As we all know or can imagine, life changes dramatically after a newborn comes into the picture. Whether this is something you’ve experienced firsthand or something you’ve watched a loved one experience, we all know that having a baby is literally life-changing.
While many believe that family comes first, we all benefit from nurturing the meaningful friendships in our lives, too. When a friend has a baby, whether it’s her first or fourth, she’ll appreciate the support of her friends as she goes through such a life-altering adjustment. But what are the best ways to show up for her? How do you show support while giving her the space she needs to adjust to her new normal?
These are valid questions, and ones that we wanted to address to make supporting the new mom in your life as simple as possible—so you can focus on getting baby (and bestie) snuggles. Read on for 10 ways to support a friend who just became a mom.
1. Send a quick check-in text
It may not be till a while after the baby is born that you actually get to see your friend. That doesn’t mean you can’t, or shouldn’t, check in! In fact, it will probably mean a lot to her to know you’re still thinking of her even when she can’t be as present in the friendship as she used to be.
Specifically telling her that you’re not looking for a response can also be a gift in itself. Sometimes when life gets busy, especially when you’re adjusting to life with a newborn, any small task added to your to-do list (even something as simple as responding to a text) can seem daunting. Let her know that you’re just checking in, thinking of her, and are there when she’s ready to catch up.
2. Get acquainted with her front porch
Again, you may not see your friend as often as you’re used to right away, and se may not want to have a lot of visitors over right after the baby arrives. Instead, show your support by dropping some goodies off on her porch. This could be as simple as her favorite bottle of wine, a homemade meal for the family, or you could go all-out and get some groceries delivered to their door—don’t forget the diapers!
3. Walk her dog for her
Or really, help with any household task she may not have as much time for. When they’re ready to have visitors, don’t go over just to hang out. Tell her that you want to help her with her to-do list, because most of the time, she won’t outwardly ask. Offer to walk her dog (who will also appreciate the extra attention), clean her kitchen, or run her errands. Helping her with some of these smaller tasks will likely make a big impact on her day.
4. Bring her gifts
Chances are, all her focus right now is going toward her little one and she’s putting her own self-care on the back burner. Encourage her to prioritize herself by pampering her with some simple gifts. A pair of slippers, a nice robe, and a face mask may be just what she needs to give herself a little TLC.
5. Wash your hands before holding the baby
Don’t make her ask you to do this. We know how exciting it is to meet the baby for the first time, but before you go to pick him or her up, make an effort to wash your hands first. Even if she doesn’t say it, there are probably a lot of worries going through her head. Ease her mind by not making her ask this of you—just do it.
6. Spend time with her, but don’t overstay
When she tells you she’s ready for a visit, GO. She’s likely feeling out of touch with a lot of people now that her life has changed drastically. Make sure she knows your friendship is still a priority by simply being there with her. Taking the time to visit with her, catch up on things, and ask her how she’s doing will likely mean the world to her. Don’t expect her to play hostess; rather, let her relax and offer to help with anything she needs—even if it’s just holding the baby while she squeezes in a quick shower.
7. Capture her moments with the baby
By now, her camera roll is probably overflowing with picture of her baby—to the point she’s probably getting that pesky “out of storage” message from Apple every time she opens her phone. But she probably has very few with her baby and her, save for a few selfies. When you see her, be sure to take some pictures of the two of them together (with her permission, of course). Take some shots of her smiling with the baby, but don’t forget to snap some candid pictures too. Capture the special moments she may not otherwise see.
8. Offer to babysit
After a while, and a few visits, let her know you’re open to babysitting whenever she feels comfortable. This will give her and her partner an opening to take a probably much-needed date night. She may not take you up on the offer right away if she’s not ready to trust someone else with her little one, and that’s okay, but simply knowing the offer is on the table when she needs it is a great way to be supportive.
9. Understand that things will be a little different now
Try to understand and be okay with the fact that your friendship may take a different form now that there’s someone else in her life. While she may not be able to take that girls’ trip right now, and The Bachelor wine nights may be on pause for a little while, remember that she’s still the same person you’ve always loved, and your relationship will fall into a new rhythm. Give her grace if she has to cancel plans every now and then, and know that even though her priorities may have shifted, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t still value your friendship.
10. Be her cheerleader
Whenever big life changes occur, it’s easy to fall into thoughts of not being good enough, even if this isn’t her first child. Every chance you get, remind her that she’s doing a great job and you’re proud of her. Sending her encouragement, whether it be through text, a phone call, or even just a hug, is a simple act of friendship you can provide that will mean the world to her. Above all else, don’t underestimate the immense value of showing support.