Having a child is an exhausting event. Due to insurance regulations, many women have extremely short hospital stays and are back home in an incredibly short amount of time.
When I had my first child, I was out of the hospital 12 hours after delivering her. I remember being very overwhelmed as I was so tired, and our family lived far away. I was tired, overwhelmed, and had a newborn who needed care as well. I’m happy to report that we all survived, but I learned a lot from that time period. If you have a friend or family member who just had a child, here are some practical ways to help them during the first few weeks.
Help With The Housework
Ask if you can help with the housework. Things like laundry and dishes always need to be done. With a new baby, there will be plenty of laundry! If your friend is bottle feeding, there will be plenty of bottles to wash too.
Make a Meal
This is a great way to help out during those first few weeks. Make a casserole or your favorite meal and drop it off at the house for your friend and her family to enjoy. Just be sure to check to make sure if they have any food allergies or other issues before you cook the meal.
Schedule and Outing
If your friend has older children, it might be nice to offer to take them out for a few hours. Both your friend and her children will appreciate this. Many times, when a new sibling is brought home, it is a difficult time for the older siblings who may feel left out. While you are out with the older children, your friend can hopefully catch some rest if the newborn sleeps.
Offer To Do Errands
If your friend has just had a c-section, or a difficult birth, she may not be able to drive for some time. This could be a real hardship, especially if her husband(or partner) travels frequently with work, or is away in the military.
You could offer to take her grocery shopping or you could take her to any doctor appointments that she or the baby may have.
Offer To Listen
One of the best things you can do is offer to listen. Many new moms feel overwhelmed with the burdens of having a child; some get depressed. You can assure your friend that you are only a phone call away and that she can call if she needs help or encouragement. Even if you live a good distance away from your friend, you can still support her in this way.
Helping your friend is a great way to show her that you care, and that she and her baby are important to you. Even though the above suggestions will cost a little and will take a minimal amount of time to do, they will mean a lot to your friend!