Her birth announcement is finally out! Your friend has just given birth to her firstborn, and you’ve been waiting for this day ever since the moment she told you that she was expecting. You have so been looking forward to sharing the joys and challenges of motherhood with one of your dearest friends, and you can’t wait to meet her bundle of joy. But before you show up at her hospital room with flowers, fruits, and lots of well-meaning (however unsolicited) advice, here are 5 ways you can show some love to your new mama friends…without adding to the stress she might already be experiencing.
1. Before you visit, ask. And when you visit, don’t linger (unless she asks you to!).
You know your friend best. Is she an extravert, who would might as well be hosting a party in her hospital room and be offended if you don’t attend? Or is she an introvert, who would prefer to spend her first few days as a mom recovering her delivery in peace and quiet, as well as getting to know her newborn?
Never show up at a new mom’s hospital room or home unannounced. Ask her husband if she is REALLY ready to receive guests, and when the best time would be for you arrive would be . And if you show up at a bad time, please understand if she accidentally falls asleep mid conversation, or if she asks you to leave the room so that she can nurse her baby in private. If you are lucky and she is able to entertain you, be sensitive and pay attention to her non verbal cues. She may just be entertaining you to be polite, and is actually already desperate to get back into bed.
2. Give her a hug, or just be there.
Some women respond very well to physical touch. There’s nothing quite like a warm bear hug from a trusted friend to make a weary and anxious spirit feel at peace. If she’s not the affectionate type, make your presence felt just by being there. Sometimes, new motherhood can get lonely, and adult company is what your new mama friend might need to redeem a bad day.
3. Get her a push present.
This is your friend’s birthday as a mom! To celebrate her hard work, bring her something you know she likes–flowers, food, a new book, or her favorite lipgloss. Anything you think will put a smile on her face, during these first few (and very difficult) days as a new mom. Whatever her love language may be, finding joy in receiving presents is universal!
4. Talk and listen.
Whether on the phone or in person, remember to be nothing but encouraging and positive to your new mama friend. She doesn’t need any new reasons to be stressed, or scared. She needs to be told that the difficult days pass, that she CAN pull through, and that she was built for whatever challenges she may be experiencing as a new mom. But first, listen to her. Let her pour her heart out to you….and if she isn’t ready to do that yet, let her know that you are there when you need her to be.
5. Offer to do things for her.
One of the most difficult things to do as a new mom is to ask for help so the key for good friends is to offer. Does she need meals? Help with her laundry? Someone to cover for her at work? These simple acts of service make a world of a difference for the new mom who is overwhelmed and exhausted. If you give her one less thing to think about while she navigates the newness of nursing and changing diapers, she will love you forever for it.
Every woman is different and experiences the postpartum season in her own unique way. When we love our friends, we should always be thinking of their needs, and not our own. If we are not discerning about our relationships, we might be doing more harm to those we want to help than good….even if our intentions are noble.
For more advice on how to be a good friend, click here: