It often doesn’t come naturally to ask for help, especially when you are a new mum and are already trying to get the hang of this keeping another human being alive malarkey. So, if you are a friend or family member to a new mum, instead of buying them a cute baby outfit or toy, here are five ways that I think new mums can be supported:
1. Allow others to give you the opportunity to get some rest:
‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’ – isn’t that how the saying goes?! Quite possibly the worst piece of baby advice to give as you have a million things to do when your baby isn’t on you 24/7, although I’d be lying if I hadn’t said it myself. Someone else taking your baby off your hands so you can go to the loo or even get some sleep is invaluable.
2. Accept and ask people to bring you food AND wine:
It can be hard to know what to bring a new mum, but offering just to pick up some bread, milk and basics or an easy ready meal are incredibly helpful. Don’t assume that because a new mum might be breastfeeding that they won’t want a glass of wine. They haven’t been able to drink in a long 9 months and this parenting thing is TOUGH. If they liked a tipple before, they’ll almost certainly need it now!
Friends or family stepping in for an evening or even 30 minutes so you can get showered and feel a bit more human is more valuable than the entire contents of JoJo Maman Bebe. Take babysitting offers and roll with it.
4. Do something for you:
As a new mum, you are still you – albeit a squishier, almost certainly more emotional version than before. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are not just a ‘mum’. Take some time, alone or with your partner or friends and don’t feel guilty about a bit of time away from your baby. Your baby is building relationships with others and you are rediscovering your relationship with yourself; win-win.
5. Meet other mums:
From experience, the hardest days as a new mum are those when you are exhausted, in your pjs all day with no desire to get dressed and you end up staying in all day with a screaming baby and want to also have a bit of a cry yourself. Meeting other mums going through the same wonderful but tough times is a great way to get a boost.
By Lucinda Hutton, from Nurturing Mums
I run Nurturing Mums postnatal courses, currently in North London & St Albans and soon to be South London and beyond. Our practical, non-judgemental five week postnatal courses give you the opportunity to make friends & get expert advice on sleep, weaning, first aid & baby development.
Usually £120 – there is a 15% discount for anyone who is signed up to The Motherload® Amazing Mailout, where you will get you discount code for nurturingmumsuk.com. Perfect for mums with babies 0-9m and booking is essential. I started running Nurturing Mums as although antenatal support is fantastic; it’s once you’ve had your baby that you have SO many more questions. Our experts give you practical advice that you can take away and put into practice. There’s no judgement – just friendship, support and guidance. We’d love to see you at a course very soon.
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