I remember the moment I went into labour with my fourth daughter at 36 weeks gestation like it was just yesterday! Assuming I still had four more weeks to get organised, I was so completely and utterly unprepared.
I had three other small children at home who needed me in varying ways, add to that mix a newborn baby and I can assure you, the struggle was VERY real! Instead of asking for help and support from family and friends, I struggled on my own to “do it all”.
In hindsight, I wish I had prepared for the unexpected, and I wish I had reached out and been comfortable admitting that I needed help and known that I really didn’t have to do it all! Since having my last child and reflecting back on how chaotic it all was, I really wanted to share some ways to help support other Mums in the early days. Mums just like Perlita, who had her baby Theo at just 25 weeks. You can see her story below.
Can you imagine?
5 Ways you can support a new Mum in the early days
Brought to you by Bupa
Offer to help with older children
Knowing you have an extra set of hands at home to help with the older kids is a huge deal. Even if just for a few hours at a time so Dad is able to visit Mum and the new baby at the hospital. This process was so hard for us and we really struggled to have this special time.
Drop off some meals
I know in the early days the last thing I wanted to do was cook for the family. Having someone drop in a few meals would have been so welcomed and it would have been one less thing for me to worry about. An easy way to save time is to make up a double batch of your dinner and drop off the excess in disposable containers or trays.
Offer to pick up baskets of washing to help with any housework
No one likes housework at any time, but it’s a huge struggle when you’re recovering from having a baby and keeping up with all of the other household chores. Offer to pick up any washing that needs to be done and drop it back off clean, dried and folded.
Order some online shopping or drop off essentials
It’s not easy to run to the shops to grab essential items like bread or milk with a newborn and extra kids in tow. When you pick up your own bread or milk, why not grab a bit extra and drop it off on your way home? Better yet, do an online grocery shop for the new parents as a ‘welcome home to Mum & baby’ gift! Trust me when I tell you that those parents with older children at home will be so eternally grateful for this thoughtful and practical act of generosity!
Just be there for support
Phone and send text messages letting the new mum know you’re there and to let you know if they need any help. Hormones are all over the place after a new baby and it’s so great to know you have someone to talk to if you ever need it.
I know so many of you will have even more ways and practical suggestions of how we can help new Mums out in the early days – let’s share them with one another!