How to Be a Friend to a New Mom

by Christa Hines on August 20, 2013

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Last year, media reports suggested that a baby boom was in the works courtesy of the naughty and risque book trilogy 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. In a less titillating argument, others credit the economic recovery for spurring a U.S. baby boom. In fact, according to a U.S. Fertility Forecast report released by Demographic Intelligence, the U.S. is expected to experience a slight uptick in a 25-year slump in the birth rate this year, from 1.89 children per woman to 1.90 children per woman.

Whether or not a baby boom is happening, chances are you know someone who is expecting.

To a new mom, socializing may be the last thing she’s worried about. But questions and problems will arise and she’s going to need support, reassurance and maybe some advice.

Here are a few ways to be a good friend to a new mom:

  • Connect. Ask her when a good time would be for you to spend time with her for a little while. Bring lunch or something sweet to share so she doesn’t feel compelled to play hostess.
  • Check in. If you worry about calling at a bad time, send a text or an email. Ask your friend how she’s doing and if she needs anything. Headed to the grocery store? Send her a text to see if you can pick up something for her.
  • Help. Offer to hold the baby while she runs and takes a shower. Nothing lifts the spirits like a warm shower and knowing that your baby is safe in the trusty hands of a good friend.
  • Relate. This isn’t the time to point out everything you think she’s doing wrong or provide your opinion on how she could do better for her baby. Moms get enough unsolicited advice from complete strangers! Instead relate your own experiences, laugh at your mistakes and listen to her worries and questions.
  • Listen. If you suspect your friend is suffering from postpartum depression, listen to her and let her know you are there to support her. About 15-20% of women experience postpartum depression. Here are common symptoms. Encourage her to talk about her feelings with her doctor. For more information about postpartum depression and for local resources and support groups, visit Postpartum Support International.
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illustration courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Digitalart

 

Need a baby shower gift idea? My ebook Confidently Connected Moms: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life (also available in paperback) offers ideas about how to revitalize a social network after a major life transition like bringing home a newborn. 

 

Share your ideas! What types of things do you like to do to support your new mom friends?

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