How can I help? Do you need anything? How can we support you?
Supporting a new mom after she’s had a baby takes some time and creativity. Supporting a new mom during social distancing and a global pandemic creates some real hurdles.
Whenever a mom friend or family member brought home a new bundle of joy, I would sign up for a slot on a meal train and bring my famous enchiladas for her family. I might arrange a basket of postpartum goodies, or simply be there to hold the baby while mama napped or showered. Sometimes, it was just sitting and chatting. It was even simple to swing into a local mama/baby shop and pick up a gift.
With social distancing, the closest I can get to my friend’s baby is a virtual chat.
It can feel so limiting and helpless not being able to help. Some families are accepting takeout or delivery, but some families are choosing to skip that and only make food from home. Navigating all of this is so complicated, and, for a new mom, that’s the last thing you want to add to.
Check out my tips below for showing support to a family that just welcomed their newest bundle of joy.
Handle grocery pickup.
Trying to snag a spot for curbside, sending someone to grocery shop in-store, or even nailing down a time with Instacart is an entirely different world right now. Opening the fridge and seeing our need to make a grocery run can be defeating– adding another task to the list of things to do outside of caring for new life. Check in with your postpartum mama and see what you could pick up for her at the store.
“I am putting my curbside order together, what can I add on for you and your family?”
Drop off essentials that are in shortage.
We are all aware of the toilet paper shortage…but can we also talk about the difficulties finding diapers in some of the stores? A friend dropped baby wipes off on my front porch last week and I could have cried. Stores are doing their best to keep things in stock, but there are things that are a bit trickier to hunt down in some areas.
Disinfectant wipes, diapers, paper towel, wipes, fresh fruit, or maybe you live in my neck of the woods and know the struggle that finding frozen potatoes is!
Send a gift card for postpartum purchases.
Postpartum mama has been wearing maternity clothes and winter wear for the past few months, and, now, getting to Target to pick up a few pairs of spring time comfy pants is no longer an option. Online shopping is an easier option and a nice gesture might be a gift card! Only being able to leave the house for essentials bumps “self care” purchases to the bottom of the list for new mama.
A friend who just had a baby had all the newborn items purchased, but realized after birth that new bundle of joy fit into 0-3 month size already! A gift card to Carters, Amazon, or a small shop favorite was the perfect easy outreach!
Send food. Please.
With my fourth baby, we had so many homemade meals dropped off at our house that we didn’t have to grocery shop or cook for over a month! We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. That was in 2018/2019.
Welcome to 2020. Families are now unsure about getting groceries, checking CDC guidelines for takeout, and sanitizing packages on their front porch.
Food and meals are still such a blessing for new families, it will just take asking the new parents what their preferred method is.
You can make them a meal at home or bring them some prepackaged meals to pop in the freezer/refrigerator.
If the family you are bringing food to gets takeout, ask what their favorite restaurant is! Ask if they prefer a gift card, delivery, or you could drop off on their porch at dinner time!
Text or call her for late night encouragement.
Simple. Just let her know you are thinking of her. This is a small task for you, and a giant gesture for her. It is easy to feel forgotten after having a baby, and, in these circumstances, isolating to the extreme.
“Hey, just wanted to reach out and say ‘hi.’ I keep thinking about you guys and hope you are able to get a bit of rest and that you are loving those baby snuggles.”
“Hi, friend! That sweet baby is absolutely adorable! You are doing such a good job!”
“It’s 1:00 a.m. and I am awake, figured you would be, too, with that little snuggle/milk monster. Just wanted to say hi. xoxo.”
Ask for photos of the baby and celebrate!
Baby. Pandemic. Global chaos. Loss of jobs. Sickness. Anxiety. Baby. Breastfeeding. Deadly virus.
When she first got the positive line on her pregnancy test, imagining the current reality wasn’t even a thought. The family imagined joy, excitement, family and friends gathered together…a carefree celebration!
Right now, this little baby is their entire world…while the entire world is also dealing with major changes and illness. Having friends and family pause for a few moments to revel in new life and be worry-free may seem like a breath of fresh air for them.
Drop off an activity set on their porch for new siblings.
Along with postpartum mama, new dad, and the sweet new baby…are there siblings in the mix? Make a sibling activity basket filled with stickers, craft supplies, and snacks for the older kiddos to enjoy and keep occupied with!
Decorate their door for arrival!
When a family brings home a new baby, they may be met with joyful grandparents, aunts/uncles or excited friends! During social distancing, that is really not the case anymore. These moms and dads are coming home with the weight of the world on their shoulders. They are only able to FaceTime family for connection. While they are at the hospital, head to their house and decorate their door or yard with a “WELCOME” sign, or tape cards to their front door. Even a balloon on their mailbox or sidewalk chalk designs will make an impact for a post-partum mama. Check Pinterest for ideas!
Just knowing you are there and able to help makes for a wonderful support system. Knowing how to maneuver these difficult times is a new discovery everyday. I can promise you though that the simplest gesture, such as a pack of wipes left on the front porch, an encouraging note, or a grocery bag with some spaghetti noodles and sauce could be what saves her day.