How can I help a new parent?

Someone you know just had a baby and you're left questioning how you can REALLY help them? This post is for you!

What can I do to help a new parent?

So your friend, your neighbour or your child just had a baby and you are asking yourself what you can do to help them. I get it! Sometimes it can be hard to know what they might need and you don’t want to bother them.

Listen carefully to this: a new family does not want you to come as a visitor just to hold the baby. In fact, if that’s your goal, you’re probably better off not visiting for a few weeks. New parents (and we are talking about adding any number of babies to a family. Doesn’t matter if this is their first or their fourth child) are feeling overwhelmed with this whole new life that is in their hands. Cooking is an almost impossible task and forget about cleaning and doing the laundry.

All the new parent wants to do and actually needs to do, is be with their baby. Develop their bond, their attachment and their nursing relationship if that’s the route they chose to take. Having consistent visitors that come over and require them to act like a host is not what they need.

So how can you actually help them? First thing first: Ask them. Honestly that’s the best way to know. And new parents, if you’re reading this, don’t hesitate to say what you actually need when someone asks.

‘’I am going to the grocery store, what can I buy for you? Don’t worry, if you’re sleeping, I can leave it at the door or if you need, I can give you an hour of help around the house. Leave me the dishes and laundry.’’

Here are other suggestions of helpful things you can do for new parents. Some are your help and some are gift ideas because we all know that it’s not always possible to give our time:

  • A postpartum planning session
  • A gift certificate for a postpartum doula in their area (I offer gift certificates for any number of hours you want to purchase if you need a postpartum doula in Gatineau or Ottawa)
  • Hire a house cleaner for them!
  • A gift certificate for a food delivery service or premade meals. I recommend them for Gatineau/Ottawa
  • Organize a meal train! You can use this website to help you organize it.
  • Offer a morning of your time to do chores around the house
  • A gift card to pelvic floor therapy. Here for Gatineau.
  • TV/audiobook subscription
  • A massage
  • These are just a few ideas but the most important thing you can do is ask the new family what they need. Don’t forget to check in with the new parents on how they are doing physically and mentally. Postpartum is no jokes.

    I really hope this was helpful!

    Kaëlla

    Doula Gatineau Kaella

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