What to Bring a New Mom: The Visitors Guide you didn’t know you needed
A Post By Bridgette
It’s an incredibly exciting event when someone in your life has a new baby- whether it’s a close friend, family member, or co-worker! When preparing to visit a new mom, you may be wondering how you can be helpful to her while she recovers from the birth of her child. In this post, you’ll find all the information and tips you’ll need to best help the new mom in your life.
Postpartum is hard
When I was recovering from the birth of my daughter, I felt like I got hit by a dump truck. I was tired, sore, and completely consumed by caring for my newborn. I was too occupied and tired to think of anything besides healing, and bonding with my baby. So I tried not to worry about anything else.
Any kind of housework took the back burner. In those early postpartum days I became even more grateful for my amazing husband, and my support network of family and friends. Anyone who brought meals, washed dishes, folded the laundry, or even just texted to ask how I was doing were my guardian angels.
Moms need help
I realized how blessed I was to have people in my life who KNEW what I needed. Cause I didn’t, and I didn’t have the brain power at the time to realize or ask for things. Every mama deserves to be cared for like that, so I made a list of all the ways a new mom could be helped. There’s a list of things to bring, and a list of things to do, and any one of these things would brighten a new mama’s day and make it just that much easier.
What to bring a new mom:
- Supper, lunch, or breakfast: Long story short- bring her a meal! The typical meal to bring is supper, the largest meal of the day. But don’t be shy about thinking outside the box and offering to bring a nice lunch, or even breakfast food! Side note: 1. Don’t ask her what to bring, just bring it. 2. Make sure the meal you bring doesn’t require prep on her part. 3. Keep your visit short, drop off the meal and continue on your way.
- Her favorite snack or drink: After getting up every 2 hours a night with baby, a mama deserves a treat! Ask her what her favorite snack is: a Snickers bar and iced tea? Hummus & chips?
- Fresh Fruit & Veggies: Washed, cut up, and ready to just grab and eat. This is one of my favorite things that someone did for me postpartum! I was seriously craving fruit, so it was a huge blessing to have fruits and veggies all cut up and ready to go so I could just grab it and have a snack while I nursed my baby.
- Anything she may need from the store: A new mom has a lot on her plate, lighten her load by asking her what she needs from the store and picking it up for her.
- Something for the baby: Nothing is cuter than baby things (except of course, the baby)! If you haven’t already splurged on this baby, this is an opportunity to find out what mom still needs, and do some fun baby shopping.
- A good book: Many of those early postpartum days are spent on the couch underneath a nursing or sleeping infant. Binge watching Netflix is great, but it might be nice for her to switch gears and dive into a good book. Now’s a good time to lend her a few great books!
- Flowers: Depending on the weather, it can be hard to get outside with a newborn. Bringing fresh flowers to the mama in your life can help brighten her day by bringing a bit of the outside, indoors.
Ask the mom in your life what she needs, or pick something from this list to bring her when you visit. The first weeks with a newborn are overwhelming, and visitors are often exhausting. When you come to visit keep your expectations low and your visit short. If you want to be helpful but find yourself unable to bring anything- refer to the list below to see what you could do for her.
What to do to help a new mom while visiting:
- Clean the kitchen/wash dishes: Pitch in and help with kitchen chores! Unload/load dishwasher, wash dishes, wipe counters etc.. As awkward as it was at first to have someone else doing my kitchen work, it was also a huge relief to me when my mom would come over and immediately begin washing dishes. I didn’t ask her, I may have even tried to protest- but she did it anyway. Be that kind of friend.
- Ask about household chores you could help with: Whether it be sweeping/vacuuming, taking out the trash, or any other chore the mom just couldn’t quite get to. Ask her what she could use a hand with!
- Walk the dog/water the plants: Whether the mama in your life has a dog or some other type of pet, houseplants, goldfish, whatever it may be! Take the dog on a walk, water the plants, offer to help out in whatever way you’re able.
- Help with older children (if applicable)
- Offer to hold the baby so she can shower: Maybe she wants to shower, or to spend 5 minutes doing literally anything non-baby-related. Offer to give the mom a break- but don’t be offended if she declines, it can be hard to hand over the baby when she’s brand new!
- Laundry: Give a hand with the laundry: switch loads, offer to start a new load, and fold the clean laundry.
If you take these tips and implement even just a few of them, I promise that you’ll light up a postpartum mama’s day. I was lucky enough to have family members help me out the first few weeks, which was a huge relief to my overwhelmed first-time-mama’s mind and allowed me to focus on bonding with my baby.
Bonus list: Rules to follow when visiting the new mom:
- Do NOT under any circumstances visit if you think you may be sick. If you have the sniffles and think it may just be allergies? Stay away. You don’t want to be the person responsible for getting the newborn baby sick.
- Wash your hands before touching/holding the baby.
- Don’t bring your children unless it’s been approved by the mom you’re visiting.
- It may be hard, but try not to hold the baby for too long! And if she fusses or cries, hand her right back to her mom. Just do it.
- Don’t stay for too long. What feels like a short visit to you, may seem like an eternity to the (sleep deprived) mama.
- Don’t show up at the hospital uninvited.
- Be sensitive- postpartum is a vulnerable time. Try to be careful with your words and your actions, even if you’re just “teasing” it can be hurtful.
- Be smart- don’t kiss the baby, anywhere! Even her cute little hands go straight to her mouth. Don’t spread germs.
- Don’t visit at unreasonable times of day. Pro tip: if you want to see a happy + awake baby, visit in the morning.
Drop a comment below: What was your postpartum experience like? Did you resonate with these tips? What would you add to this list?