As a new mom I received both positive and negative comments as per usual during a time like this. Even as a former nanny I simply had no idea just how involved motherhood and postpartum was until I was living it out for the very first time. I wanted to compile a list of positive things to say to your new mom friend for all those who are at a loss of how to help.
You look amazing/radiant/great/beautiful/insert compliment here.
I don’t care if she’s in her bathrobe. Tell that woman she looks fantastic.
These compliments went a long way for me.
How are you feeling?
Having a baby is an exhausting experience physically and emotionally. Check in on your mom friend to see where her heart and head are at. She may ride that baby high for a few days. Be sure to continue checking in on her weeks after baby is born when her exhaustion has really set in.
How are you healing?
It’s always considerate to see how she is healing after birth no matter how her baby was delivered. It’s also an important reminder for mama to take it easy and allow her body some rest in order to heal quickly.
What can I do for you?
It may be bringing her a cup of coffee. It may be changing her sheets or watching baby so that she can have an uninterrupted nap. Keep in mind that your mom friend may want her space more than anything but it’s important to offer.
Tell me about your birth story.
Most women are excited to share their story. Some women may have had a traumatic birth experience and need a close friend to talk to about it. They may also need time to process their experience in which case you can encourage them that that’s ok and you’re there whenever they need to talk.
For the women who are breastfeeding it’s either going well and they’re excited to talk about it or to talk out the trials they’ve had with breastfeeding. For those who are not breastfeeding consider that it may have been out of their control and they’re coping with a reality they didn’t envision. Encourage your mama friend that fed is best.
You’re doing an amazing job.
This can be about something specific or just in general. This type of encouragement will help keep whatever mama guilt your friend has made up in her head at bay. She needs to know that she is mama bear and she has everything it takes to care for her baby.
What are you doing for yourself?
This one is courtesy of my new moms group teacher. Self care goes a long way for a new mom. Taking time for herself will refresh her which will make her better able to care for her little one and she absolutely deserves it.
It’s ok to cry.
Because they will and they need to know that expressing that emotion is totally normal and ok. My sisters told me to call even if all I needed to do was cry and I most certainly did so.
Isn’t God amazing?
This is one I had to add thanks to our friend Max. He held our daughter in her first week or so of life and said “Isn’t God amazing?” It’s my favorite thing anyone has said since Felicity was born. It wasn’t particularly about me or about Felicity but pointed toward God and this miracle of life. It made me feel so honored to be a part of God’s creation and completely changed my perspective.
When in doubt bring a meal or even coffee. Don’t for the love, just don’t.. Give unsolicited advice. Ask anything of her. Make any kind of negative comment toward her or her new baby. Unless the baby is clearly in danger keep it positive people. Don’t visit during a time when she could be napping unless you are willing to watch baby and don’t talk to her about other mamas and other babies. Focus your attention on your friend alone.
Above all else encourage, love on and compliment your new mom friend. Know her boundaries and respect them. She’s just overcome the greatest feat of her life and she needs your support now more than ever.