How to Treat a New Mom

I am so grateful for the love that has surrounded our family during the last few weeks. From the meals that arrived on our door step to the well wishes sent from afar, every day I had a reminder that Mark Oliver was born not just to us, but to this whole network of people...friends, family, neighbors, colleagues. People that love us, and by extension, love him.

I thought that if I avoided a c-section this time, I'd be back on my feet in a couple of days. But as it happened, I needed a solid 2 weeks of bedrest to recover. I'm finally starting to feel like myself again and looking forward to getting back into a normal routine (even if the new normal means being awake at odd hours during the day and night).

Sometimes it's hard to know what to do to help a family out. Here is my list of the best things people did for us, and what I hope to pass along to others in the future.

1. Send a card. A baby is a cause for celebration! Plus, after I had been peed on twice in an hour, it was lovely to open the mail and see a cute greeting card reminding me how lucky we are to have this newborn in our house.
2. Drop off a meal. I've been especially touched at how considerate people are of my gluten-free thing. With a 3 year old in the house, it was so much easier to not have to worry about cooking and to have minimal clean up. If you aren't sure if they need food, you can always drop off a frozen dish, so they can pull something out of the freezer when needed. (Include a list of ingredients and directions for heating.)
3. If you plan a visit, offer to stop at the grocery store on the way. Or maybe just stop and pick up some fruit, or crackers and cheese or granola bars. New moms eat lots of snacks, especially when they are breastfeeding.
4. I looked out the other night and noticed my neighbor shoveling our walk. In the summer, you could mow the grass. We have very neighborly neighbors, so this sort of thing is commonplace, but I think it's an especially nice gesture to a family with a new baby.
5. Drop off some magazines. My friend just brought me a stack of New Yorkers. Nursing an infant takes up a lot of time and it is nice to have a diversion. Plus it helps with the feeling of isolation.
6. When you visit, don't stay too long. And wash your hands. Don't come at all if you're sick.
7. Bring something for the siblings. (Maybe a dvd or some kind of quiet game to play.) Or the dad. (Beer.)
8. Wait. The first 2 weeks are this blissful period where the newborn is usually not too fussy and the new mom often has help from her parents or in-laws. But when regular life resumes, sometimes that's when it gets tough. If you miss the initial rush, don't fear, all of the above would be appreciated a month or two later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have three years of back New Yorkers that I have hated to throw away. Wow! Have you just given me a solution for what to do with them !! How far back do you want to go?

Love, aunt Mary