You've had your baby and everyone wants to "help!"
Great! You could totally use the help! After all, you are currently in quite a bit of pain, alternating pain relievers like they're candy, leaking from various body parts and bleeding like your made of the dang stuff. Any help is so appreciated!
But then, people come over and they just want to talk while you want to take a nap. Or they ask if they can hold the baby while you are supposed to be feeding the baby. Maybe your other kids are destroying the basement and all you can think about is how you don't want to bend over to clean up their mess so you wont and your basement will stay a disaster forever. You're other kids may feel "forgotten" with the new changes in your home or maybe your baby has jaundice and you've been to the doctor 16 times in the past 3 days!
There are a million things that can happen after we have a baby and you really can't be prepared for any of them.
So what do moms REALLY need after they have a baby?
-The number one thing that new moms need is food. Healthy and easy meals to help her recover and take care of her family. Something that she can pop in the over or crockpot with very minimal clean up. Even better? Take out! Order something from a take out restaurant and bring it over. You will be her new favorite person!
-New moms need sleep. If you really want to impress a new mom, purchase a few nights of postpartum doula care so that she can recover and a trained professional can care for her baby and help her have success in breast or bottle feeding during those first few days. Sleep changes lives!
A good conversation
-This does not mean a good conversation while you both look at each other and sit on the couch. If you really want to WOW a new mom, let her sit by you as you do the dishes, scrub the bathroom, vacuum or make the family a meal (and clean up after yourself). Many moms need social interaction during this postpartum period but it needs to be accompanied by help.
Play dates for older kids
The best thing that ever happened to me during my postpartum period was when people would ask if they could take my older kids for playdates. YES!!! Please take them! New moms are exhausted, weak and have very little energy to care of toddlers. Kids need to get out of the house and play! Putting those things together isn't a great mix. Offer to take her kids for a few hours for some serious postpartum rest.
These things aren't hard but it can be very easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and our own things. Let's continue to create the village around us and support postpartum moms. They need us! What do you really need after a baby? A friend. You can be that friend.