WAYS TO "SUPPORT A FRIEND WHO JUST HAD A BABY"
After I had my baby, I was so exhausted and emotionally drained. I didn't have any family around me to support me and be there for me. It was just my husband and me, so essentially, I didn't have any help through my pregnancy and after birth. It was challenging to think about all the things by yourself and be the only source of peace and support. The first few days after having my baby was tough. My husband and I were both tired and slept deprived. Taking care of the baby needed enough patience and maintenance, and I needed to rest myself. My husband was the only person supporting me through this journey—preparing a meal and shopping for our needs, and taking care of the baby. I remember the day that we came home from the hospital, and one of my lovely friends drove 45 minutes at 10:00 pm to bring dinner for us and see how we are doing. I never forget that moment. I was emotionally wrecked, and seeing her was such a relief and strength. She was sitting there talking with me and comforting me. The day after, another friend visited us and brought us some food, cookies, etc.
I think you never forget those people who help you when you are fragile and in need. That is such a beautiful act of kindness for someone to support them through those days.
I can positively say visiting a friend who just had a baby is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful things a person can do. There are so many things that you can do for a mother who just had a baby.
Also, you can acknowledge dads. They are vulnerable and emotionally exhausted too. So considering the whole family is a magnificent idea.
Here's a quick guide to Help Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby
- Bring Food
If you're heading over to your friends' place, always remember to bring food along. If you don't have time to cook, you can order food and buy their favorite take away or buy freezer-friendly foods to be reheat. it is valuable to offer to bring food in the first three months when life is the most disorganized and chaotic with an infant
- BRING PRESENT
Showing up empty-handed to a visit is not a good idea. You don't have to bring a gift. However, New parents will appreciate your gesture if you do. Friends can bring outfits for the baby or a cute blanket or swaddle. The new parents will cherish all the baby essentials. So get something and make them happy.
- OFFER THEM HELP
You can always help new mothers by taking care of the baby and allowing the parents to have some quiet time. You can ask, May I hold the baby if you're comfortable with that? or you can say I'm happy to watch Baby for a little bit so you can have time for yourself and maybe shower or take a nap.
- HELP AROUND THE HOUSE
There is always a massive pile of laundry next to her washing machine. That would be great if you disappear those and make your friend a grateful mama. You can wash her dishes, do the laundry, wash and disinfect the baby bottles. While you are there, you can make her warm and delicious soup. Please give her a massage and be all ears to her while talking about her fears and concerns.
- MAKE THEM A CARE PACKAGE
A hand-picked box filled with goodies is a fabulous way to inspire someone to do a minute of self-care. You can buy lotions, fuzzy socks, lip balm, lactation cookies, chocolate, and beautiful handwritten notes to give her encouragement and support. It only needs a few words to let them know that you're always there when they need you.
- BE A GOOD LISTENER
Some new parents need to share every detail about the baby's birth. Some of them desire an adult conversation. First, start the discussions, break the ice, and then lead them to talk about their concerns and let the conversation go wherever they want. Being a good listener is a gift you can give to your friend.
- VALIDATE THEIR FEELINGS
New parents are always anxious and concerned about the health of their newborn. At this phase of life, the best thing you can do for them is to validate their emotions, and that's one of the most incredible things you can do to support them. By acknowledging how concerned or frightened or frustrated, they feel right now. Some amount of anxiety has always been typical with new parents.
They're hopeless to keep their babies safe and secure. In these circumstances, tell them that you can hear them and acknowledging how incredibly difficult that might feel.
- REACH OUT TO THEM WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS
At this time, they feel exhausted, isolated, and alone. It's a good idea to reach out to the new parents frequently and check on them to see if they need anything that you can provide for them. Ask open-ended questions such as how are you doing? How is your mental health? Did you get enough sleep recently? In this case, you will get the impression of their condition, and you can help them better. Don't expect them to call you back or respond to your messages. They are busy, and the last thing they think about is answering the phone. Don't take it personally and try to be more mindful and considerate about their situation.
- ASK THE SPOUSE WHAT THEY NEED (DON'T ALWAYS ASK MOTHER)
Sometimes it is a good idea to reach to the spouse and ask how you can help them. Mothers are more involved in the situations, and they are very protective of the newborn, so they think that they should control everything by themselves and not ask for any assistant. But inside, they are too fragile and weak. In these situations, you can ask the spouse for additional help. They are more aware of conditions and can guide you better.