Having a newborn baby is the most wonderful adventure, but it can also be a huge shock both physically and emotionally. If you have a friend or relative who is pregnant, or a new Mum, we’ve put together a few tips on ways that you can help in the first couple of months.
As the mother, for nine months you are the centre of attention, whether you want to be or not. Everywhere you go you are public property. People you don’t know are concerned about your wellbeing, and you even get talked to on the tube. You’re asked, sometimes several times a day, when you’re due and what you’re having. Complete strangers will even take on the task of involving themselves in what you should and should not be eating, and your appearance and your ever growing bump is often the opening topic of conversation with friends, family, colleagues and strangers. Just as you start to get used to being in the spotlight, your beautiful bundle of joy arrives and in an instant mum’s in the back seat and it becomes all about the baby.
Of course your baby is the focus. Everybody wants to visit, to meet the baby, give it cuddles and shower him or her with beautiful gifts. But in those first few weeks, although it is life changing and wonderful, it can also be extremely overwhelming, not to mention the cocktail of hormones and sleepless nights. The shift from being the centre of attention to feeling almost forgotten can be strange. People say hello to the baby before you and often forget to ask how you are. Newborns need your undivided attention and there is so much to learn. Even the simplest of daily tasks feels like a challenge and it’s often the smallest most irrational things that get the tears flowing. Knowing that somebody is thinking about you and looking out for you can really make a difference.
Buying for babies is always fun and we all enjoy treating the baby to beautiful gifts but we often forget about the mother. A thoughtful gift for mum is really appreciated. Think outside the box. Don’t Buy Her Flowers have some brilliant ideas. They’ve put together a range of thoughtful and useful gifts with new mums in mind. The recovery package contains beautiful treats to encourage her to also make time for herself or the genius Some Like it Hot gift which contains a thermos mug and delicious biscuits so she can enjoy a hot drink. It sounds simple but most new mothers relate to the concept of not being able to enjoy a hot cup of tea in the first few weeks unless somebody else is there to make it.
Making a hot drink can be hard enough, so finding the time to prepare good healthy meals is difficult. It’s all about feeing the baby and it’s easy to forget to feed yourself. Food will always be appreciated. While mum may not want a barrage of visitors on a daily basis, a food parcel would go down a treat. You could make up some batches of food, some for the fridge and some for the freezer. If cooking is not your thing then some naughty baked treats could be a good choice. Beverley Hills Bakery do a fantastic range of individually wrapped treats in tins. Utterly delicious and the perfect pick me up at any time, day or night. Or for something personalised, how about a tin of biscuits from Biscuiteers . Beautifully iced biscuits that taste every bit as good as they look and the tins are a fantastic keepsake too.
Everybody asks how the baby is. Make sure you ask her how she is and try to avoid typical questions such ‘Is he sleeping through the night?’ People mean well but newborn babies don’t sleep through, especially not in the first few weeks. Instead, ask her how she is feeling before you ask about how the baby is doing, tell her how great she looks and what a brilliant job she is doing. Don’t focus on the bags under her eyes and tell her how tired she looks..this doesn’t help anybody! A confidence boost goes a really long way. At a time where everything feels absolutely terrifying, to be told you are doing a good job can turn the day around. Positivity breeds positivity.