8 things you need to know when planning to visit a new mom

Aaaaaaand, the baby fever continues.

So, your friend just got her bundle of joy and you are over the moon for her, because, c’mon, who doesn’t love those cute adorable photos, complete with toothless grins and baby hair? You visit her while still in hospital, and uuuhh, and ahhhh, and you can’t wait to visit her at home. This post is for you. Indulge.

  1. Give the new mom time to settle.

Yes, you are all excited and simply cannot wait, but reason dictates that you allow the new mom to settle in her new role. She is dealing with low energy levels, sleepless nights, a million diaper changes, bibs and burps…all at once. It is all new. For this sole reason, take some time before you visit. She may not say it, but she needs some space to just, settle in.

(I must throw this in here, however. This depends on the kind of relationship you have with the new mom. For some, it is a-okay to pop in a few days later, but for many, allow some time to settle and get into a routine of sorts).

  1. Do not drop in unannounced

Just. Do. Not. Do. It! Ideally, it is rude to just pop in without any form of communication, so how much more for a new mom? Never mind that she has no semblance of the difference between day and night in those first weeks? Be courteous enough to call in advance, and remember, ‘No – Not on that day’ is a complete answer.

  1. Take food with you (Points for bone soup and fresh fruits).

Nothing spells care like a home visit from someone who brings food. Given the new mom’s schedule, it certainly is tasking to prepare meals, which is why this is just, God-sent. If you cannot do so, and have a free relationship with the new mom, find out from her whether you can make yourself comfortable in the kitchen and prepare a meal. This is such a powerful gesture!

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  1. If you are feeling under the weather, please do not visit until you are much better!

There is no two ways about this! The last thing new mom wants is for you to leave her little one with a cold, considering how susceptible infants are to infections! For Crying out Loud, just. Stay. Away! No need for hospital visits for the newborn just because Aunt Faustina insisted on coming along!

  1. There’s a reason why the hand sanitizer is on the table

Yes, you must sterilize your hands before you handle the baby. It is an unwritten code, so drop your handbag honey, and clean those hands!

  1. Find out how she is faring.

It is pretty simple to get wrapped up in all things baby, but the new mom will appreciate if you showed some concern for her and bothered to find out how she is. If she is a first-time mom, she certainly has lots of memories (some not fond), expectations and fears. Provide a safe place for her to express herself and perhaps confide in you. The key is not to push it too much, but be keen to read subtle cues.

This is particularly important since if you are close enough, you may be able to pick hints that point towards depression. Let her know that you will be there if she needs you, and that it is okay for her to ask for help whenever she needs it. This is a simple but powerful gesture.

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  1. Help around the house

If you have a close relationship with the mom, you can always find something to do without inquiring. Clear the sink, iron the clothes or mop the living room. If this feels awkward to do without asking, say something such as, ‘I want to help you by doing (mention the chore). Let’s get started and you can tell me what you love about this chapter of your life’. This works better than simply asking, “Can I do the dishes?” since it is likely she will decline the offer – out of been polite.

  1. Lastly, know when to leave

It is polite not to extend your visit. Take the cue for your exit. She may want to breastfeed privately, or bath the baby, or take a nap, or express milk… this is the indication for you that you need to leave. Again, this depends on the relationship you have with the new mom. I remember how, as a single mom, I never really wanted my friends to leave because I would feel so lonely

All in all, this is just a guideline. Whatever you do, ensure that you do not burden the new mom.

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