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15 things you can do to help a mum with a newborn

15 things you can do to help a mum with a newborn
PHOTO: Unsplash

A new mother will go through a roller-coaster of emotions in the days and weeks following the birth of her child — extreme happiness, frustration, weariness and heart-bursting love.

And, while seeing loved ones cuddling her new baby will warm her heart, the new mum herself may be ignored in the excitement — at a time when she needs help navigating the early chores and emotions of motherhood and recovering from birth.

While each new mum's needs will vary as she adjusts to her new role in life, here are thoughtful things to do for the first-time mums in your life:

1. Ask her what she needs

In the early days of a newborn, a mother's mind is racing with a million ideas and tasks to complete – and it's impossible to predict what she might genuinely require at any time.

Even if the response is "nothing", chances are she will be grateful and feel supported that you asked!

2. Offer to run some errands for her

Is she in need of nursing pads and diapers? Offer to pick it up for her. Is her car running out of gas? Fill it up for her.

Also, if you happen to be in her area, a quick text to see if she needs anything is always appreciated.

3. Ask if she needs anything from the grocery store

Already on your way there? Call her and see if you can pick up something for her.

Don't give up if she says no; she may be so overwhelmed that even thinking about cooking is too much for her right now.

Offer to bring over a bag of healthy snacks that she can simply grab them from the pantry and nibble on them when she isn't in the mood to cook.

4. If a task needs to be done, do it!

This is especially true for a co-parent or partner.

Taking over a newborn task (changing a diaper, taking over a nighttime feeding, rocking a crying baby) or a household chore (dishes, laundry, tidying up) without being asked shows her that you're all in this together, and that the parenting and household responsibilities don't fall solely on her shoulders.

Even the tiniest task can make her feel less worried.

5. Babysit or arrange a playdate for older kids

If this isn't her first child, she may be trying to give her older child or children the care they deserve while still attending to her infant.

Offer to take them to the park or out for ice cream so they may be the centre of attention – while also giving mum a respite.

If your new mum friend already has another child, offer to entertain the older one(s) while mum and dad get some alone time with the new baby.

6. Organise a meal train

Bringing over dinner is a nice gesture, but organising hundreds of meals is much better.

Inquire with her if anyone has previously offered to organise a dinner train for her.

If not, don't feel like you're going too far or that you need to wait for someone closer to her to set it up – just step up to the plate and do it.

7. Help with the family pet

If you're already there and your friend has a pet, offer to walk the dog or clean the cat's litter box – after all, a new mum is already covered in faeces.

Would you like to be even more helpful? Bring the pet to your house for a week or two so she has one less thing to worry about and can focus on the baby.

8. Tell her how well she's doing

When it comes to being a new parent, there are no progress reports. It's easy to feel like you're hitting home runs one minute and struggling as a mother the next.

Assuring her that she's doing an excellent job can improve her mental health and help her confidence as a new mother. More on this later.

9. Pamper the new mum

What to buy for a new mum?

Gift cards for a massage (postnatal massages are the greatest and can help her body recuperate), a haircut or blowout, or a mani cure and pedicure are very popular among new mums.

She's been through a lot since giving birth, so being pampered is exactly what she needs.

Offer to babysit so she can get out of the house, or (if she prefers to keep the baby close) offer to accompany her and monitor her child while she gets some well-deserved pampering.

ALSO READ: Call for China to support single women over 30 to give birth to one child as the country's birth rate declines

10. Keep the support coming

The postpartum phase (sometimes known as the fourth trimester) is a six-month period of life. Continue to check in and offer your support even after the initial newborn days of parenthood have passed.

Being at home with a newborn might feel isolating, and it's critical that she understands she's not alone.

It's simple to help a new mum from afar — phone conversations and video chats, meal deliveries, or little presents can be a bright light on a difficult day.

And keep in mind that if she doesn't answer the phone or respond to texts right away, she probably has a lot on her plate!

Don't interpret silence as a lack of interest in conversing and call her back later.

11. Take pictures. Lots of pictures.

One of the most prized gifts a mother will ever receive is candid images of her first moments as a mother.

The new mum time is difficult, and images frequently slip by the wayside.

Take some pictures of her (try to get a good angle while you're at it) and the baby when she isn't looking.

Have the images printed, framed, and sent as a small present later. It will make her entire week better.

12. Limit your visit time

Most mums like having visits once the baby arrives. It's a moment when a new mum can show off the baby and share experiences with you, but after an hour or two, she's likely to be fatigued and in need of some downtime.

If she wants you to stay, by all means, do so. However, if she does not, it is best to depart and return another day to visit.

