Becoming a mother for the first time is a huge life change. While it’s an exciting, joyful time, it can also be overwhelming and stressful. As a friend or family member, you want to truly be there for the new mum in your life. Here are eight thoughtful ways you can provide real help and support during this transition.
1. Do the Shopping for Her
In those early days at home with a newborn, even a quick trip to the shops can seem daunting. Offer to pick up the groceries, household items, or other necessities for her. Check first if there’s anything in particular she needs – extra snacks for night feeds, more nappies, or products for self-care. Easing the little daily errands is a small but mighty way to lend a hand.
2. Prep Freezer Meals
Who couldn’t use a delicious home-cooked meal? Take an afternoon to prep batches of healthy, freezer-friendly dishes like soups, chillies, and pasta bakes. Present them in disposable baking trays with cooking instructions so all the new mum has to do is reheat them. What a relief not having to cook during those sleep-deprived early weeks! Lasagne and shepherd’s pie are always winners.
3. Help Around the House
From laundry to washing up, housework can really pile up with a new baby in the mix. Offer to tackle a few chores while you visit – fold some onesies, run a load of baby clothes in the wash, or tidy up the nursery. Checking if your friend has an ongoing household needs list is incredibly helpful too. Taking a task off her plate lets her enjoy precious moments with her little bundle.
4. Give Her Time for Self-Care
In the flurry of nappy changes and feedings, it’s vital for new mums to prioritise their own self-care. Offer to watch the baby for an hour or two so she can pamper herself. Suggest she takes a soothing bubble bath, enjoys a leisurely cup of tea, catches a quick nap, or reads a few pages of her latest book. Don’t forget face masks, manicures, long showers, hot chocolate, and trashy magazines! Everyone needs time to recharge.
5. Drop Off Homemade Food
Who doesn’t appreciate a home-cooked meal? Double up your own family recipes for casseroles, baked pasta dishes, soup, or dessert so you can deliver a portion to the new parents. Homemade moussaka or fresh scones are simple but thoughtful ways to nourish and comfort. Got garden produce? Drop off some organic eggs, seasonal fruits or veg, fresh herbs, homemade pesto or chutneys. Food made with love gives that warm fuzzy feeling.
6. Lend a Listening Ear
Being able to share the ups and downs of new motherhood with an empathetic friend means the world. Regular check-ins via text, quick phone calls while baby naps, and video chats over a cuppa let her voice her feelings, milestones, and worries. Offer reassurance if she’s questioning herself and oodles of cheerleading as she navigates parenting unfamiliar territory. Your supporter role continues postpartum too – she may need your sounding board for many months.
7. Give Parenting Tips… Gently
Becoming a mum for the first time means a huge learning curve. While parenting advice often freely flows, proceed delicately here; unsolicited tips can easily come across as criticism, even when well-meaning. If she seeks your counsel, share your own experiences where relevant, like ideas for settling baby to sleep. Recommend parenting resources you found helpful rather than directives. Most importantly, never offer judgment, only empathy. This is her path to blaze.
8. Send Sweet Surprises
Finally, few things feel more special than an unexpected delivery on the doorstep. Things like freshly baked cookies, luxury bath products, posies of flowers, or pretty stationery can provide mood-lifting bright spots for stressed new mums running on fumes. Care packages might feature comfy slipper socks, cuddly blankets, sudoku puzzles, chocolate, calming teas, face masks, and scented candles. If your finances allow, offer a postpartum doula session, meal delivery service, or house cleaning as a surprise perk. Thoughtful gestures say, “I’m thinking of you!”.
Oh, and as you select the perfect new baby card, remember thoughtful words can provide comfort too! Wondering what to write on a new baby card? Jot an uplifting message celebrating the new arrival, share advice from your own parenting path, or simply let her know you’re available for middle-of-the-night pep talks. Your emotional support means the world.
Every new mum’s needs differ slightly. But your caring presence reminds her she’s not alone in her monumental journey of raising the next generation.