Welcoming the Newest Members to Our Mom Tribe


A new mom breastfeeding her baby.Recently, I’ve had a couple of friends become first-time moms, bringing me back to my earliest days with my son. Those first few weeks were intense and exhausting; I remember them so clearly. As someone who was a grateful recipient of all kinds of help when I had my baby, I try to do what I can to help these fellow mommies with their early days.

Whether it’s a sister, a girlfriend, a neighbor, or a co-worker, here are a few things we can all do to help the new mommies in our lives.

1. Make a meal

During those early days, I was always starving, but the thought of making a turkey sandwich seemed akin to climbing Mount Everest. After helping out on night duty and working all day, my husband wasn’t much better. Those people who brought food over were the most welcome guests we had! A few tips and ideas for bringing food.

  • Organize a meal train. Meal Train is an amazing website that allows you to organize people who want to help contribute to meals. You can create a schedule to ensure even coverage and share what you’re making to avoid duplicates. There’s even an opportunity for the new parents to share their dietary restrictions and preferences.
  • Make it easy! Remember to note reheating instructions on your dish, and although this isn’t the greenest option, consider using a disposable aluminum tray so that there are no dishes and no need to return your lasagna pan.
  • Cooking isn’t your thing? Why not sponsor a dinner delivery from a new mom’s favorite restaurant or a meal delivery service? No need to break the bank! A hot pizza arriving at my door would have made me weep with joy when my baby was a couple of weeks old!

2. Make some time

If your schedule allows it, offer to swing by the new mommy’s home to provide her with some coverage. Everyone wants to visit the new baby, but it’s a wonderful friend who will offer to change a couple of diapers or hold the baby while Mama takes a shower (remember those blissful and often rare showers when your baby was just days old?).

If she doesn’t take you up on baby care, offer to load her dishwasher or fold some laundry while you’re there. These small tasks are the hardest ones to get done with a newborn in the house, and the offer alone will show you care for her.

3. Lend an ear

As we all remember, being a new mom is an emotional experience. There are amazing highs and stressful lows. It can be hilariously funny and troublingly lonely. It was a huge relief for me to talk to friends who had been through this time and could assure me that what I felt was normal. One dear friend even let me have a good cry over FaceTime. During that conversation, she said to me, “Take it all in, but let it all out.” Be a place your friend can let it all out if she needs to.

If your friend confides in you about what she’s feeling, don’t be afraid to gently ask her about anything unusual to you. If she seems especially depressed, you can ask her if she’s concerned about postpartum depression and encourage her to speak to a doctor. Be a safe resource so she feels she can be honest about her feelings and get the help she needs.

4. Don’t be a prude! 

In addition to the emotional aspects, there is a ton of physical recovery to go through as a new mom. Nobody completely prepares you for the truly cringe-worthy details like the bleeding, the night sweats, the nipple pain that comes from nursing, and the constipation. For my new mommy friends, I’ve tried to be as frank as possible when it comes to discussing those often unsavory details. It’s not always pretty, but it often helps to laugh and acknowledge the crazy thing their body is going through.

I have said more times than I can count how much I have depended on the help I get from my fellow moms. From the advice they gave me early on to the laughs they supplied me daily via texts and Facebook to the support they’ve provided during hard times, they’ve become an integral part of my life.

One of the best things we can do as moms is to help each other. This includes, maybe most importantly, helping the rookie members of the tribe.

What are your favorite things to do for new mommies that you know?


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