8 things you can do for your friend when she has a baby

Photography: Marijke Smith

By Danielle Sainty

The first few months after birth are so special and important for mother and child. The best thing they can be doing is spending time connecting, getting to know each other and making use of all the wonderful hormones still circulating around.

It is a tragedy when we are not able to do this. There is a great deal of unnecessary pressure for women to get straight back into ‘normal’ life as soon as their baby is born. New mums need uninterrupted time to just be with their baby – the space to connect and fall in love with their baby. By releasing any extra responsibilities or burdens, you can help facilitate this bond.

Here are some ways you can help a new mum.

Go shopping for them
Buy groceries, nappies, toilet paper, laundry detergent, snacks. Whatever they want or need! A friend did this for me when my babe was tiny and my partner was away. I was SO grateful. Especially for those of us practicing baby wearing. Such a simple thing becomes such a horrible nightmare with a newborn. It is total sensory overload for someone so fresh to the world and someone as vulnerable as a new mother. Make sure to ask mum what her preferences are, i.e soap nuts or vinegar instead of laundry liquid.

Take over a healthy meal or lactation cookies
Cook a beautiful and healthful meal for mum. Perhaps even a few to put in the freezer. If there is no-one else to cook, a new mum will often go without eating which isn’t going to help with recovery or breastmilk production. Try baking lactation cookies to help with milk flow.

Offer to hold baby while showering
You don’t realise how great it is to have 15 stress-free minutes to shower and groom until you become a mum. Holding the baby or watching over them while they sleep is super helpful and appreciated by a mum who possibly hasn’t had the time to peacefully shower for days. If the baby becomes upset and mum’s shower is cut short, offer to brush her hair.

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