering. especially for mamas nursing, it always seems that the baby needs you when you’re about to do something for yourself. it happened to me multiple times that i wold get in my sitz bath while my husband was with the baby, and within a few moments, i’d have to get interrupted to nurse because he needed to eat (and when a newborn wants to eat, they’re not playing games). moms need some type of normalcy. that could mean showering, doing extensive skin care, painting nails, doing some makeup, getting a nicer outfit on, etc. and they 100% deserve to have the time to do that! but once husbands go back to work, that time is much more limited. and being able to wipe the spit up and milk off yourself and put a fresh tee on is a game changer.
clean their house
new mamas need time with their babies, but household chores don’t stop just because you have a new baby. cleaning a bathroom or a kitchen for a new mama can go a long way. moms shouldn’t feel as though they need to choose baby or house. they should be able to spend the time with their baby but still have a clean home to live in.
do their laundry
i remember around 6 weeks postpartum, i had a couple days of extreme back pain. it was most likely related to having intense back labor, but it hit me so hard. & i remember trying to fold laundry while shedding tears because bending over hurt too much to handle. this is a simple task that can be made so much harder in those initial weeks postpartum and someone simply folding a few pieces of clothing can help so much.
it’s better to just do than to ask before you do. most moms, no matter how exhausted they feel, will turn down help because they don’t want to feel like a burden or to come across like they can’t do it. even the most put together postpartum mama could still use help- food, time, cleaning, etc. so don’t ask them, just do it. just drop the meal or coffee off at the door step. just bring the flowers and a sweet card. just come and clean their bathroom. they’ll appreciate it so much! (and you can always ask the husband what she needs most to still have it be a surprise but something you know she personally could use).
give lots of grace
it may take a bit for your mama friend to reply to a text or get back to you. those first few weeks especially, are so crazy that they’re trying to just figure out and adjust to a new way of life, so don’t take it personally. also, give moms grace for not wanting visitors right away. they need time with their husband and new baby and it’s very overwhelming to have people with you right after giving birth. they just need grace as they adjust.
truly, it’s the little things. it doesn’t take a lot of time or energy to let a friend know you’re there for them during this time. what other ways can you think of to support a friend who is freshly postpartum?
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