How To Support New Moms

by Ann deBruyn

How To Support New Moms

Welcoming a new baby into this world can be one of the most incredible moments of a woman’s life.

Then the fourth trimester (the first three months into motherhood) starts, which can be an intense and vulnerable season for new moms.

If new moms aren’t supported, the fourth trimester can go from challenging to unbearable. Leaving her feeling lonely, depleted, tired, and overwhelmed day in and day out.

She just gave birth and is recovering from labor and delivery. And now is responsible for taking care of a baby who is 100% dependent on her for their survival.

Being a new mom is a lot of things, none of which is easy. And yet, it’s something that can change a new mom’s life forever in the best way.

Because of this transition period and how challenging it is, new moms need all the help they can get.

  • Related: Teaching Your Kids About Thoughts And Feelings (podcast)

If you’re wondering how you can REALLY help a new mom, here are seven simple yet impactful ways to help her out.

1. Create a meal train for her (or drop off food).

Every new mom and family needs to eat, and having meals taken care of can be a huge help.

You can do this by organizing a meal train (more on that here: How To Start A Meal Train). You can do this by bringing her over cooked meals, or ordering her favorite takeout.

Find out what kind of food she prefers. So you can know whether she’ll love healthy meals and healthy snacks. Or whether she’d prefer something heartier to indulge in.

However you do it, helping with food is a way you’ll be showing support that’s so very needed.

Resources:

  • 3 Steps To Reduce Anxiety For Moms (free class)
  • Overscheduling (podcast)

2. Offer to help with chores of her choice.

As the new mom shifts into caring for the baby 24/7, the normal things she used to do around the house are now going to be left undone.

This can be a great way to help a family with a new baby—by doing some of the daily chores that are now seemingly impossible to get done.

While many moms are quick to decline help and say no, I find that if you offer three to four options of how you plan to help. And then ask her to choose which way she prefers, you’ll get an answer where you can actually help. This is much more effective than “let me know how I can help!” which almost never yields any real help. Instead, it’s “I want to help you, and here are four ways I thought of—clean the house, watch your older kids, do laundry, or going to the grocery store. Which do you prefer?”

Resources:

  • Relationship Stress During Pregnancy (blog post)
  • Rest On Purpose (podcast)

3. Bring over a surprise care package with her favorite things.

A lot of the changes a new mom goes through are emotional. With added sleep deprivation, she can be left feeling very exhausted. While you can’t help her take a nap or get more sleep, you can help support her emotionally by sending her a care package with her favorite things.

To do this right, it needs to be thoughtful. If she loves bubble baths, send her bath bombs with a new card and note showing her how you see her and love her. So much support is feeling “seen” by someone else. So if you show her that you see her, she’ll feel that.

  • Related: Time Management Tips For Busy Moms (free course)

4. Pet sit for her.

During the postpartum period (the “fourth trimester”) all the old routines are out the window. And it’s all hands on deck raising this new baby. This means that the regular things, like taking the dogs out for a walk, become a challenge.

A great way to help a new mom is to help out with her pets. This can be anything from coming over and walking her dogs, to taking the pets for a weekend, to gifting her a Rover or other type of gift card that would help with pet care.

When you take off the responsibility of pet care, it’s one less thing that the new mom needs to think about, which is a huge help.

Resources:

  • Curiosity (podcast)
  • Podcast Directory (free download)
  • How To Deal With A Challenging Relationship (free course)

5. Check in frequently, even if it’s one-sided.

As a new mom transitions into taking care of the new baby, checking in with her frequently can be incredibly supportive. This is true even if it’s one-sided, and she’s not making the effort to reach out as frequently as she used to. It’s likely not intentional but a result of being sleep deprived and not having her normal needs met as she meets all the new baby’s needs.

Having supportive friends and family can make a huge difference in a new mom feeling capable and supported on her journey.

  • Related: Thursday Inspo (email newsletter)

6. Ask her what she needs help with most.

Instead of guessing what the new mom in your life wants, ask her what it is she needs the most help with. Depending on her comfort level of receiving help, she may answer specifically or she may not. But if you keep at it, and even offer suggestions or ideas (do the heavy lifting for her), you’ll likely figure out some way to help her.

Resources:

  • Mom-To-Be Mindset Tips (podcast)
  • How To Clear Your Mind Of Negative Thoughts (blog post)
  • How To Become A More Mindful Mom (free training)

7. Gift her self care

Because the new mom is now responsible for 100% of the care of the new baby, her own care of herself (how she typically would make sure her needs are met) often falls by the wayside.

She won’t be getting her normal self care. And because of that, you can gift it to her in a real way that makes a difference.

In Grow You, my virtual mindfulness community for moms, I help moms do the inner work of self care when they need it most. Since it’s not uncommon for motherhood to feel isolating, this is a way for her to become more mindful and take care of herself in a real, purposeful way.

A Final Note!

As you use the ideas above, keep in mind that in the early days of becoming a new mom, the littlest things can make a huge impact (like telling her she’s doing a great job or bringing a meal over unexpectedly).

Your desire to help a new mom in your life already means you’re showing support for her, and I’m sure she can sense that.