I’m starting a little blog series where I plan to post helpful resources for new mothers. I love getting to work with and photograph new mothers during their maternity, newborn and milestone sessions. I remember very distinctly what a huge life transition motherhood was for me personally. This blog is a little effort to provide support beyond just documenting this precious season. In this post, let’s specifically explore the practical side of how to to help new moms.
Let’s be honest, the newborn stage can be quite overwhelming, even it it’s not your first child. The baby and mother and bonding and figuring out the best method of feeding. No one is sleeping very much. The laundry is never ending. Everyone is adjusting to a new family member.
A traditional way to support new moms and their families is by providing a meal. This gives the family one less chore to worry about (maybe two if you bring enough for leftovers). Consider providing disposable plates so that the new family doesn’t even have to worry about the dishes afterwards. Try to be sensitive about whether the new family wants a visit or not when you bring to meal. I personally stressed way too much about having a clean house when people brought meals for my first child. However, there were also moments that it was nice to see a fresh face. Offer to just drop the meal at the front door, but if you are invited in, keep the visit brief.
But what if you are looking for some different ways to support a new family? I recently polled some followers about “out of the box” ways to help new moms. I got some great answers.
1. Housework – How to Help New Moms
Cleaning the house is one of the first chores to fall to the wayside. While some new moms wont find this to be a stressor, for some the physical chaos of their environment ramps up the emotional chaos they are already feeling. One follower recalled that her step mother deep cleaned their house while they were at the hospital delivering the baby. What a gift to come home to a spotless house! Even if you don’t personally have access or time to clean the new mom’s house, consider gifting the services of a house cleaner. One young mom commented that this has become her go-to gift. She has a house cleaner she loves and she gifts one cleaning to friends who are expecting.
Laundry is another chore that tends to pile up. Newborns tend to go through several outfits a day. As a new mom, I felt like I was constantly covered in stains. The washer and dryer were constantly running. Consider gifting wash and fold service. Here in Chattanooga there is a wonderful local company called Freedom From Laundry that will pick up laundry from your front door and will return it a few days later.
2. Helping with Older Siblings – How to Help New Moms
Trying to juggle the needs of older siblings with a newborn brings a whole new level of challenge. There are many great ways to care for new moms in this situation. Offer to have older siblings over for a playdate or take them on an outing so that the new mom can have a quiet house and actually rest. Pre-pack kid lunches for the older siblings. I don’t know about your house, but lunch time can be extremely chaotic at my house. When lunch is mentioned, everyone seems to swarm like flies in the kitchen. Having lunch ready to go would be a huge stress relief for some moms. This could likewise be accomplished by sending a gift box of healthy snacks. (Nursing moms would also appreciate this gift.) Consider sending a gift box of activities for older siblings. However, when doing so, try to avoid toys with a bajillion pieces or activities that will require a lot of assistance from adults. Sticker books or find it books may be a great option.
3. Assist with Errands – How to Help New Moms
Sometimes the thought of packing everyone up and getting out of the house feels extremely daunting in those early weeks. If you are headed to the grocery store, let the new mom know and offer to pick up needed items. Give them advanced notice so they can put in an online order that you then deliver to their house. If you don’t leave nearby, consider gifting them a subscription to a delivery service like Instacart. Offer to make returns for the new mom, such as dropping of Amazon returns at the post office. Newborn babies have lots of doctor’s appointments at first. If you have the time, offer to help with the baby while mom takes a shower and gets ready. Offer to babysit older siblings during the appointment.
4. Keep in Touch – How to Help New Moms
Becoming a mother drastically changes your life, including your social life. There suddenly isn’t nearly as much time for friends. Staying connected, even if it means just intentionally reaching out via phone calls or text messages, can help a new mom feel less isolated. One mom commented that her friends sent her “funny mom” accounts to follow on social media. This kept her laughing and made her feel less alone in the transition to motherhood.
I hope you found some new inspiration for how to help new moms in your life. Has someone shown you love in an “out of the box” way? Comment below!