Sometimes it’s really hard to know what exactly to do in order to best help a new mom. Before I had kids, I was pretty much clueless in that department. Even now after that challenging season has passed, it’s easy to forget about the best ways to help a new mom.
Reflecting now, I’m so grateful for all the friends and family who lifted me up and supported me during my new season of motherhood. There is no doubt in my mind that I couldn’t have done it with all of them.
So if you know a mom-to-be or a new mom, consider trying out a few of these really awesome ideas to help a new mom during the newborn phase. And if you are preparing to enter the new mom phase, this is a perfect way to know what you might need after the baby comes, and help you share with others.
Ask the mom.
Every mom experiences something is completely unique, and it’s common for each mom to want something a little bit different. Taking the time to ask a new mom what she would most helpful is a great place to start. This can help you avoid bringing over a frozen lasagna when she already has 4 sitting in the freezer. She may need something else instead, and asking is the best way to find out.
Bring food you know the family will like.
Some families have special eating preferences or requirements. If you already know the new mom well enough, go ahead and bring a dish you know she would cook herself. New motherhood is typically a time when a mom enjoys food she regularly eats, rather than an exotic dish she’s never had before. If you don’t know what the family typically eats, it’s okay to simply let them know you are making a freezer meal and ask for requests.
Bring easy and nourishing snacks.
Freezer meals are sometimes overly-abundant in the home of new parents. So check and see if she already has a large stock pile of prepared meals. If that is the case, bringing healthy snacks is a really great option. Granola bars, string cheese, almonds, protein bars or a fresh fruit salad are super helpful. I was literally starving during the newborn phase, and in addition to meals, I was eating 3+ protein bars a day. Healthy snack help boost a new moms energy and give her something quick to eat when the baby keeps her arms full.
Deliver food after the initial newborn phase too.
Everyone loves to stop by and deliver food right away after the baby is born. Funny enough, most new moms prepare and have freezer meals ready to-go after the birth. 2 or 3 weeks into the newborn phase food supplies start to trickle down, yet new moms often remain exhausted and too tired to cook. Stopping by with a lasagna 3 weeks after the birth is often perfect timing.
Bring her favorite drink.
Whatever drink she loves, go ahead and overspend and grab her a fancy favorite drink. Coffee or tea from Starbucks or maybe a fancy smoothie or a refreshing vitamin water—anything of that nature will surely make her feel special.
Bring a gift, even if you already gave one.
Definitely not required, but usually much appreciated. New motherhood is such an emotional whirlwind that simple gestures like a small gift can really brighten her day. It could be something really practical like a nursing cover, a pacifier, or picture frame. You could also bring along a DIY mood boosting spritzer made from essential oils.
Ingredients for a mood boosting spritzer:
- 8 oz. glass spray bottle
- 2 Tbs. witch hazel
- ¾ C. filtered water
- 30 drops lavender, joy, or stress away essential oil
- Place witch hazel into spray bottled, followed by essential oil drops.
- Add ¾ C. filtered water.
- Give a gentle shake.
- Spray on bed linens, towels, or spritz on topically before bedtime.
Take pictures. Lots of pictures.
One of the most treasured gifts a mom will ever receive is candid photos capturing her first moments of motherhood. The new mom phase is challenging and pictures often fall by the wayside. Snap a few of her and the baby when she isn’t looking. Later have the photos printed, framed and sent off as a little gift. It will brighten her entire week.
Call from the drugstore right before your visit.
Sometimes people who need the most help are those who don’t ask at all. Before popping over, stop at Walgreens or Target or any convenience store. Then call up your friend or family member and say, “Hey, I’m at Walgreens right now, and I’m going to pick you up something. What would be most helpful to you right now?”
Just start cleaning.
See a sink full of dirty dishes or a basket of laundry that needs folding, feel free to go above and beyond to help her out. You don’t even need to ask first. One of the best things that happened to me after the birth was having my aunt clean my entire house. She stayed with me for a few days, and before she left she even cleaned her guest room. That was incredibly helpful.
Take the pets for the afternoon.
If you know a new mom that has pets then taking them out for a long walk or running them at the park can be a huge help. During the newborn phase and thereafter, pets might become slightly neglected and have lots of pent up energy. Help a new mom feel a little less guilty, and give her pets the special treatment for a few hours.
If you are faraway, send a care package.
Even if you live really faraway, you can still be a huge help! Go ahead and send some healthy snacks or beauty items for mom. She probably won’t complain if you sent her some Nature’s Path Organic Granola or Ghirardelli Chocolate .
Remember to stop by even after the newborn phase.
Similar to what I mentioned above, visitors often flood in during the first few weeks of new motherhood. Remember that being a new mom is challenging for at least several months, and that you can still offer lots of help even after the first few newborn weeks are over.
Limit your visit time.
I think most moms really enjoy visitors after the baby comes. It’s a time when a new mom can show off the baby and share stories with you, but after an hour or two, it’s likely that she is starting to feel a little bit tired and in need of some downtime. If she asks you to stay, by all means feel comfortable staying, but outside of that, it’s helpful to leave and come back another day to visit some more.
Invite the family over for a low key dinner.
Not every new mom wants to get out of the house, but for some, this is a lifesaver. Getting out of the house for an easy meal at a friend’s house can help a new mom feel human again. It can give her a reason to put on a little bit of make-up and show off her beautiful baby. Just remind her that it will be super low-key and that she can leave whenever she needs too, and she may just accept your offer.
Tell her she doesn’t need to get back to you.
If you call or text or send a package, let her know that there is no need to respond. New moms are incredibly busy, and on top of that are trying to keep friends and family updated. So if you let her know that there is no need to respond, it really helps take the pressure off and enables her to focus on what is really important—the baby and taking care of herself.
Tell her something special.
This is probably the most important way you can REALLY help a new mom. Because whether you are a new or seasoned mom, every mom appreciates some words of encouragement. Share one of these inspirational quotes for moms or say encouraging phrases like…
You are doing an amazing job!
You look beautiful!
You are a great mom!
Want more on Motherhood?
- Why Every Great Mom Fills Her Cup First
- Making Peace with Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
- When Everyone Keeps Asking, “Are You Excited?”
What do you think is the best way to really help a new mom?
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