Being a first time mom (& just a mom in general) is tough. Even with an "easy" baby! Joshua is such an easy baby to care for but I had no idea what mothers went through after birth until I gave birth myself. Its a whirlwind of emotions (good & bad), sleepless days/nights and a ton of other stuff that I won't mention. The first two weeks after birth my mom stayed at our house and helped with EVERY single thing. The week after that, my mother-in-law came to stay for a week and also helped us out. It's a blessing to have so much help and support.
After they left, Jonathan and I were left with the entire house and the baby alone. It wasn't too bad but I kept trying to do everything alone. Its hard for me to admit when I need help and I'm not sure what I was trying to prove by doing everything alone. I thank GOD for my husband and family who eased my stress as much as possible. If it weren't for Jonathan, I could see myself going to a dark place. It's easy to let stress take you down the road to depression with lack of sleep, little time to eat, chores piling up at home and just being home alllll day!
Here are some simple ways that husbands, boyfriends, friends or family members can help mothers after the baby is born.
5 Ways to Help a Mom Postpartum
1. Cook, Clean, Laundry, Grocery Shopping, etc: Maybe you don't have to do ALL of these things but choose one thing that is most helpful for the mom. Even doing one of these things can help tremendously.
Tip: Grocery shopping is so much easier now that you can have them delivered to your front door or you can just pick them up curbside without even getting out of your car.
2. Diaper changes: Especially in the first couple of weeks, it's nice for someone else to change the diapers of the baby as everything else falls on the mom. Especially if the mom is breastfeeding, changing the diapers can allow her to decompress, drink water or eat while someone else changes the baby's diaper.
3. Naps/Breaks: Let's face it. Everyone is tired with a newborn. Allow mom to take a break or nap. Even if it's just for 30 minutes. Those 30 minute breaks and naps can go a looong way!
4. Dream Feed (if applicable): This is a great time for dad or someone else to bond with the baby through a feeding. It gives mom a break and allows her to go to sleep at a decent time in order to get up again in 2-3 hours to feed. Want to know more about dream feeds? Check out the link --> Dream Feeds
5. Emotional Support: Tell mom she's doing a good job! Let mom cry if she needs to. Don't take things personal. Understand that her hormones are still all over the place and have not quite balanced out. Be kind. Listen. Offer hugs and kisses =)