Having a child is a life changing event, no matter if the child is your first, or your fifth child. Decades ago, when people were less transient, new mothers had a strong support network which included family and friends. This support network helped reduce the stresses that parenting an infant brings.
How do you support your friend after the birth of her child? How do you support your friend even if you no longer live close enough to drive to her house to support her in person? There are quite a few ways to be supportive, even if your friend is no longer local.
Offer To Help With Chores
For some women, especially those with large families, it can seem overwhelming to care for an infant as well as the many household chores. One of the best ways to support your friend is to simply help her with the wash and the dishes.
Depending upon the circumstances of the birth, many moms may not be able to go up and down stairs, or lift heavy items. These restrictions may make things like laundry, very difficult. If your friend has a spouse who travels, or is in the military, he may not even be able to be home to help during this postpartum period.
If you no longer live locally, you can perhaps pay for your friend to hire someone to help with the chores.
Offer To Help With Meals
When I had my older children, we lived in a community that had a “Sunshine Club”. The club volunteers made meals for families in the community after the birth of a baby, among other things. I remember getting a week of meals after the births of my daughters and I really appreciated not having to cook or plan meals for that week.
If you can not drop a meal off in person, perhaps you can order a pizza for your friend(you can do this online in many cases), or get a gift certificate for a restaurant with take out and delivery service! Your friend will surely appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Help With The Child Care Chores
If your children are still quite small, it can be very stressful and tiring to have a new baby. I remember having 4 children under the age of 6 at one time and I know how tiring it can be to have a child when your other children are still quite small.
If your friend is in a situation like this, you can offer to help with child care duties. This will free your friend to rest or just to worry about taking care of the new baby and herself. If your friend no longer lives close to you, you can offer to help your friend hire a babysitter to help out with child care, or perhaps pay for daycare or preschool for her older children.
In our area, there is a large military population which means that many men are deployed while their wives birth their child. In order to help, one daycare offers a postpartum package. New mothers can drop off their older children for care while they rest and recover from delivery. Perhaps your community has such a service.
These are just a few ways to help your friend. Do you have any other suggestions for readers? Please post.