10 Ways to Truly Help New Moms


Your friend just had a baby- now what? A new baby is exciting for so many people, and yet we find that when asked mothers often feel lonely, confused and overlooked. Postpartum is a time full of tremendous change in identity, routine, and any sense of normalcy. Then, add in a lack of sleep, painful recovery factors, and learning several new skills. We must come together to support moms in this time. So, how do you support a friend or loved one who is in the midst of new motherhood? As someone who recently had a baby, I’ve compiled a list to help guide you. (And for the record, I would consider “new mom” as anyone having a new baby- whether it’s their first or fifth.) 

1. Pick up Her Groceries
Between Clicklist, Instacart, and Target pick-up, shopping has never been easier. Mom (or dad) can use an app to place the order and you can go to the store to retrieve it AND THEN, bring it all in and make sure it gets put away.

2. Take Her Other Children to Play for the Day
If the family with a new baby also has older siblings, it can be a huge transition for everyone and especially wearing on the mom who, overnight, is learning to balance in a whole new way. Not only will taking the kids out give mom some time to bond with baby (and maybe even sleep when the baby sleeps!) but it will help the other children feel special and get out for some fun.

3. Give Her an Open Invitation to Your Listening Ear
I’m not sure what it is about women, but we tend to fear being a burden on others. Give mom a true open invitation to your listening ear. This might be you swinging by to cozy up on the couch and talk over tea, meeting mom and baby for coffee during a nap or staying in contact over the phone. (I recommend Marco Polo for this. You can send video clips back and forth and watch them and respond when you’re able. This is more personal than a text message, but still has flexibility.)

4. Take Pictures of Her and the Baby/Family in “Real” Moments 
Maybe the family arranged to have professional photos taken, but we all know there is something truly special about the day to day moments. Capture the way she looks at the baby. Capture the time she figures out how to get the baby carrier on and try a new task. With her permission, capture the beauty that is a new body and a messy house and give her the chance to look back one day and see the short, sweet, and challenging season she came through.

new baby
Photo: @alishaskeelphotography

5. Bring Lunch and Eat it with Her
If you are able, swinging by in the middle of the day can be such a treat. For the majority of women, their partners are returning to work after a few short weeks. This leaves her home through the day alone. Dinners are also excellent, but connecting with mom in the middle of a long day can do wonders.

6. Pampering (with or without Baby)
Let’s face it, postpartum doesn’t always feel the most glamorous. Some days we are lucky to get a shower. Mom still deserves to feel pampered and it’s a fun chance to get out together. If the baby is a good napper, she can probably squeeze in a pedicure during the nap. If she wants to get out without the baby, talk with her partner and arrange for a couple of hours out! help new moms with a pedicure

7. Bring up Topics That Aren’t Baby Related
Humans crave connection. Most likely, mom finds herself talking about feedings and naps and she could really use a good adult conversation. Ask her questions. Tell her stories. Use big words for bonus points.

8. Organize a Meal Train
There’s no question about it- momma needs to eat. Whether she is planning to breastfeed or not, her body is working to adapt to a new season and that requires nutrition. The last thing a mom needs to do is use her brain space to think about what to make for herself and the family and then use her energy to cook up a meal. Mealtrain.com is free and super easy. Ask her for email addresses of her friends and family or use social media to connect and ensure that food is pouring into the home. (Also I suggest making a note to participants that the family may not be ready for visitors. Set the expectation that food is being provided to help the family and it’s not necessarily a time to pop in and visit unless that’s what mom REALLY wants. We don’t want mom feeling pressure to clean the house or do her hair.)

9. Clean/Disinfect. Laundry. Dishes. Floors.
There should be a universal rule that these things halt for a few weeks after a new baby, but it doesn’t work that way. Ask mom what she is comfortable with you taking over. Also, volunteer to help disinfect before or after the new baby comes home. We know moms want to keep the germs away and this is a way you can help!

10. Set up New Baby Items help set up a baby nursery
It can be a lot of fun to set up the nursery and baby items before the baby comes, but it’s not until the baby comes home that mom really can figure out how to optimize. Maybe it’s helping her set up and use that new breast pump that’s still in the box, or perhaps it’s finding the most convenient place for the baby swing. Whatever it is, you can help assemble and find a good place that works best for the family. 

A new baby is one of the most exciting and yet transitional things that can happen in our lives. Let’s continue to support families by going above and beyond to support our mom friends.