5 Ways to Support Postpartum Mamas During a Pandemic
It’s been a weird year with COVID, and all the typical ways one can support their family or friends with a new baby have changed. It’s hard to know what is safe, unsafe, who has what comfort levels, and what you can or can’t do to show up for the people in your life that need you. I was able to compile a list of five easy ways you can support the new mama in your life because of a great group of friends and family who did all of these things for me (and more!) over the past couple of months – which I am eternally grateful for. I can’t tell you how far it goes to feel supported and loved when it’s hard to do anything besides keep this tiny human alive and when you’re at your most vulnerable.
If you’re looking for an easy way to show love to your mom friends during this pandemic, this list is for you! 🙂
1 – Find a Way to Celebrate Mom & Baby
Pre-Covid this looked like attending or hosting a full on baby shower, or even just meeting your pregnant friend for brunch or dinner – but that may or may not work for you and your friends any longer. Even if it doesn’t make sense to have a true “baby shower” – it means a lot for something that celebrates them to be offered. This can be modified so that it is a very small group, or (if you live in a warmer climate) it could be an outdoor socially distanced get together, or it can even be a virtual zoom call. All that matters is being able to connect and celebrate with friends and/or family. One of my girlfriends reached out when I was about 30 weeks pregnant, and said something along the lines of “I’d love to host a small / outdoor get together for you if you’re comfortable – or we can set something up virtually if that is better – but we’d love to celebrate you in whatever way makes sense.” In a year that could’ve felt very isolated, this gesture alone meant everything to me and being able to see a few friends, even for an hour, helped me to feel warm and fuzzy and that joy in the pregnancy…and like my friends were excited for me even if we didn’t get to see each other most of the year.
2 – Set up a Meal Train for When Baby Arrives (https://www.mealtrain.com/)
The same girlfriend who reached out about the shower also offered to set up a Meal Train – which was SO nice and appreciated. It’s basically a website that allows a group of people or friends to coordinate bringing by meals so they don’t all come on the same day. The site is great because they can see what days are already covered, your address, if you leave specific instructions (like allergies, drop of instructions, time you typically eat, etc.) The first week after Scottie was born, we had dinner dropped at our front door step each night – and it was just one less thing we had to worry about. If you have a friend group that lives near one another – this is a great thing to set up / coordinate. You can also give the new mom the Meal Train link once it’s set up – so that if other family members, friends outside the group, neighbors, etc. ask to bring by a meal, she can share the link and it has all of the information right there.
3 – Doorstep Drop-off
If setting up a full meal train doesn’t make sense, it’s also an amazing gesture to bring by her favorite drink or treats – coffee, tea, cookies — whatever it may be, and text the new mama that you’ve left it on her doorstep. The key here is not asking for anyone to answer the door. 🙂 This keeps everyone socially distanced, and she also won’t feel the need to clean her house or get dressed. Opening that front door to a little something shows you care and you’re thinking of them 🙂
4 – Virtually Send a Food Delivery Gift Card
If you don’t live close by or if you aren’t able to do a drop off, you can send a virtual gift card for a food delivery service (think GrubHub, Chomp, UberEats, etc.) This is a great gesture and easy for everyone involved.
5 – Send a Text, Make a Phone Call, or FaceTime
Quick and free – just reaching out shows you care. I had a friend FaceTime me a few days in a row – and I never had time to answer the calls. I shot her a quick text after the third time and said “I’m sorry I know I owe you a call,” to which she responded “Omg, you owe me nothing, just want to call on the off chance you’re free but if you aren’t, just know I’m thinking of you!” …and that meant the world! Know that even if the text or call goes unanswered, you still made mama feel cared for.
When texting mama – ask her to see pictures of the new baby (when she has time). In a world where we can’t visit and see or hold the baby – asking to see pictures is the next best thing and shows you have a vested interest in the life she just brought into this world. 🙂
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