When you’re newly postpartum it’s likely that the people in your life are going to want to help in some way so your transition into new parenthood is a smooth one. If you’re pregnant and gearing up for your new baby, it can be hard to predict what sort of support you might need postpartum,
but it can be almost as hard to try to figure out what you want and need when you’re in the middle of the early newborn days.
If you’ve ever been overwhelmed, sleep deprived, underfed and sore at the same time, and then someone asks you: “How can I help?” – it can be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. We always suggest having a loose plan for postpartum support so you can take advantage of the help that’s being offered without becoming even more overwhelmed.
Here are some ways your friends and family can help support you in your postpartum recovery:
- Bringing food. Use a service like MealTrain.com to coordinate meal deliveries from family and friends so your meals are taken care of. You can also ask your family and friends to bring special snacks or something that you’re craving (breastfeeding hunger is a whole new beast).
- Taking care of pets. If you’ve got pets, they’re probably going to be getting a little less attention than they might have had after the arrival of a new baby. You can ask your family and friends to take the dog for a walk, change the cat’s litter box and give some extra love to your furry companions while you’re taking care of yourself and your newborn.
- Household chores. Just because you bring home a new baby doesn’t mean the daily and weekly household tasks cease to exist. Check out this list of chores you can ask your family and friends to help you with.
- Hanging out with your older children.The transition of a new baby can be impactful to your other kids no matter how old they are. Having your helpers hang out at home with your older kids, or take them out for lunch or some playground time will help your kiddos get some quality 1:1 adult time (as well as some time away from a crying newborn).
- Rides and accompaniment to appointments. As if it’s not stressful enough to just be at home with a newborn, there are many early appointments for mom and newborn. Getting out of the house can be stressful, and lots of partners don’t get an adequate amount of parental leave, so moms are left to get themselves and their newborns (plus the rest of their kids) to and from these appointments. Some moms have an easy time with this, but you might find that you’d prefer someone to drive you and be with you during these appointments as a support person.
- In-person emotional support. Sometimes in those early days all you might want is someone to come sit with you without an agenda. Having a friend come sit with you during the witching hour, or during an early morning feed where you can talk about your birth, your worries, what’s exciting and feel connected to the outside world. (Ideally you’d ask someone who is mellow and is good at sitting still).
- Holding the baby (only if you really, really want that). After your baby is born, you might want to hold them close and barely have anybody even looking at them. Or you might be the type to gladly hand over your baby to a visitor. Neither situation is better than the other. If you are comfortable enough with a visitor that you’d like your baby to be held by them, you might be able to take a full shower, squeeze in a nap, or enjoy an entire cup of coffee or tea out in the sunshine.
- Text message/ phone call support. Sometimes in the early hours, a nap or in the middle of the night– you just need someone to chat with. Maybe it’s about baby stuff, but maybe you just want to stay connected to life outside your changing little world right now. Having a lineup of people to chat with is a really helpful way to receive support.
- Contributing funds to your support team. Not everybody can take time off of work to drop off a lasagna or walk your dog. Not everyone can fly across the country to hang out with you at 2am. But one thing your family and friends can do, no matter where they live, is contribute to your professional support team. When you create a registry with BeHerVillage, it makes it easy for your family and friends to give funds as a way to show their love and support before and after the arrival of your new baby. These funds can be used to pay for a birth doula, a postpartum doula, childbirth education classes, lactation specialists, meals, mental health providers and literally anything else you might want or need during this special time.
So when you’re getting close to your due date and your MIL, bestie, sister or favorite coworker starts asking you “How can I help?” send them your BeHerVillage registry link and then send them this blog post. It’ll mean less brain power spent delegating, answering questions and figuring out how to support yourself.
BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.
Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!