Helping Your New-Mom Friend

Happy Mother's Day 2019! I posted on instagram a few hours ago and just realized that I used the hashtag happymothersday2018. Oy! I enjoyed a ginormous helping of biscuits and gravy for breakfast at Whisk this morning, but haven't had anything other than coffee the rest of the day and I think it's only thickening the mom-brain fog. Planning to catch up on some nutrients soon by finishing my pint of Jeni's Brambleberry Crisp that I have waiting in the freezer. But actually, this post is not about food!

I've been thinking a lot lately on what I found really helpful as a new mom when friends would come to visit, and what I find myself advising other friends do or not do when visiting moms in this very tender stage. New moms NEED people around, even if they're not looking or feeling their best. And these are just a few suggestions that I have to make your presence go the extra mile for her.

1. Come Bearing Gifts
Okay, you really do NOT need to bring gifts (and the onslaught of baby stuff clutter can have some moms reeling), but I strongly advise that you do not visit a new mom empty handed. You coming to her house may be one of the only contacts she has with the outside world that day. She may not physically be well enough yet to run to the grocery store or to get a coffee, but guess what. She's definitely hungry and in need of caffeine! So simply offer to get her something at a place that you are "already going" on the way over (groceries? coffee/pastries? magazine?). Make a few suggestions, because it's hard for new moms to identify what they need (most need sensors are tuned into baby). If she says she's good on all fronts - still. bring. something. She may throw it away when you leave, but that's okay because this isn't about you!

2. Consider Nutrition
Hopefully the new mom that you know has some sort of a meal train arranged for her so that her family can be receiving home cooked meals a few nights a week. (If she doesn't have a meal train arranged, please offer to set one up! Be sure to not only send it to mutual friends of yours, ask her for email addresses for people outside of your circle.) In thinking through what to bring, remember that she is recovering from giving birth, and even from a full on surgery if she had a cesarean. Constipation can be a factor in both of these situations, so keep that in mind and maybe steer clear of pure-starch spreads. Meals that include a variety of ingredients and veggies are amazing. No matter how simple you keep the main dish, include a side salad kit and dessert and everyone will be happy.

3. We All Need More Water
I think that most of us are dehydrated for much of our lives. But you guys, the water intake needed by nursing moms is really real. And just a reminder: even a not-nursing mom is in re-co-ver-y. Healing bodies need water. So if you are visiting a new mom friend, or are around any mom friend who is nursing, get up and offer to get her a glass of water refill her water bottle. While you're at it, maybe offer to make her a sandwich as well. :)

Your presence, as a friend, in a new mom's life is so, so important. She needs a listener, she needs someone to tell her that her baby is beautiful, and she may need you to hold said baby while she takes a shower. Obviously, you shouldn't NOT visit a friend because you don't have anything to bring, or can't make her a meal. These are just a few options for when you want to show up in an extra way.


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