how to support a new mom

how to support a new mom

A reader named Maud recently emailed us: “I was supposed to see my big sister deliver her first baby. It meant so much to me, but of course now I won’t be able to be there. Are there ways to support new mothers from far away? The Cup of Jo community always gives the best tips.” Great question, right? Here are four ideas (and I’d love to hear yours!)…

— A pep talk jar. Before my own sister‘s baby shower years ago, her friend had a brilliant idea: she asked my sister’s friends and relatives to write down reasons why she’d make a great parent. People mentioned everything from “her love of the outdoors” to “how she starts smiling as soon as you begin telling a story.” (They were so moving to read.) We then wrote all the reasons onto little slips of paper and put them into a jar, so she’d be able to pull one out on days when she needed a little boost. How sweet is that?

— Playlists and podcasts. New mothers usually spend lots of time feeding and rocking their babies. You could make playlists for her with different moods — say, cheery, relaxing, middle of the night, etc. to keep her company during those times. You could also round up funny and fascinating podcast episodes you’ve heard (I really enjoyed this, this and this).

— Nourishing food. Ten years later, I still remember every single food gift we received after Toby was born. Three standouts: chocolate-covered strawberries (fresh and delicious!), bagels with cream cheese and lox, and Jeni’s ice cream. They felt nourishing and full of love, and I was thankful for each bite.

— A treat just for her. New mothers work hard for their babies around the clock, so you could send something meant to take care of her — for example, this pretty pouch for carrying essentials or this clean lipstick to swipe on when she craves a pick-me-up. I remember my mom gave me a bunch of ponytail holders and I almost burst into tears with gratitude.

Thoughts? What would you add? Sending hugs to new and expecting mothers, and those who are trying. xoxo

P.S. 15 things I’d want to tell a new mother and giving birth during the coronavirus.

(Photo by Rob and Julia Campbell/Stocksy.)