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4 Ways To Show Up For a New Mom

Becoming a mom is one of the most magical times in a woman’s life. I wish I realized this when my friends had children before I had my own. I learned that showing up for a new mom is one of the most thoughtful, caring, and kind acts you can perform.

What Does It Mean To Show Up For a New Mom?

Showing up for a new mom can include a variety of acts. The most important outcome is that the new mom knows she has the support of her loved ones.

Unfortunately, society has conditioned us to think that we shouldn’t ask for help or admit that we’re in need. Offering your time and support to a new mom is invaluable.

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Some Ways You Can Show Up for a New Mom

Home-cooked meals (or send take out) 

When I had my first daughter it was spring, but a hotter spring than normal. One of my friends and a seasoned mom brought me over the fixings for a salad; mixed lettuce, candied walnuts, fresh strawberries, and Goddess dressing.

Fast forward to the birth of my third daughter, a good friend of mine brought me over a lasagna. All I had to do was pop it in the oven.

Both were thoughtful and nourishing to the body and soul. Don’t feel bad if you can’t prep a dish, find out what the new mom wants, and send delivery!

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A shoulder to cry on

Those postpartum emotions are no joke. I couldn’t keep it together after having a baby. Showing up for a new mom includes allowing her to be comfortable being vulnerable.

Offer to go to the store for the new mom

The last thing a new mom wants to do is head to the store with a diaper on and a baby in tow. If the new mom is saying she doesn’t need anything, consider putting together a gift basket for her.

I loved putting together a gift basket for a new mom that recently had her third baby. Include some diaper necessities for the baby, breastfeeding relief for the mom, and anything else you think the new mom and baby will appreciate.

Check-in often, and show up without being asked.

It’s hard to ask for help. It’s also hard to communicate your needs when you are a new mom, even when you already have other children.

Showing up for a new mom is necessary. She may need some comedic relief to distract her from her day to day routine.

Ensure that the new mom knows there are open lines for nonjudgmental advice. Motherhood can be a daze, so when mom forgets the little things, gently ask if she wants to hear what you or a friend did in the same situation.

What It’s Like As A New Mom

As a first-time mom, I remember how nervous I was. My baby girl was so tiny. All I wanted to do was protect her. Then you’re hit with the little things that no one mentions…

  • Like sitting in the backseat on the drive home from the hospital so that the baby isn’t alone.
  • Learning how to dress this small being that can’t move on its own.
  • And if you aren’t already a nervous wreck, breastfeeding has its way of making you second guess everything.

Fortunately, I had friends that were doulas. Though I realize not everyone has the luxury of having a wealth of knowledge on speed dial. But what I remember most is the reassurance I was given.

Every mother has a different experience. Some of us co-sleep and some sleep train. Some will choose the bottle, while others choose the boob. It’s a personal preference.

What matters is that mom feels like she is doing it right! Reassurance is a blessing for the mom preparing to give birth and the mom at home with a newborn. And this reassurance is just one way to show up for a new mom.

What if the New Mom Says She Doesn’t Need Anything?

She lies! Just kidding, kind of…

Even if the new mom has family nearby and a live-in nanny, nothing beats having a friend to talk to. So if you’ve offered to bring this new mom anything she needs but she politely declined…

Don’t give up. Drop off a meal. Have food delivered. Put together a care package. If she’s ok with visitors, stop by and offer to do her dishes!

If you aren’t sure what to include, check out our new mom care package article.

What if Mom Already Has Other Children?

Even if this isn’t mom’s first baby, she still needs support. Showing up for a new mom after her first is just as important as showing up for mom after her third or fourth.

The recovery period after giving birth can be isolating, especially when trying to care for a newborn and other children. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming.

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If mom’s partner isn’t able to take a lot of time off work, then it forces mom to be up and moving quicker than her body is ready.

Did you know that in some cultures the norm is for moms to take the first forty days after giving birth to stay home and recover? They don’t even leave the house. This time is also spent bonding with the newest member of the family.

Among the cultures that tend to hold this tradition, there are support systems. Maybe more than one family that lives together. Far from the view our society currently holds.

Mental Health

There’s no denying that hormones are all over the place during pregnancy and right after giving birth. I remember sitting on my bed with my newborn baby and turning on a “putting baby to sleep” playlist.

I could not get through the first song without crying. I wasn’t sad, I was deep in the moment and embracing my emotions.

This slippery slope of emotions can turn dark. The society we live in places a lot of pressure on moms, heck all parents! This pressure keeps us busy, tired, and often malnourished.

What a new mom needs is someone to remind her that she is valued. Whether this comes from her partner or a dear friend. Continue to check in, whether via a phone call, voice text, or stopping by.

The days when people stopped by unannounced are missed. I think this too can be traced to societal standards. How dare we let people see our homes lived in?!

Moms feel they have to be strong. When we’re vulnerable, we think we’re viewed as weak. It hurts me to even type this because I know there are so many parents that struggle with this. Remember, even the strongest parents sometimes need, and cherish, a helping hand.

Shelter in Place

During the time we are living in, there are countless uncertainties. It’s heart-wrenching to think about the moms that are isolated after giving birth.

The first time moms are trying to figure out how to take care of an infant, while friends give virtual instructions.

The moms caring for multiple children are suffocated by toddlers and loving on a new baby that they’re proud of, yet no one gets to experience the joy and ‘firsts’ alongside her.

Whatever you do, keep showing up for a new mom. She appreciates it more than she knows how to express it.

Lacy Catao

Lacy Catao is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, former paralegal and Army veteran. Motherhood inspires Lacy to share her knowledge of nutrition and optimal wellness, while also providing lifestyle insight as a mother striving to parent with grace and patience. This California native planted her roots in northern Nevada with her husband in 2016. She contributes her love for country living to Idaho, which is where she spent most of her school-age years. Lacy is the mother of three girls and two stubborn Bulldogs.