FAMILIES' GUIDE TO HELPING A NEW MOMMY (2 of 4)

>> Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If you've had your own kids, these ideas may come naturally. But if you haven't, you might want a few tips on how to make NEW MOMMY's life a little easier.

  1. Ask her how long she wants you to be with her in the hospital each day. And when you visit, BE QUIET! If she's resting, be vigilant to keep noises down.  Right now she's not sleeping deeply, because she's too attuned to every sound from BABY. The slightest rustle can jar NEW MOMMY from the rest she desperately needs.
  2. Make sure the refrigerator is fully stocked. Ask what she wants to eat - her cravings and tastes may have changed drastically in the hours since giving birth, especially if she was nauseated during late pregnancy.
  3. Take your phone calls outside. Keep the atmosphere calm and relaxed. Don't stress her out about your private troubles.
  4. If this isn't NEW MOMMY's first baby, help babysit the older child(ren). Keep them quiet, occupied and happy. Make sure she doesn't have to worry about their well-being. And offer to take the baby now and then so that NEW MOMMY can spend a little quality time with the older one(s), too. 
  5. Just sit. Be there with her. Don't feel pressured to entertain or be entertained. Your presence and support is the most valuable thing. 
  6. Keep your advice to yourself. Don't overwhelm her with opinions, ideas, and stories. Tell her that if she needs help she is welcome to ask you, and then let her explore this new journey on her own a little. 
  7. MAKE HER REST. She might feel guilty that everyone is doing things that are normally "her job". She may be so jittery that she can hardly calm down and relax. Give her permission to go rest. Assure her that you've got it under control. She will probably jump awake at every sound baby makes - so if you take BABY so she can nap, be sure to have BABY far enough away that NEW MOMMY can't hear any crying or noises.
  8. After a couple of weeks, offer to sleep over and care for the baby overnight. Or offer to take baby to your house overnight if that works. This can work even if mommy is breastfeeding. You just take care of everything else and bring baby to her for feeding. Or, ask mommy to pump enough milk for overnight and feed the baby with a bottle.
  9. Love on BABY and on NEW MOMMY a whole lot. Keep fights or family arguments on the back burner. Set aside old issues. Do whatever it is she wants - she'll appreciate you for it forever.
  10. Last, but not least, don't criticize NEW MOMMY's parenting choices. If she wants to give baby a binkie and you think they're ridiculous, keep it to yourself. If she wants baby to sleep in a crib from day one and you did something different, don't bring it up. The more you criticize her decisions (unless she's endangering her child), the more likely she is to just wish you'd leave. 

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© Sarah K. Asaftei, 2009 unless otherwise sourced. Use allowed by express written permission only.

1 comments:

Sarah March 31, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

#10-Amen to that one whole heartedly!!!
love this list! hehe!

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