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I had about 3 friends have babies before I had my first, and let me tell you, I felt like such an awful friend!  I had no clue what would have been helpful for them until I had my own baby at home and some truly amazing women step up and into my new life of motherhood.  So I’ve compiled a list (of sorts) of the things that I found most beneficial to me after I brought my baby home.  There are also a few things I listed that I think will be helpful for bringing home baby #2…but those await to be proven!

What you can do for someone who just had a baby:

  1. Check their house and fridge- we had rented a movie the night before and my brother returned it for us (it was a Nicolas Cage movie…glad we didn’t have to pay another $1 for it!)
  2. Take note of things like milk, cereal, bread, and fruit.  Our church had us on a meal plan and members brought us dinners every other night.  That was super helpful, but just as much were the bananas my mom had left, and another friend dropping off almond milk and cereal.  The basics seemed to go quicker and I was definitely loathsome to give up my husband for a quick run to the grocery store.
  3. Also, check the sink and washing machine.  My mom had done my dishes and finished laundry I had in the washer.  I hate having to wash something again because it sat in the washer too long!
  4. Since this is baby #2, I think something that will be very beneficial is having people stop by to spend time with baby #1.  My Jovie is very social and very active and I know she would really love to see all “her” friends when mommy is a little preoccupied…and tired.
  5. This may not work for everyone, but I loved having people over after Jovie was born.  It was nice feeling connected to community and talking with other moms and getting advice I could use right away (as opposed to all the advice I received leading up to the birth, which I needed to hear again).  A lot of new moms suffer from post partum depression-and I think if they just have someone to talk to and someone to encourage them, it could help alleviate fears and feelings of loneliness, sadness, and even failure.  Something as natural as having a baby seems like it should be followed by something just as natural–nurturing a baby.  This just isn’t the case!  Jovie would not nurse and I felt like such a bad mom-until I heard story after story from my friends about having to bottle-feed for various reasons.  They could point to their perfectly healthy and normal, well-adjusted children and alleviate my fears and failings on the spot.
  6. Offer to watch baby and encourage mom to get some sleep.  Reassure her you’ll wake her up if the baby needs anything, but otherwise not to worry!  As much as I loved and needed company, sometimes they would be there the whole time my baby was napping, and I should have been napping, too.  Naps during the day come in handy when you’re up all night.
  7. Don’t ask-just do.  I couldn’t argue with someone who told me “I’m doing this for you, so sit there and like it.”  Some people have a hard time letting others serve them, even if they need to be served.
  8. This should be done first {and often}–the best thing you can do for a new mom is to pray for her. Pray she doesn’t get weighed down and overwhelmed by the responsibility and lack of sleep, but that she takes everything in stride, knowing every day is a gift that we are to fully enjoy and learn contentment and dependence anew.  Pray she finds the joy in every new experience and every little mundane, repeated experience, too.  Encourage her to count the little hiccups, watch the weird faces newborns make when they sleep, marvel at the tiny fingernails, and laugh at how something so ridiculously cute can be kind of gross at the same time.  Pray she takes every opportunity to lead that little life to a saving knowledge of our only hope in this life, our Savior.

bringing Jovie home from the hospital

I’d love to read about what you have experienced, either as a new mom or an encouragement to one, that was helpful (or not so helpful)!

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