1. Make her a nourishing meal: Or better yet, organise a meal train. Meal trains provide new parents with a steady stream of nourishing food. Providing a new mum with wholesome meals and snacks postpartum is one of the greatest gifts. Keep her well-fed so that she can concentrate on nurturing and nourishing her newborn.
2. Entertain her toddler: Looking after a newborn is all-consuming and tricky. Looking after a newborn while wrangling a toddler is even trickier. An offer to love on, and entertain an older sibling is always well received. Most new mums of a subsequent baby feel guilty about splitting their time and often feel like they aren’t able to give their older baby/ies as much time and attention as before. Offering to entertain the toddler gives mum a chance to soak in her new baby and to recover from birth.
3. Offer to run errands with her: You could always offer to run errands for her, but sometimes new mums want to get out of the house, except doing so with a newborn takes a little bit of time getting used to. So, offer to go to the shops or appointments with her. Many hands make light work.
4. Shower her with compliments: Tell her how much of an incredible job she’s doing. Compliment her at every opportunity. It’s so validating and does wonders for a new mum’s confidence. It’s easy to doubt yourself postpartum. Supportive, encouraging and complimentary friends make the transition a lot nicer.
5. Postpartum is forever: It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the arrival of a baby and shower new parents with gifts and support in the early weeks. But postpartum is forever and I guarantee that if you were to provide your friends with a gift or an act of service months down the track, they would be forever grateful. Some of the hardest days come well after the excitement has died down. This is often when a new mum needs you most.
6. Chip in for a postpartum doula: The support, nourishment and nurturing that a doula can provide is something that all new mothers deserve. But not all can afford. Get a group of friends together, or a few family members, and chip in and give the gift of a doula.
7. Send a cleaner: A clean space makes for a clear mind. It can be incredibly difficult to keep on top of housework when you have a newborn to care for. Organising a cleaner once a week or once a fortnight is a wonderful way to show a new mum that you care (and know exactly what she needs).
8. Keep her company: Motherhood can be isolating and lonely. Check in on your friend and spend time with her. You don’t need to be doing anything special, just be there with her and for her.
9. Listen up: Sometimes all she needs is a non-judgemental, empathetic ear. It’s not always about providing solutions, but rather support, and helping her feel seen and heard.
10. Do a night shift: If you’re in the inner circle and your friend feels comfortable having you in her space, spend the night. Keep her company and be the extra set of hands that she needs. Settle the baby back to sleep between feeds and protect every precious moment of sleep for mum.
11. Give them the gift of time: together. Becoming parents is a big deal and often changes a relationship greatly. New parents often feel like ships in the night, which can lead to feelings of loneliness. While they might be spending more time together than ever before they often aren’t focussed on one another or pouring time into their relationship. An offer to care for their baby while they nap together or head out for breakfast, lunch or dinner is a fantastic way to show you care.
12. Deliver the essentials: If you’re heading to the shops to pick something up for yourself, send your new-mum friend a text and see if there’s anything she needs. Think bread, milk, coffee, nappies and chocolate. Better yet, take the onus off her and don’t bother with the text. Just assume she needs all of the above (it won’t go to waste), and deliver it to her door.