Who doesn’t like the smell of a newborn baby? As soon as we hear the news of any new arrival in our family, extended family or friend, we always rush to see the baby. But, how many of us think about the new mom who has just undergone a life-changing process called “delivery” and still recovering from it while learning to cope up with her new life. When I think of my early motherhood days all I remember was that I was tired. I was also happy, over-whelmed, fascinated, worried, sleep deprived, but mostly tired and very-protective for my twins, and not always ready to welcome guests. So, let’s be little more considerate while meeting a new mom who is super tired, confused and practically surviving on 2-3-hour sleep.
Here’s a list of 10 do’s and don’ts when meeting a new mom and her baby:
1. Don’t go unannounced: Make a call and ask a good time to come, and please don’t be too early or too late. She’s still learning to get used to her new life and making time for you will be an extra effort for her. Needless to say, babies are more susceptible to germs and infections, so keep away if you’re sick.
2. Don’t brag: about how hard your pregnancy was and how difficult your delivery was. Never ever tell a mom she had an easy delivery, even if she had a C-section. Just for the information, C-section is more life-risking than normal delivery and pain is not always the criteria for judging the difficulty level. Basically, there is no comparison, every delivery is a great achievement for the mom regardless of the pain endured.
3.Don’t tell her things like: “it will only get difficult as the baby grows up, you’re still in an easy phase, your baby is small, etc.”. No mom wants to listen that what she finds difficult is not really appreciated. Tell her you to understand her situation and can feel for her. Tell her she’ll figure out everything eventually.
4. Don’t give lots of advice until specifically asked for. This is not the time and place for proving you are a super mom. Give her some support and confidence. If asked for, give advice and try to end it by saying motivating stuff like “always believe in your gut, a mama knows the best for baby” or “you’ll be a great mom”.
5. Listen to her story: Every mom needs to be heard. Don’t just talk about the baby. Ask the mommy her story. She has been through a lot and has a lot to tell. Just lend her your ear and let her pour her heart out about her tough pregnancy and painful delivery. Let her explain step-by-step her pregnancy, labor, leaking breasts, lack of sleep, how many times the baby poops etc. She would feel lighter sharing her story with someone who can relate to it and can make her feel comfortable.
6.Give her a break, a real break: Take charge of the baby and let the mamma catch up on her sleep. She might not be used to being sleep-deprived yet. Try to do the tasks she’s being trying to do for a long time but couldn’t find time for them because of the baby, like, clean her kitchen, arrange her living room, fold her laundry, load the washing machine, etc. Trust me, this will mean her more than that expensive gift you bought for her.
7. Don’t over stimulate the baby: The baby is still new in the world and sensitive to everyone around him. Seeing too many people around him and getting bounced again and again from one hand to other will only make him crankier and that’s the last thing a mother will want. Please, keep your exposure to baby limited unless you’re helping mom and don’t move and bounce the baby too much unnecessarily.
8.Don’t talk too much about future: Don’t start discussions about the things she hasn’t planned yet. If she was working before her pregnancy, don’t ask her if she’ll continue to work after a baby or don’t say things like “it will be difficult to work after baby” or “how can someone leave a baby alone and go to work”. That’s her personal choice and she’ll decide about her career at the right time. Please, please, please, don’t start a family planning discussion for her there. She just doesn’t need that now. She just had a baby, let her sink in that feeling and enjoy every moment of it.
9. Don’t overstay: I know you wanted to meet the new mom and more than that you wanted to see and cuddle the new bundle. But please don’t overstay your welcome. Keep your stay short as both mom and baby needs rest, lots of rest!
10. Take a gift, a sensible gift: I’m sure you would have thought of it too. But, let’s be practical with gifts now. Try avoiding things like blankets, or clothes which generally everyone brings and the new mom is left with lots tiny clothes as the baby outgrows them in just 2 months. And blankets, how many blankets can that small thing need? Instead give her something that she really needs a bathing chair, portable bottle warmer, a rocker etc. which she’ll definitely need in future but better ask the mom if she doesn’t have any of these already. Or you can simply ask her what she needs for the baby or for herself instead of taking something which will be of no use to them.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll surely make the new mom happy and appreciate your visit. Feel free to add your experiences and guidelines in the comments. Visit the best maternity hospital in Chandigarh.