I felt pretty prepared to give birth to my son.
People warned me: “NOTHING can prepare you for the joys, the sorrows, and the emotional roller coaster of new parenthood.” I even had some warn me of postpartum depression.
I experienced all of that and more- and I wasn’t prepared.
Also, I know for sure that my journey back to my ‘normal’ self would have taken longer if it had not been for the fact that the church my husband pastors intentionally lavished great love and care for me as a pastor’s wife while I was postpartum. (And still do… even though he’s now a toddler!)
I’m expecting again (praise God!) and am looking at those fresh, tender newborn days with both hope, joy, and a little painful remembrance of that roller coaster of hormones, and tears (both from baby and mama.)
Here are some tips that I know new moms would appreciate. Lavish love on your new mama through these 7 practical tips.
7 Ways to Serve a Mom Who Has Just Given Birth
1. Yes, bring food by all means!! BUT first, ask her if she or anyone in her family has any dietary restrictions.
This suggestion is number one for a reason… everyone loves the care and consideration that goes into a homemade meal!
When I first gave birth, I was so incredibly sore… and essentially immobile. I was a human pacifier and had little to no motivation to cook for myself, let alone my husband. On top of that, I had a baby who was screaming with stomach pain due to my ingested dairy. I didn’t know that until the baby was no longer a baby, but I will be very mindful of that with baby #2. See, I had some blood done in the summer of 2017 and it turns out that some of my digestive, skin and fertility issues are at least partially due to a sensitivity to the non-gluten part of wheat as well as casein, the protein in dairy.
Blood work or not, lactation consults say women who are nursing often cannot have dairy because of that little one’s sensitive stomach.
Ask the new mama what her family enjoys and what ingredients or allergens she avoids. You might find a new recipe that your own family enjoys through this experience! 🙂
2. Offer free childcare of the new big brother(s) or sister(s)
Does the baby have some high-energy siblings? Serve the mom of the newborn baby by doing some hands-on, nitty-gritty childcare. Get those siblings out of the house! 🙂
This will allow the mom and dad to bond with their new baby and allow the children to get some energy out. It’s possible that the mom cannot take her older children to the park for a while after birth. The kids would love it! And the mom would love it! Offer to really treat them to a special outing- like to an age-appropriate theme park.
3. Bring cleaning supplies over to her house and start cleaning.
If you ask her, “Can I help you clean your house?” Most likely she’ll either get offended or get shy. She definitely needs assistance and care after she gives birth- even if she denies it. Have a loving attitude- not a judgmental one. A gentle spirit and a basket full of cleaning supplies would be a huge blessing. If you aren’t comfortable cleaning a room of her house, perhaps get into her yard and do some yardwork. That could maybe be less personal but just as helpful.
Still yet, if you have the financial resources, pay for a one-time visit from a local housekeeper or maid!
4. Give her grace
It’s almost guaranteed that you will run into a parenting issue that you disagree with when you speak with the mother of this newborn baby. She formula feeds, you breastfed, or vice-versa. She might co-sleep, and you were committed to using the crib from day one.
Don’t use your post-birth visit to educate your host… but if she genuinely asks you for advice, feel free to give it!
5. Write her a letter- saturated with Scripture and prayers.
I received one of these when I gave birth to my first child, and I still cherish it. A woman I am very close to wrote me a 7-page letter, full of prayers and Bible verses woven throughout it. I want so badly to share that gift with someone else in my life.
Consider doing so for a new mother in your life, it might impact her the same way.
6. When the baby is a little older, offer a night of free childcare
Ask the mom at what point she would like a date night (or even lunch date) with her husband. Is it 1 month from now? 6 months from now?
Mark it on your calendar and FOLLOW UP with her! She will forget… or if she doesn’t forget- she very well might feel awkward asking you to give up your time for her. Don’t let her feel awkward, seek her out and pursue her! I promise it will encourage her.
7. Pray for her- faithfully and regularly
Last but certainly not least- PRAY FOR HER.
Bathe her in prayer for her health, her baby’s health, her family’s health. Pray that she can rely on Christ alone for strength and safety. Pray for her marriage as the postpartum period is often one of turmoil and stress. Don’t say you’ll pray for her and then forget to follow up… Make a prayer list, and put her name high on the list. After I gave birth, I could feel the prayers of the people in my church… and for those prayers and their continued prayers, I am so thankful.
I might have missed something that pertains to the mom in your life. The number one piece of advice I have is to put yourself in THAT particular mama’s shoes.
By doing this and by asking the Lord to give you wisdom, you could impact that mom for the rest of her life- and even the rest of her newborn child’s life.
What about you?
Do you have any tips to add? What’s the most helpful way someone served you as the mother of a newborn baby? What’s a gift you wish you could recieve as a new mother? Has someone ever given you a gift certificate to a maid service?
Here are some of my favorite items on Amazon for new and expecting moms. Christ-Centered Mama is partially funded by the sale of products recommended on Amazon and other favorite sites. These products are genuinely ones that I enjoyed and will reference the books again! Thank you for using this link!