We all have been there.
That lovely period right after your baby is born. The snuggles are the sweetest, the newborn clothes are darling, the hormones are raging, the entire life routine is thrown off, and the nights are sleepless.
This postpartum period comes at the end of a long journey. We just went through pregnancy, labor and delivery and now we have arrived at this stage. Some of us love it, some of us just can’t wait for it to be over.
But no matter how we are facing this time of our lives, there are several things that I believe EVERY new Mom needs to hear (and some they need to NOT hear!).
- “You are doing a great job”. I cannot tell you how badly we need to hear this one in those first few weeks. Am I doing things right? It seems like there are so, so many opinions out there on the right way to do things and it’s so hard to measure if I’m really doing a good job! Sometimes, we just need to hear that we’re doing a great job, regardless of whether or not that job fits with everyone else’s advice.
- “When can I bring you a meal?”. I’ve learned the hard way that simply asking a new Mom “what can I do to help?” usually doesn’t result in an action. Instead, saying “when can I bring you a meal?” leaves no room for negotiation. You are showing up and you are helping. And those seven words will make any new Mom (and the new Dad, too!) weep with gratitude.
- A compliment to or about my other children. Having a new baby is an adjustment for everyone in the family, but older siblings often feel very left out. Nothing makes our hearts happier than hearing someone compliment our older children or give them a gift along with the baby gift. It also helps to hear compliments to us about our older children. We need to hear that we’re doing a good job raising them, too!
- Refrain from sharing your horror stories. It’s hard enough being awake all night long. Please don’t tell us that your oldest didn’t sleep through the night until two years old. Even if that IS the truth, it’s just not helpful to us as new Moms. Please refrain from telling us about your return trip to the ER due to uterine bleeding. We’re already wondering what the heck is going on down there and we don’t need your horror stories to scare us even more.
- Refrain from making your comments only about the mom’s appearance. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten this one: “WOW! You look GREAT!”. While this is really fantastic to hear, it’s also hard to hear over and over and over again. Well, sure…I look great. The last time you saw me, I had a watermelon in my stomach. And since then, I pushed said 7 pound watermelon out of my body, bled profusely and have had the life (literally) sucked out of me. I haven’t slept longer than three hours and every piece of me hurts. I bet I do look like I’ve lost about 15 pounds overnight…because I have! New moms do want to hear that they look great, but let’s be honest..you don’t feel great and after the initial compliment you want to move on to something else… like how great of a job you’re doing keeping this little one alive.
What about you? What was the most helpful thing someone said or did for you when you were a brand new Mom?