So few people stop to recognize the mother when there is a new baby, but her needs are just as important as his! What is best for baby is a happy and healthy mother who is capable of nurturing him. Here is a list of things that new mothers need. These are not just nice ideas, they are essential for her timely recovery!
- Recognition for the huge mountain she has just moved. Birth is an enormous event in a woman’s life. It doesn’t matter which way baby has come into the world, a mother needs to be recognized for having created new life and for having given birth.
- Time to recover. A new mother needs to be supported so that she can recover physically. The more rest she gets in the beginning, the quicker her body will be able to recover. This is not the time for entertaining guests. Help with household responsibilities like cooking and cleaning is important. Visitors should keep their visits short and sweet and not expect to be waited on!
- Validation of her struggles. If she had a traumatic birth, is having trouble breastfeeding, is battling with sleep deprivation or any of the other myriad of things that can plague a new mother, she might need to express her feelings. Don’t try to get her to look on the bright side, she needs someone to accept that this is how she feels.
- Non-Judgmental Support for her choices Mothers are individuals, who bring to motherhood their unique beliefs, histories and anxieties. Don’t criticize, do offer support and encouragement. Always be gentle with and sensitive to her feelings.
- Skin-to-skin time with her baby encourages bonding during this critical time and breastfeeding helps a mother’s body to recover from birth as well as helping mom and baby to relax.
- Sincere Encouragement. A fragile new mother needs kind words and to know that she is doing well.
- Time alone. A “touched-out” mother might need just fifteen minutes alone to recharge her batteries. Offer to hold the baby for her, so that she can have some time to think of her own needs.
- Good Nutrition. For her recovery, energy and state of mind, a new mother needs to be nourished. Help beyond offering to make a family meal. Bring by nutritious foods that she can grab during the day to fuel her.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Is there anything you wish that you had in hindsight?