First time moms, like Duchess Kate, feel very overwhelmed. Their body rhythms are completely changed. They are getting accustomed to the art of breastfeeding, fussy babies, lack of sleep and high levels of anxiety. So when you’re visiting a work colleague or friend who has just had a baby, here are tips that new moms would really appreciate.
- Don’t be offended if mom doesn’t want company for a few weeks. Give her time to settle in to this new phase of her life. I felt like the “night of the living dead” for the first 6 weeks of my children’s early days of their infancy.
- When you visit, bring muffins/cookies. Mom has been too busy with other chores to be thinking of baking for company. Offer to make the tea/coffee, too. Excuse the messiness of the home.
- Unless she knows you well, don’t ask intimate questions about the delivery. And especially refrain from sharing your own or someone else’s horror stories.
- Keep your visit short – under 30 minutes – as mom needs her sleep while Junior gets his/her days & nights figured out. If you stay longer, plan on doing a load of laundry, wash some dishes and help tidy up the living room while mom goes to nap. You get the point??
- Bringing a meal that either can be cooked that day or frozen is a wonderfully thoughtful gesture.
- Keep your germs at home, please.
- If you’re bothered by breastfeeding, then don’t arrange a home visit. And while we’re on the subject, if a mom needs to bottle feed her baby, keep critical comments to yourself. I had to bottle feed my babies and I was amazed at the rude stares from people.
- Your well-intentioned advice isn’t helpful unless the mom asks you. Rashes are common for newborns and vaginal births cause misshapen heads. Now you know, so don’t mention it.
So what should a well-intentioned visitor be doing or saying? According to Dr. Richard So, pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, he says, “Ninety percent is just reassuring the new mother that she’s doing the right things, that she’s not going to harm her baby. All a new baby needs to do is eat, sleep, poop and grow.” I would agree that the most important is baby’s “plumbing”, definitely!!
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