Becoming a mother is amazing but it is not a walk in the park. I literally can’t think of a more overwhelming emotional roller-coaster than going through the joy mixed with sheer exhaustion of those first few days home with a new bundle.
As a brand new mom, I was so happy and in love with my new baby, yet completely in over my head at the same time. While nothing can fully prepare you for becoming a parent, support from friends and family in the middle of the crazy transition can be a lifesaver for new Moms.
Here are 20 real and practical ways to show support to a new Mom!
1. Bring Her A Meal
This is number one on my list because it is, in my humble opinion, one of the best if not THEE best way to show a new, recovering mama some love in her postpartum fatigue.
Breastfeeding snacks and goodies are also a godsend. Things like fresh cut fruit and veggies and healthy fats like yogurt and hummus are great snacks new mamas can grab and munch on while nursing or chilling on the couch.
Homemade muffins and baked goodies are also sweet and thoughtful treats that can help them power through the fatigue!
2. Organize A Meal Train
What’s better than one meal? A week of meals!
My husband and I were fortunate enough to have friends from our church organize an entire Meal Train using MealTrain.com and in hindsight I’m pretty sure it’s how we survived the first two weeks home with our baby. (I was healing from surgery and working in the kitchen was pretty unrealistic.)
Consider organizing a Meal Train for a new mom and recruiting fellow friends and fam to bring them meals for a whole week!
Alternatively, some new parents find gift cards to local restaurants, delivery services like GrubHub, and even meal kit deliveries like HelloFresh to be a huge win during their first month adjusting to life with their new little one and really appreciate the options.
3. Make Her A Postpartum Care Gift Basket
Confession time. I’m totally unoriginal. I’m again stealing this idea from a friend who did this for me and it was the sweetest thing ever.
(I wish I were as thoughtful as that!)
It turned out to be one of the greatest gifts anyone brought me as I was recovering and learning how to care for myself postpartum. The gift basket contained everything from Tucks pads and Dermoplast to Burt’s Bees face wipes and chapstick and was in lieu of a traditional shower gift as she couldn’t make it.
I ended up packing it in my hospital bag and loved having the face wipes with me as I couldn’t shower immediately and it felt so refreshing! And I used the chapstick non-stop too. I used up everything else at home and was so grateful for a personal stash of recovery items from an experienced mommy friend.
4. Hold Her Baby
This depends on the circumstances, but if a newborn is particular to being held all of the time and you’re able to spare some time to come hang out and snuggle you can allow her to have a few minutes to herself right at home to shower or make some phone calls or just sit and drink her coffee.
This might be so nice her first few days at home alone on maternity leave after hubby or support system have gone back to work and she’s adjusting to the load.
Which brings me to number 5…
5. Bring Her A Coffee
If she drinks coffee, it’s such a small gift but makes a huge statement that says “I am thinking of you! And…you deserve to be treated!” When you’re covered with spit up and living in sweats and even driving to get coffee is unrealistic a girlfriend bringing over a REAL coffee is a little bit of heaven at home.
Seriously, don’t underestimate the impact REAL coffee will have on a new mama. Especially if she gave it up during pregnancy like me.
If she doesn’t drink coffee same goes for her favorite tea or smoothie. It’s the thought that counts.
6. Support Her Decision To Breastfeed
7. Support Her Decision To Feed Formula
8. Support Her Decisions. Period.
This may come as a shock, but new moms get a lot of unsolicited advice about their personal choices regarding their baby’s feeding habits and sleeping arrangements etc.
While I’m not saying not to talk about things together, do your best to be a true support if she does things differently than you and trust that she is making the best decisions for her and her family! Tell her she is doing a great job!
9. Do the Dishes
If you are close enough to hang out and spend time together, you probably can’t go wrong by offering to do the dishes while over.
And by offering I mean just doing them in case she tries to tell you not to.
If she is pumping or formula feeding and already has tons of bottles and pump parts to deal with this simple act of service can be such a blessing.
10. Provide Company While She Runs Errands
With my first baby, running errands with a newborn was extremely daunting. Offer to tag along and provide company while she runs errands. It will make it so much more fun!
You can lend an extra hand while she is getting the hang of things, or simply use the time to connect and provide her with some adult conversation.
11. Offer To Watch Older Kids
If it’s not mama’s first baby, you can flip the script and offer to watch older kids at home so mama can go run errands alone with the baby. It’s amazing how running errands with a newborn evolves over time from stressful to a relaxing venture when more children are involved!
