If you’re wondering how to best support the postpartum mom in your life, you’re not alone. This is a time especially difficult for new grandmas: the urge to buy something for her that she can keep forever to mark her first Mother's Day is a beautiful idea. If you can afford it, go ahead!
She’ll be consumed with her new baby. She’ll also be experiencing the highs and lows of her hormones trying to balance out after giving birth. So, don’t expect too much from her. But- there are some things you can do!
With all of my experience, there's something I know a lot about: what moms want and need. So put these on your list!
8 Things to Gift a New Mom on her First Mother's Day
1. Give her the gift of sleep
Ok, duh. If you ask a new mom how she’s doing, she’ll most likely say I’m TIRED. She doesn’t need another pair of slippers or an Instant Pot. She needs a nap. It’s easy for you to show up and watch the baby so she can get a couple of hours of rest.
If you want to really turn this into the gift that keeps on giving, give her a calendar with all of the days and times you can pay her a "rest visit". Don't be shy with this! It's truly a wonderful gift for a new mama.
2. Do some laundry
Balancing the demands of a newborn, exhaustion and recovering from birth doesn't come as naturally to some new moms. Be willing to throw a load of laundry in while you're vising, or even take it home and deliver it back fresh and folded.
3. Make her a meal
The next time you’re making pies, cookies or a casserole make an extra one for the new mom in your life. She is exhausted and getting to know a new human and healing from childbirth. This is especially true if she has any other kids! You could also cook up something while you're visiting.
4. Walk her dog
Dogs take a lot of attention and exercise and when they don't get it, they start to become troublesome. Help the new mom in your life by offering to walk the dog every day or so while she's consumed with her new life as a mama.
5. Be practical when you’re buying her a gift
She really could use the gift of a cleaning service, healthy meal delivery service, a lactation consultant or a postpartum doula. Most local service businesses offer gift certificates so she can work out the details. No amount of support right now is too much.
(If you want an amazing gift to give her while she's pregnant, these are some favourites around here!)
6. Ask her if she needs anything picked up
If you’re going out, let her know and offer to pick things up for her! She will probably LOVE that you're saving her a trip to the store with a newborn. If you know she has a favourite food or snack- pick it up and surprise her with it!
7. Ask her how she's really doing
Actively listening to the new mom in your life goes a long way. Ask her how she's feeling, physically and emotionally.
- Be interested in what she has to say.
- Be empathetic to what she's experiencing.
- Avoid trying to solve her problems.
- Don't give her your advice.
She spends her days worrying about someone else now and this is probably new for her- don't minimize her experience or say things to her like, "Oh you just wait until he can walk!".
(RELATED: if you think she may be feeling down, have her take this test for perinatal mood disorders)
8. Cut her some slack
If a mama is rockin’ the 4th trimester, she’s laser-focused on her baby: bonding, feeding and caring for a newborn is stressful! She may not seem excited to be around other people and it's probably because she's very distracted with her new life and identity.
Sometimes all a mama really needs is permission from her family and friends to take it easy this year. The greatest gift you can give her this year is communication. Encourage her to keep focusing on her newborn and her postpartum recovery. Tell her she's doing a great job. Support her as she experiences the highs and lows of postpartum.
Most of all, make her first Mother's Day special by showing her how much you care.