If you have a friend who’s just become a mum for the first time, it’s all very exciting. You’ll want to meet the baby as soon as you can, hear every detail about the birth to prepare you for when you have your own little one, and have a celebratory drink with your best friend because it’s been nine months since you’ve been able to have a tipple together.
While all of that is sure to come in time, what your friend needs right now is support. She’s brought a life into the world and will need time to recover and adjust to having to take care of her new baby. Now is not the time to overwhelm her with surprise visits or planning nights out.
Every new mum is different- some will want more space than others, some will want to live in their ‘newborn bubble’ for as long as possible, while others might want their friend to lend a listening ear if she wants to talk to someone other than her partner. You know your friend better than anyone else, but, in case you need some inspiration of what would really help a new mum, we’ve created this list to give you some ideas. Check it out below and give your pal a helping hand.
Don’t just treat the baby
It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new baby coming into your life, and you probably already have them spoilt with cute outfits and cuddly toys but it’s important not to forget about the mum. Make your friend a self care hamper with face masks, bubble bath and candles or treat her to her favourite snacks. It’s easy for Mum to be forgotten about and she more than likely doesn’t have the time to treat herself as much as she deserves between the night feeds and daily tasks of being a new mum.
Some mums will want to share their entire birth story while others might want to vent about how their lives have changed since becoming a parent. Even if you can’t relate to what she’s saying or are squeamish at the thought of labour, listen to her and don’t just overwhelm her with all of your life updates.
Don’t come empty handed
Showing up with flowers and baby grows is all well and good and lovely for a new mum to receive but a more practical gift for her would be some pre-cooked dinners that she only has to warm through. Adapting to being a new mum takes time and whipping up a full home cooked meal won’t be top of her agenda, so bringing some dinners will be a great treat to take the weight off Mum’s shoulders.
Don’t show up unannounced
We all love surprise visits from loved ones, but with a newborn it’s different. Mum is probably exhausted and hearing the doorbell ring without warning can add more stress to the mix. Give her some notice or better yet, wait to be invited over, so she feels prepared for any guests and can look forward to a catch up.
Offer to do some housework
When you do go to visit your pal, it’s best not to just sit there and hold the newborn while she runs around making tea or preparing lunch. Let her relax while you do some washing up or offer to put a load of laundry on for her. She might not ask for help and would prefer to do it herself while her hands are free and have you cuddle with the baby, but offering is always a good idea.
No pressure zone
Don’t talk about planning a night out on the town or a weekend away the minute she has given birth. There is so much she has to adapt to that planning on getting dolled up will not be on the priority list. Unless your friend has said she needs a night out with you, don’t make her feel pressured into saying yes.