12. Don’t Forget She Needs Friendship
While the spotlight is on baby because, well, babies, new mamas are often at their most depleted and vulnerable and in desperate need of simple friendship.
While she is probably thrilled to embrace her new role and identity as Mom, don’t let her forget that she is not Mom to you.
Before she was Mom she was your friend, sister, daughter etc. and she will thrive when she gets to continue being seen that way. Though some things may change, be sure to keep offering her your friendship and treating her as her own unique person.
13. Get Her Out Of The House
Do something fun together! See number 12. She may or may not need coaxing but when she is ready she probably needs help planning something fun out of the house.
You know her best. Scheduling an activity she loves may be one of the sweetest things you can do to show her support.
14. Pick Up Her Groceries
Thankfully with all of the new grocery delivery and pickup services, it’s way easier for new moms to keep their kitchens stocked up and avoid huge shopping trips with a newborn. But it’s still so nice when you just have a person drop off that milk and eggs when you really needed them!
Calling a new mama and asking if they’re out of anything before you come over is a simple gesture that goes above and beyond to show your care.
15. Take Pictures Of Her Being An Amazing Mama
A million sweet moments with a new baby often go uncaptured because mama is busy in the moment and because she also may try to reject having her picture taken without makeup.
Remind her how beautiful she is and ask if you can take some pictures to prove it! She’ll be so grateful for them later.
16. Encourage Her
While everything on this list are examples of showing support and encouragement in practical ways, I am a huge believer in old-fashioned words of affirmation!
Verbally encourage her and tell her why you think she is a great mom. Or shoot her a text out of the blue just to say something to encourage her day! Words carry such a huge weight and you can use them to support a new mama.
17. Share Wisdom From The Heart But Give Advice Sparingly
Lord knows I needed wisdom when I was a new mom! And when I received it in a personally encouraging way after opening up to a friend and asking them questions it was a huge gift. But not all advice is what a mom needs to hear in the moment.
When around a new mom you should definitely open up and share from the heart. And when asked for an opinion about something specific that is a great time to share what works or worked for you! However, if not asked, holding back on giving too many tips and opting for simple words of encouragement is a loving way to protect a new mom from over-advice burnout.
The struggle is real!
18. Be Present
Time is so precious. If you have a few moments or a day to spend with a new mama I highly encourage you to be fully present in that time with her.
Put your phone away! Be attentive to her needs and be willing to lend a hand. Enjoy good conversation. Being present and offering quality time is one of the top ways to show support to someone. This really goes for anyone.
19. Ask Her What She Needs
Sometimes when overwhelmed it is hard for someone to even be in touch with their own needs. I certainly experienced this as a new mama! I was in survival mode so when asked the question I quickly replied on auto-pilot “I’m good I don’t need anything!”
I’ve learned better now to never refuse help and to refuse to feel guilty over accepting any such act of service.
I will always be grateful for one friend who gently helped me recognize a time I was doing this and repeated “Ok. It sounds like you don’t feel like you need anything. That’s awesome to hear. How about I rephrase and ask what little extra thing I could do or bring just to brighten your day? I’d really love to do something for you!”
A peanut-butter chocolate shake and some girl talk later I was so grateful I was prodded a little that day. So, please, ask what she truly needs. She probably has a million ideas. But, if she is on top of everything or just completely out of tune with her emotions, start with what will brighten her day just a little. It’s a great low-pressure way to ask what someone needs.
20. Pray For Her
As a woman of faith, I believe in prayer and I believe God sees and cares for us. One of the biggest things I am truly grateful for is all of the prayer I received as new mama.
I needed God’s presence and peace with me more than I have ever felt I needed it while overcoming challenge after challenge our first week home with our baby.
From medical issues to breastfeeding issues, God was with me through it all and I wouldn’t have been able to let go of my anxiety without giving him my trust. I was so moved and grateful for those amazing people who let me know they were praying for me. It demonstrated support in a really beautiful way.
There are no small prayers. If you know a new mama, pray for her! It’s a gift.
Anything you do will make her day!
If you took the time to read this the chances are you really care for those in your life. So from me to you, THANK YOU for taking some time to think about a new mom! She 100% needs it!
I hope you are inspired by these ideas to recognize what an opportunity you have to make a big impact in simple ways.
And if you are a new mom, don’t be shy about reaching out and asking for help. You don’t have to do it alone.
You’ve got this.