- A pat on the back. Whether they’ve given birth naturally or with a little assistance, a new mum has just gone through a very painful and sometimes traumatic experience (with some form of tearing and loss of dignity included), of course with the biggest reward. Being congratulated, not only on their new family member but for recognising the hard work that has been put into bringing their baby into the world.
- Cooked meals. If you can arrive with dinner for the family that night, you have not only saved them the bother of cooking, but also money on a takeaway they will end up living off for a while. Eating and cooking is one of the last things you think about doing after a new baby, who has time to cook when you have hourly feeds and nappy changes?
- Magazines. After the birth of my second child I was in hospital for 4 days (no exciting reason, just for a few checks) when the baby was asleep and Mr Firstooth was back home with our son, I was so bored. There are only so many feet I can watch under the door and only so many ‘sleeping baby’ pictures I can take. The day my parents were arriving with magazines, was the day I got discharged. Sods bloody law.
- For you to make your own tea. New mums appreciate the visitors and the excitement surrounding the baby but they’re recovering from a human erupting from their body. They’re finding it extremely painful to sit down and stand up due to one wound or another, so to make your own tea (and offer mum one too) would be a welcomed offering, hormones may even bring a new mum to tears with such a gesture.
- Space. It’s overwhelming having visitors over regularly, so let the new parents know you’re available, when they’re available.
- To be visited and not do the visiting. After our first born we did the visiting, I was exhausted, overwhelmed by whole experience and in a lot of pain and discomfort. I then vowed that any following child would be visited, not dragged around the houses for all to see. Nothing is more comfortable than home after you’ve given birth.
- Something for her. Babies will get inundated with toys, clothes and fabulous gifts, but It’s hormone overload in the subsequent weeks after birth and it’s only natural for a new mum to feel completely crap about herself. Bubble bath, lipgloss, perfume or anything that will help a new mum feel pampered.
- Sleep. Offer giving a tired mum (and dad) a break by baby sitting. Newborns are fairly low-maintenance so this really is the best time for to offer any baby-sitting services. They can use this time to sleep and freshen up.
- A basic grocery top-up. If you can offer to fill up their fridge of basics like milk, eggs and bread then this is one less thing for them to worry about. Actually something that they will forget until they are on to the last slice of bread or drop of milk. ‘Do you need anything?’ Is usually met with ‘no, we’re fine thank you’, but it’s an extremely helpful question, sometimes insisting is even more helpful because us Brits are always too polite to ask.
- Wine. If they have opted for formula feeding. Chocolate, fudgey, sugary, tasty, anything. If they have opted to breast-feed.
Just do one of the above and you are amazing.