Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Do's & Don'ts on how to help your friend with a newborn

 A year ago I was in the thick of new mommyville which basically means, hormonal changes mixed in with lack of sleep, an insane appetite and a beautiful crying baby. During this time, I was depleted. All of my energy went into making sure my little one was getting the right amount of breast milk and if you have ever breast feed you will know that this is not such an easy task since you can't measure it...well, you could if you pumped, but ya know what I mean.

Growing a little one was such an amazing experience and now this little one was out and you were its only source of help. Sounds intense right? Well, it is and for a new mom that can be and was for me an overwhelming time. So, I wanted to write a list of Do's and Don'ts for helping your new mommy friend because rather you have never had any children or you may have forgotten what it was like during those early weeks this list is for you!

DO: Send a text message congratulating the birth of the little one. Please don't wait for her to text you because you could be waiting a while since she may think she already sent you one. If you want a picture text dad for it!

DON'T: Come to the hospital to see her. Unless you are family no one wants to be seen after the hours of either labor or after having your guts ripped open, but if you insist do so that first day while the pain meds are still in affect.

DON'T: Send flowers. They are expensive and the smell may be too much to handle. Instead cook a meal that new mama can freeze or a gift card for some food would be an awesome idea and just as expensive as the flowers!

DO: Tell mom what a fabulous job she is doing. She totally feels like she has no idea what the heck she is doing, but assurance can be soo positive.

DO: Lend her your non-judgemental ear. Just listen and cry with her when you see fit. Soon enough you will have your normal friend, sister, or wife back...soon...
DON'T: Hound mother to come by her house to see the baby as soon as they are home from the hospital. Mama is under a lot of pressure trying to figure out how she is now going to get back to "normal" and she isn't there just yet for entertaining. Wait a month. I know some of you are just gasping at the thought, but the visit will be soo much better if you wait and give mama. This one is the biggest one for me personally. I felt this enormous pressure to please everyone and felt bitchy if I said I just wasn't feeling up to it, but I just wasn't. My boobs were killing me so the thought of having a bra on was dreadful. The baby nursed for hours all the time so visited consisted of me faking a smile while my little one sweated under a nursing cape. Plus, I had no time to get ready. I was lucky if I had time to brush my teeth in those early weeks. So, my advice give mama some time.

DO: Tell mama to go shower while you hold the baby. When you do finally meet the little one offering to hold them while mama gets a free minutes to herself will be the BEST GIFT EVER! If you come by once a week for this sole purpose you will be written into her will. Trust me.

DO: Tell her she looks wonderful. Lie if you have to. Every woman expects to lose the baby weight while in the hospital and if you are breast feeding you are totally praying that you become that size 5 that you have always dreamed about. The reality is that after you have your baby, you still look and feel very pregnant. I was shocked. I was horrified. A year later and my body is still not what it was like before even though I weigh less then I did when I got pregnant. Its normal and its ok. Just don't tell that to your new mama friend. Allow her to discover that on her own. Until then she is the most beautiful person ever which isn't really lying. She is pretty amazing. She created and carried a little human for nine months and gave birth to this lovely newborn.

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