The postpartum period can be a challenging time for new mothers, both physically and emotionally. Family and friends can play an important role in providing emotional support during this time. Here are some ways that family and friends can offer support to a new mother –
- Offer practical help – New mothers may feel overwhelmed with the demands of caring for a new-born, as well as recovering from childbirth. Family and friends can offer practical help such as cooking meals, cleaning the house, running errands, or caring for older children.
- Listen and offer encouragement – New mothers may experience a range of emotions, including joy, anxiety, sadness, and exhaustion. It can be helpful to simply listen to her and offer words of encouragement and support.
- Validate her feelings – It is common for new mothers to experience doubts and insecurities about their ability to care for their baby. Family and friends can validate these feelings and offer reassurance that they are doing a great job.
- Provide social support – New mothers may feel isolated and lonely during the postpartum period. Family and friends can offer social support by visiting, texting, or calling regularly, and including the new mother in social activities when she feels up to it.
- Offer to watch the baby – New mothers may feel guilty or anxious about leaving their baby, but they also need time to take care of themselves. Family and friends can offer to watch the baby so the new mother can take a nap, go for a walk, or engage in other self-care activities.
- Educate yourself – Postpartum depression and anxiety are common, and it is important for family and friends to recognize the signs and symptoms. Educate yourself about postpartum mood disorders and offer support and resources if needed.
- Avoid judgment and criticism – New mothers may feel self-conscious about their parenting choices, and it is important for family and friends to avoid judgment and criticism. Offer support and encouragement, and respect the new mother’s choices.
Emotional support from family and friends can be a crucial component of a new mother’s postpartum recovery. Practical help, active listening, validation, social support, offering to watch the baby, educating yourself, and avoiding judgment and criticism are all important ways that family and friends can provide emotional support to a new mother during this challenging time.