How to Help a New Mom
By Marci Lutsky
So, your best friend, sister or co-worker is about to have a baby and you want to get her something special. While buying something off her baby registry is always appreciated, there are other ways to help a new mom. Whether if it’s her first, second or third, here are some ways to help out that she will definitely appreciate.
Bring her food! This is by far the best way to help a new mom. Not only should you bring her food, but consider setting up a meal train. It’s so simple to do by going to . You can set up all the details like when is the best time to drop off food and if the family has any dietary restrictions. When my twins were born I lived in a townhouse and someone set up a meal train for my family so that twice a week for months, we were delivered a hot, delicious meal. This is so helpful because taking care of a newborn leaves little time for cooking. While my husband and I looked forward to food showing up at our door, I also looked forward to the company. I felt very isolated at first when we brought our twins home because I was suddenly spending much more time at home. Having company made me feel connected to the outside world.
Here is a piece of advice when you are deciding what to bring the family-pasta is popular, so try to come up with something else. While I was so grateful for everything we received, we were inundated with lasagna and ziti. I recently was talking to a friend who has four young kids and she told me that what she really wanted was breakfast food. She was up a lot during the night and the mornings were rough. She appreciated a good meal to start the day. Not sure what to make that isn’t pasta? Try making chicken piccata, eggplant parmesan or vegetable enchiladas.
Offer to do errands. When you have a newborn getting out of the house can be rough. Simple errands like going to the drugstore, supermarket and post office can feel overwhelming. Ask her if you could help cross some things off of her to-do list.
Entertain older siblings. If the mom has older children, offer to entertain them. You could take them out for a few hours or come supervise them playing outside. Anything to give the mom a break to nap when the baby naps or just spend quality time with the newborn will be so helpful.
If the new baby is in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), offer to keep the mom company. My twins were born two months early and spent six weeks in the unit. This was not how I expected to spend the early days with my babies. Every day I would arrive at the hospital early in the morning and leave around dinner time. When you spend your days in a room without windows, while dealing with the stress of having a fragile newborn, company is a welcome distraction. I appreciated when friends would come visit. The thing to understand when visiting a mom with a child in the NICU, is that you need to be flexible. Even though you might arrange to visit at a certain time, the schedule of the baby will dictate everything.
Offer to take pictures. Do you have a fancy camera that takes great pictures? Offer to come over and snap some candid pictures of the mom and newborn or newborn with his or her siblings. Many new moms will arrange for a professional photo session, but you can still offer to take pictures, even with your phone. I was in a foggy haze during the first few months home with my twins, and I relied on pictures to capture those precious moments. My kids love looking at their baby pictures and I’m grateful to have them.
Having a new baby at home is a beautiful and special time, but it can also be stressful, not to mention exhausting. There are plenty of ways to help a new mom that she will appreciate. I would love to hear the best gifts people gave you when you brought home your new baby.
Marci Lutsky is a local mom of six-year-old twins and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.