7 Tips for Visiting a New Mum
Did your friend recently have a baby and you’re thinking of visiting? Or is your sister-in-law expecting her first child and you’re already planning to visit her in the hospital the minute you get word the baby has arrived? Before you knock on the door of an unsuspecting new mama, familiarise yourself with these unspoken but important guidelines for visiting a new mum.
DON’T invite yourself around. You’d be amazed at just how many people think new mums have nothing to do except sit around waiting for visitors. Nothing could be further from the truth! Before you drop in unannounced, ask her when a good time to visit would be. And visit at a time that is convenient for both her and baby, whether it suits you or not
DO wash your hands. Newborn babies are particularly at risk when it comes to germs, so avoid exposing them to anything potentially harmful. Wash your hands thoroughly before you hold her baby, and if you are sick, stay away.
DO help her out. For most new mums, those first few days at home are something of a blur: Lack of sleep, sore nipples, a crying baby, and hormone levels which leave her feeling anywhere between hysterically happy and sobbing over a pile of washing! It’s not hard to see why housework wouldn’t feature very high on her “to do” list. Take a look around and see what needs to be done. Fold a pile of laundry, vacuum and dust, or stack the dishes in the dishwasher. (Don’t wait to be asked, because she probably won’t)
DO bring her something. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but a thoughtful gesture, something as simple as a bottle of bath oil and a chocolate bar, could lift her spirits. While you’re out shopping, give her a call and find out if she needs anything; something practical like a pack of nappies or grocery essentials like milk and bread are an excellent thing to bring along if she’s finding it hard to get out to the shops or if she’s had a C-section and can’t drive yet.
DO cook a meal. Ask her what she’d like to eat. If in doubt, meals that are quick and easy to reheat are best, in a disposable foil tray or one of those microwaveable plastic containers she doesn’t need to worry about returning to you. Whether you cook a meal or bring her take-out, make it something that she enjoys. Ensure there is enough to feed her family, with leftovers if possible. Don’t stay and eat the meal, even if she is polite enough to offer. Even better, calling by and dropping off a meal at her front door means you avoid intruding on her time, while still providing practical support.
DON’T offer advice. She’s probably heard it all before, so don’t offer advice unless you’re asked for it. Instead, praise her efforts as a mum, compliment her and her baby, and listen to her! She may want to share her birth story or need to offload if she’s having a bad day or feeling overwhelmed. Be a listening ear and fight the temptation to tell her what you think she should be doing.
photo_credit to Little Life Studio