13. Help her go on a date night

Relationships might suffer during the postpartum time, and new parents may feel distant.

Many mums' postpartum bodies are still strange to them, especially if they are still sharing them with the baby while breastfeeding.

Recommending a discreetly beautiful nursing bra can help her reconnect with her sensual side so she can go on a date and rekindle some pre-baby flames.

As for date night, you can offer to stay with the newborn for a couple of hours so that the new mum can go on a date with her partner.

14. Encourage her to connect with other mums

While emotional support from partners, friends, and family is essential, there's nothing like chatting to other new parents in a similar period of life.

Finding a new mum support group is a great opportunity to share your experiences, complaints and ideas with other new mums.

15. Bring something for her

There are numerous ways for them to maintain their village of support while still adhering to social separation.

Be creative in expressing your love and support!

What to bring to a new mum?

A first-time mum might have already prepared everything that her baby needs, but she might have neglected herself in the process.

Bringing these items for the new mum will be very helpful for her postpartum recovery:


New parents are far too preoccupied (and fatigued) to consider what they will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Help them out by leaving a meal on their doorstep, texting them to let them know it's there (don't ring the doorbell), and continuing on with your day.

If you get to visit the baby or the parents, that's an added bonus! Don't worry, your regular hangout sessions will resume in a few months.

Food is never a bad idea during the fourth trimester (or ever, really). Make sure you are aware of any allergies or dietary restrictions and then assist her in healing by bringing deliciously nutritious no-fuss meals.

Diapers and wipes

Ask mum or her spouse what brand of diapers and wipes they prefer and pick some up before you go.

New parents are appreciative of this as it's one less item on their checklist.

A newborn can never have too many diapers! To be cautious, go with a size one or two, as they will quickly outgrow newborn diapers.

If you change a soiled diaper or two while you're there, you get extra points.

A bag full of groceries

How to help a new mum?

Regardless of dietary limitations, showing up with a bag of groceries will make you a hero in almost any home.

how to help new mum
PHOTO: Unsplash

A cosy robe and slippers

Those early postpartum days demand extra cosiness at all times.

Any new mom will love a robe and a pair of comfy slippers to lounge around in with her new baby.

Anything postpartum healing related

Healing from birth is no laughing matter, as it necessitates a number of materials, some of which can quickly run out.

Bring any of these postpartum essentials to make mom feel cared for.

Pay special attention to the various delivery methods — vaginal or caesarean — and the accompanying products to purchase to make mom feel supported.

While you're at it, you can also get her some nipple cream. Her breasts will definitely need some TLC from those round-the-clock newborn breastfeeding sessions.

A self-care bundle

In postpartum, self-care might feel like a cruel joke, which is why a tiny self-care bundle is always a wonderful idea.

An all-natural, homemade self-care kit for new mums and babies sounds extremely appealing. You can fill it with nourishing, easy self-care goods like belly balm, herbal bath blend, and a bosom butter, as well as some baby needs.

There are a lot of gift baskets in the market (Google "hamper for new mum") but you can always make your own by combining a couple of sheet masks, a weighted eye pillow, a great hand cream, and whatever else you think she'll like.

Paper plates and cups

A family with a new baby will eat several meals at home, which means there will be numerous dishes to wash.

If you're bringing a meal or not, having paper plates and disposable cups on hand is usually a good idea.

If you are far away, send a care package.

Even if you live a long distance away, you can still be of great help! Send some nutritious snacks or cosmetic products for mom.

Fill a cute basket or cloth bag with witch hazel pads, nipple cream, decent lotion, under-eye gel pads, earplugs, and a pleasant sitz bath solution.

The truth is that any acts of thoughtfulness, whether wrapped in a nice bow or simply in the form of a phone call or visit, will be greatly appreciated by the new parents in your life.

ALSO READ: 'Choosing my birthing position was the best decision I ever made'

What to say to a new mum

If you're a parent yourself, you know that motherhood is one big confidence game.

When you're a new mum drowning in a sea of conflicting advice and self-doubt, it can be hard to get your mum groove on.

How to help a new mum bring back her self-esteem and build her confidence? Telling her these lines will definitely boost her morale.

  • "You're doing great!"
  • No one is a better mum to your baby than you!"
  • "Trust your gut, I do!"
  • "I'm here for you, but I know you can do this."
  • "You are a lovely mum."
  • "Your baby is lucky to have you."
  • "You did it. You totally did it!"
  • "It will all be worth it."

Whether you decide to help by babysitting, saying kind words or sending a care package, your kindness and thoughtfulness with definitely be appreciated by the new mum in your life.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.

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