THE ONLY THREE THINGS A POST PARTUM MUM REALLY NEEDS.
They are NOT you holding her baby, silver cutlery, and a spa voucher (although the latter might be highly appreciated).
There is actually only one thing a post partum mum really needs: it is to be left alone to fall in love with her child. This love will be the fuel that will power her for the next weeks, months and years.
Your main mission, as a guest, is to not disturb that process.
So what can you give her to support her and baby?
1. A listening ear.
She will be happy to receive your visit. She will be proud to show off her brand new baby. This is the moment to just be there for her. No need to share your wisdom or your experience. No need to tell her what you think about the way she is handling it all. No need to touch her. No need to comment the birth. Just be there and listen to her. Respond if she asks. Otherwise just be grateful that you can witness those very special moments.
Cook for her and put a full meal in the freezer for her and hubby. Clean her bathroom. Wipe down the kitchen working surface. Put the dishes in the dishwasher. Make your own tea.
If you take care of the boring stuff, she can stay on that pink cloud with baby just a little bit longer… And you give daddy a chance to join them up there too.
They are in for a very long marathon, one that will last years. The three-way bond among them gives them the superpowers to go through it and even enjoy it. So nurture them (literally: give them food!) and let that bond grow super strong.
3. A sling.
If you are one of these people that really need to give a physical lasting present, go for a sling and/or a workshop on how to use it. This is the only item she will actually need every single day and it will make her life so much easier and so much more pleasant. It will help baby’s growth and digestion, it will help making baby feel secure, it will help mummy getting around (inside and outside the house) freely and lightly, it will protect her from post partum depression. So yes. She really does need one, or even a couple of those.
And that is it: a listening ear, time and a sling are all the accessories she needs for the long journey that awaits her. As for the essential stuff, she and baby have got plenty: it’s called love.