10 Things a Postpartum Mom (REALLY) Wants.

I had a baby girl three months ago. She is my second child, with a six year gap between the two. It’s safe to say I was pretty far removed from newborn life. I have been SO blessed to have had so much support in my “fourth trimester” this time around. From 0-12 weeks, baby is transitioning to life outside the womb, and mom is trying to get to know a brand new person who is likely making life a lot harder than it was.

Do you know a friend/coworker/relative/deserving stranger who is about to have/just had a baby? Do you want to help? Maybe don’t bother spending your money on (more) cute tiny outfits. There are plenty of less expensive options that are worth WAY MORE to a new mom. Allow me to enlighten you on what I think postpartum moms REALLY wish for.

1 | Baby holding

It seems simple but ohmygosh this is invaluable. If you hold the baby, she can NAP. Or take a shower. Or maybe even blow dry her hair. Just go over and take the baby and tell her to do whatever she wants until baby is hungry again.

2 | Meals

Mom may be able to live off of spoonfuls of Biscoff butter and random handfuls of mixed nuts, but the rest of her house is hungry and guess who ISN’T making dinner a week after a C-Section? Please bring hearty meals that husbands/partners/visitors/older children can easily pop in the oven or even better, something ready to eat. And Starbucks. Always bring Starbucks.

3 | Disposable dishes and cutlery

The same Mom who isn’t making dinner, also isn’t doing dishes. This is not eco-friendly, but who really cares. Being able to throw away all the things is amazing.

4 | Entertaining of the other kid(s)

An older sibling is excited and well behaved for the first five minutes and then it’s a lot of attention seeking chaos for awhile. They are used to being the center of attention and they will do just about anything to re-earn that title. Go over and play Legos with him, take him on a walk, or let him read you a book. He needs the attention, and Mom just can’t even right now. While you’re at it, offer to take the other kid(s) to school or the bus stop. I can’t even tell you how much help that ALONE was, for me.

5 | A basket of healthy and convenient snacks/drinks

This is an extra bonus for breastfeeding moms because those munchies are no joke. However, ANY mom needs something close by that she can grab and eat quickly because I can tell you that many a day have passed where I didn’t eat because I couldn’t put a baby down long enough to think about it.

6 | Laundry folding

This turned out to be one of the toughest things to get to. For some reason, I could manage a lot of some things but folding the laundry just wasn’t happening. Maybe because it builds so quickly and my particular newborn wouldn’t allow me to do pretty much any chore that couldn’t be done in 4-5 minutes.

7 | Babysitting for date night

She. Needs. This. Even if she is just going a block away to have coffee with her husband for an hour, go sit with the baby so she can have a grownup conversation with her right hand man. It’s no secret that a new baby takes every ounce of energy leaving you feeling like you haven’t had any time for your spouse. A new mom needs to feel loved and supported by her partner and have some time to recharge that dynamic now and then. The coaches of a winning team need time to game plan! My recommendation is at least once every other week. If she’s a single mom- give her a date night with her bestie.

8 | Errand running

Her list is building. She needs groceries, stamps, to make a bank deposit… who knows what else. First of all, if she had a C-Section, she isn’t allowed to drive for two weeks. Secondly, well, it’s a pain to get a newborn and possibly more kids in and out of the car etc.

9 | WINE.

Do it.

10 | Words of affirmation

Tell her she’s awesome. Make sure she knows you haven’t forgotten about her three weeks later when the hype dies down. Validate that being a new mom again is hard. Keep texting her over the weeks and make sure she is practicing self care and not forgetting about her needs. Let her know you are there for her. Sometimes one encouraging text from another mom was all I needed to make it through the day.

So. If you are going to visit a new mom postpartum, bring one of these ten gifts with you. Most of them cost zero dollars and would be appreciated more than you could know. You don’t have buy someone a maid service, mobile massage therapist, or postpartum doula to be a blessing. (Don’t get me wrong, if you have urges to throw down loads of cash- those things are awesome…)

I was beyond taken care of by friends and family and I had each one of those ten things given to me, some of them multiple times. Don’t let a new mom refuse your help. Go over anyway and HELP. HER.

You’re welcome.

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  • Reply
    Kris (The Bitching Ninja)
    November 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    All good advice.

  • Reply
    Kris (The Bitching Ninja)
    November 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    All really good advice. I had my last in a foreign country and little to no support. It was hard. I did have a few friends nearby but they had their own multitude of kids to care for.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      These things were so invaluable to me! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • Reply
    Wild Date Night & Weekly Reads | A Healthy Slice of Life
    November 20, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    […] friend Rachel (whose little boy just turned 1 month old!) shared Katie’s post on 10 things a postpartum mom really wants when I asked her if she had any good ideas on things I could bring to a friend. It’s amazing […]

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    Tami @ Have My Cake
    November 21, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    This is a perfect list!!! I’m due with my 2nd in 5 weeks and all of those things sound much more perfect than anything store bought…except maybe the wine 😉

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 2:25 am

      Thanks for reading! I thought it was oh so perfect. 🙂

  • Reply
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    February 11, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    […] Huffington Post published an old blog post of mine that was originally published here, titled 10 Things a Postpartum Mom (Actually) Wants. (You can check it out now if you want some […]

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I’m pretty sure you’re my postpartum soulmate. I couldn’t agree more with these. I don’t need another newborn outfit (she already has 600). I don’t need you to come over, sit around saying how cute she is, and not help. I really need sleep, premade snacks (because honesty, who has time to eat with a newborn much less fix a snack), and someone to wash the spit rags and wrangle these tiny socks and newborn mittens all over my house. Preach it sister.

  • Reply
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    March 3, 2016 at 2:43 pm

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  • Reply
    Stacey Shoemaker
    March 9, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Right on. I. Get. It.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I just discovered your blog! This post is amazing and oh-so-true! I have a good friend giving birth to her third in a couple months and this is a GREAT reminder of things I can do that will actually help her!

    • Reply
      April 11, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!

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