Cook a hearty meal and bring it home
Prepare (or buy) a nutritious lunch or dinner for your friend or loved one. Dr. Pedroso recommends focusing on ingredients rich in protein, fiber, iron, and B vitamins, both to maintain energy and to replenish vitamins and minerals lost during birth. Grocery and takeout gift cards are always a nice treat to help out new parents too. Be sure to check in on any food allergies or preferences you should be aware of when offering to bring food.
Give your friend a break
Offer your friend or loved one time and ask what they need most when you’re there – you can let them take a break while you wash the dishes, watch the baby while they sleep, cook them a meal, talk to them over coffee or tea or even help them navigate doula or mental health services, Dr. Ream suggests.
Assist in the feeding process
New parents hardly have time to feed themselves, so make sure you provide support to make feeding the baby easier. Whether they are nursing, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you can help them gather supplies. “Things like getting the Boppy, clean bottles and pump parts, making sure they have water and a snack, all in one space, are appreciated,” says Griffin. You can also offer to bottle feed or change the baby while the parent takes a shower or nap.
Check the parent specifically
Sometimes it can seem like all the talk and fuss is about the baby, but it’s just as important to check in with new parents, Griffin points out. “Ask how they are doing, how they are recovering, if they want or have had the chance to talk about their birth, and if there is anything they need,” she says.
Support their medical care
If your friend or loved one needs an extra person to be there for moral support during their postpartum checkup, offer to go with them, suggests Griffin. For people who have had a traumatic birth or experienced complications, doulas can be a great resource, and you can help research to find one. For breastfeeding questions or concerns, you can help your loved one contact the pediatrician’s office, the local WIC clinic (WIC) (if eligible for WIC programming), or help them find a lactation consultant to learn more to provide assistance.
It’s possible that people struggle with their mental health for months after giving birth or simply juggle life with a newborn. Keep reminding that person that you’re available to help and talk, Dr. Ream says. It can be difficult for new parents to know what they need and ask for help, so offering a specific day, time or service, even just being a listening ear over the phone, can take part of the burden. take away.