To visit or not to visit: it’s a tricky call when a friend or family member has just had a baby. Some women like to be left alone, others are so very appreciative of some adult company and a little help. Either way you’ll know what’s appropriate for your friend, sister, neighbour, daughter etc.
One thing is for sure, if you do get the honour of visiting a mama in the first precious few weeks of birthing don’t show up and expect her to make you tea and look after YOU. If you have children of your own, in the early weeks, consider leaving them at home for now – but again, you will know the new mama best to make that decision
If you’re really not sure whether it’s okay to visit, don’t. Instead, cook a beautiful meal, some healthy snacks or a flask of decaf chai/chamomile and leave it on the front doorstep, then send her a text to let her know it’s there. The gesture will be greatly appreciated and there will be no risk of intrusion at such a precious, blessed time.
Here are things that visitors have done that our new mums have really appreciated:
- Bring a meal or three.
- Or be the one who organises a meal roster for a week or two: this is invaluable to any new mum – here’s how to put together a roster.
- Offer to hang out with the new bubba while Mama has a shower (if that is what she would like)
- If you are a family member, clean her house from top to bottom for her while she is gone having her baby, or when she is in another room if she’s had a home birth.
- Text Mama before you arrive to see if you can pick any groceries up on the way
- Keep the visit short unless Mama insists you stay (read the signs…)
- Put a load of washing on, wash-up, tidy some things away, vacuum (whatever is appropriate – you be the judge) – preferably while she’s in another room so she doesn’t feel awkward
- Put the kettle on and make the both/all of you a cup of tea. Bring healthy morning/afternoon tea. Note: If Mama asks you what you’d like to drink, tell her you’ll sort it and ask HER what she’d like to drink – then make it while she rests.
- Offer to take older children out for a special day out
- If she has pets, offer to take the dog for a walk, feed the cat, put fresh water out etc
- Leave a flask of herbal tea/meal/snacks on her front doorstep, leave, then text her to let her know it’s there
- Bring some meals to pop in the freezer
- If you have the budget organise a nappy service/cleaner for the first few of weeks or whatever you can afford
- Bring a hamper of fruit, healthy snacks and treats.
- Be careful in offering advice. Wait for her to ask.
- If you or your children have colds/gastro/any kind of sick-y bug, please don’t visit!
- Tell her she can ask you for help if she needs it – that SuperMum is a myth – that you’re here for her
- Ask her if there is anything else you can do before you leave.
Did you have a wonderful visitor? What did they do?
The best thing anyone did for me when I had a newborn was make me a ‘new mum lucky-dip’. It was a brown paper bag filled with little goodies like chocolates, tea, trashy magazines, hand lotion etc, each wrapped up. I had instructions that if I was having a bad day, as soon as the baby was settled I was to sit down and open a present and have half an hour (or as long as I could take) to look after myself. It was just what I needed!
I had so many wonderful friends drop in and bring meals, fold my laundry, do the dishes, play with my older daughter, keep me company…it made my life SO much easier! I will never be grateful enough. x
I had a friend drop off a big box of fresh fruit with some crackers and dips and gourmet snacky things like stuffed olives and pepperdews and little chocolates. So lovely. She just dropped them off and ran and it was so good to have them right there and I could eat one-handed.