Motherhood is one of the most beautiful and exciting experiences in the world. It can also be downright difficult! Especially in the beginning, moms need the love and support of their partner, family and friends. Here are six ways you can help support a new mom.
Drop off a meal.
There is one thing all moms have to do—eat! She may not want you to do her laundry. She may not ask you to do her grocery shopping. But, she will eat your food—especially if it’s her favorite. A pre-made dinner is the best gift on those days when mom’s exhausted, has been tending to a newborn all day and can’t find the time to prepare a meal.
Help her reach her “mom goals”— like breastfeeding!
Many moms want to breastfeed. It becomes an important goal for her. But once the baby arrives she may run into challenges. If you know it’s important to her, encourage her not to give up and to consult help from a lactation consultant. Helping her find her strength and confidence as a mom is probably the most important and powerful way you can support her. (See below for a full list of resources.)
Remind her she’s more than her new role.
Many moms feel they lose their identity as they transition into motherhood. Moms give their babies a ton of love and they may not leave enough for themselves. Remind her that SHE is just as important as her new baby. Encourage her to spare some moments for herself to do something she loves, something that makes her feel like herself!
Offer to tag along with her and help her find her confidence.
Getting out of the house can feel like an overwhelming task with a new baby. Offer to go with her as she ventures out. Having a buddy with her as she learns to boldly nurse in public or change a diaper almost anywhere can help boost her confidence and set the right tone for her future solo trips.
A new mom may want to gush about all the adorable things her new baby is doing, or may need to vent about her difficulties as she discovers motherhood. If she needs to get some things off her chest, just listen. An open ear, a kind smile and an understanding hug will go a long way.
Remind mom she’s doing a great job.
Being a mom is not as easy as she may make it look. While holding it together, she might feel like it’s all about to fall apart. She may feel like her efforts are being shadowed by the challenges of breastfeeding. She may still be getting used to the responsibility of a new child. Tell her she’s doing a great job! It will mean so much to her that her efforts are noticed and that she’s somehow figuring out this motherhood thing.
Being a mother is one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs in the world. Sometimes it’s hard for a new mom to recognize the rewards because of the many hurdles she faces every day. All new moms have to find out what works for them and their new family but she shouldn’t feel alone in that journey. Be there to offer support, encouragement, a break or just to listen. She deserves it and everyone wins when mom is happy!
Breastfeeding Basics Class: Learn how to prepare for breastfeeding, how to hold your baby, how often and how long to feed, how to avoid common problems and much more.
Breastfeeding Warm Line: Anne Arundel Medical Center’s lactation staff is available to answer any questions you might have about breastfeeding. You can reach our consultants seven days a week via our Warm Line at 443-481-6977. Simply leave a message and they’ll return your call between 9 am and 4 pm the same day. You can also e-mail our lactation staff anytime at email@example.com.
Breastfeeding Support Group: Breastfeeding mothers are welcome to this gathering on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. The group is led by Kim Knight, a board-certified lactation consultant. The group is very informal and welcoming to breastfeeding mothers regardless of experience or degree of commitment. Bring your baby!
Find a Lactation Consultant: A board-certified lactation consultant can help address your breastfeeding concerns or challenges. You can find one in your area through the United States Lactation Consultant Association directory.
Back to Work and Breastfeeding Support Group: Discuss questions and concerns common to nursing moms who returned to work. Share your experiences and hear new ideas on how to continue to work and breastfeed successfully. This group meets the first Friday of every month at the Big Vanilla in Pasadena.
AAMC Smart Parents: Join our Facebook community focused on the journey of parenthood. This is a safe, non-judgmental group to ask questions and get answers from local moms and dads, and AAMC experts.