We haven’t had much time as a family of 3 and with Baby B arriving in just a few short weeks, we wanted to capture some of these fleeting moments before they’re gone. We decided to do a relaxed shoot at home and Luca stole the show, as expected. I still think of our toddler as a baby and now we have another smaller baby on the way – life is about to get a little bit more hectic!
Here are some of my favourite images from our recent shoot with Hannah Mentz at 35 weeks pregnant.
I find that a lot of discussions and focus for pregnancy is around preparing for birth. Women put so much effort into preparing for birth (which is largely out of our control at the end of the day) and not nearly as much effort into preparing for what happens after birth (which is much more in our control)! I’m talking about looking after MOM here. We get so caught up in looking after the needs of the baby that the mom, who’s done all the grunt work and has undergone an incredible body and emotional change, gets left out of the picture.
Here are my tips for looking after yourself postpartum, because it is actually SO important. (I ran the topic past anyone who cared to contribute on my Instagram stories and most of what I have here is backed up by other moms who’ve been through the postnatal period, so it’s legit, guys!)
If you’re looked after and feeling good, you can look after your family better.
In the weeks before birth, start stocking up on healthy freezer meals. If anyone asks “Let me know if there is anything I can do for you”, say “Thanks so much, a meal for our freezer would be amazing if you’re keen on that”. Cook an extra batch of whatever you’re making every now and then and chuck it in the freezer. Freeze leftover soups, muffins, whatever. When the baby arrives and you’re too exhausted to make food, you’ve got what you need right there. You can also consider meal delivery services or meal packs to make dinners a lot easier to deal with.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps”. Although this is true, are you also going to clean when the baby cleans, shower when the baby showers, or cook when the baby cooks??? Beef up on your domestic help if you have it and call on family and friends to help out from time to time, like ask if a friend can pick up some laundry to have done at the laundromat rather than you trying to find time to do a load of washing, hang it, fold it, have it ironed etc. Time is precious here and when you have an opportunity to sleep you want to be able to do so without worrying about everything else that’s being neglected.
Look after your belly. After everything that it’s been through, it’s probably looking very different to what you remember! Don’t stress about this now, the swelling will go down, the fluid retention will subside and once you’re back up and running again it will change again for the better.
Look into investing in a belly binder or belly wrap. It provides lower back and abdominal support in those early days and helps to compress and support recovering muscles post-birth, while shrinking the uterus back to its original size. It also helps to slim down the belly a lot quicker. I’ll be using the Upspring Baby Shrinkx Belly Postpartum Belly Wrap this time around (available from Breastpumps and Beyond)
Now is also a good time to use skincare products that are designed to treat stretch marks, skin tone and cellulite as it will help immensely with recovery. If you’re looking for natural/vegan products, I recently tried out Natralogic which is natural, cruelty-free, toxin-free and gentle on your pregnant and postpartum skin.
Have your essential toiletries fully stocked: Haemorrhoid cream (just get some, guys, you won’t be sorry if you find yourself in a situation that you desperately need it and can’t get out of the house), nipple pads, nipple cream, maxi pads (loads of these), constipation remedies (that first poo after what feels like 100 years after birth I’m sure is worse than actual labour)
Have comfortable post-birth underwear ready. With everything still a little tender for a while, you don’t want anything digging into you. There are a few good finds in this department:
Feeding camis: These are cami tops with inner support and drop-down straps that I basically lived in for a long time after birth. You can buy them online from one of my favourite local maternity/nursing clothing brands: Cherry Melon. You might as well stock up on nursing clothing here as well at this point!
Underwear: Comfortable nursing bras are really important (have a look at Mama Noo for some really pretty options, also available online). For panties, some moms have said that they are quite happy with the mesh panties while in hospital, but on leaving, they would love to have “real” ones. Mama Noo has recently introduced a post-birth brief as an alternative to those oh-so-unflattering mesh hospital panties – they’re washable or disposable and affordable enough for you to not mind throwing spoiled ones away and popping on a new pair – definitely worth considering!
Hydrate. Be prepared to be very thirsty while breastfeeding. Have a big bottle of water on hand and also look into something like “Jungle Juice” that’s said to help milk supply but is also a really nice break from so much plain water.
Extra PJ’s for night sweats. Why did nobody warned me about post-birth night sweats? Well, here’s your warning (you’re welcome). The extra fluid you’ve been carrying around while pregnant, is all going to come out after birth and very often in night sweats. This means that you’ll need extra PJ’s to change into when you wake up drenched in sweat.
C-section wound care: Women tend to be very scared of c-section recovery, but I honestly don’t remember it being that bad. Pay attention to your doctor’s instructions about wound care and follow them to a T. You’ll likely be taped up straight from surgery and can leave this on for a while while the cut starts to heal (it’s waterproof and meant to be kept on for a long period of time). Once the cut has closed, you’ll probably also have been given some micropore tape to aid in post-surgical scar formation. A fantastic option here as well, which I’m definitely going to try out this time around (this ain’t my first uterus slice by along shot), is a “C-panty”. This is a panty designed for c-section recovery, providing compression (to reduce swelling) and has a silicone panel in the scar area which also aids with scarring. (I’ll be using the Upspring Baby C-panty, available from Breastpumps and Beyond)
Don’t stress about exercise or your postpartum body. Argh, we are all under so much pressure to “get our bodies back” soon after birth. For some people it happens naturally, for others it is a struggle. This is not a struggle you need to worry about right now. You literally have the rest of your life to put things back into some sort of shape, if you choose to. My biokenticist does, however, suggest that you at least get going on those kegel exercises as soon as you feel ready and get checked out for diastasis recti before starting any exercise again. But listen to your body – everyone heals differently.
Baby blues and postnatal depression. With all the hormonal (and life) changes you go through after birth, it’s totally normal to feel a bit down for a week or two. If this persists or start later on, however, then this may be a sign that you should check for postnatal depression and make a quick visit to your doctor to suss it out.
Good luck to all the moms-to-be! You’re about to embark on an incredible journey. Look after yourself too while you’re on it 🙂
*Disclosure: Products sponsored for this post are Upspring Baby Shrinkx Belly Postpartum Belly Wrap, Upspring Baby C-panty and Mama Noo Post-birth brief
Guys, I’m on baby number 2 in 2 years (still brewing) and I found myself saying this recently when I was sent some very clever baby products from Tommee Tippee. Which is ridiculous. The clever things were there, but I just didn’t know about them. Tommee Tippee has been around for 50 years, they know their stuff and continue to develop baby products that make people say “they didn’t have such clever baby things in my day”.
This blog post is dedicated to bringing some of these clever things to your attention, so that you don’t miss out like I did the first time around 🙂 Having a new baby is difficult enough and there are amazing products out there that are designed to make it easier.
This is super helpful, especially now that winter has hit us in full force! It’s a colour-changing nursery thermometer that also acts as a nightlight. You can see at a glance if the room is too warm or too cold and what the exact temperature is. The GroEgg Shells are really cute animal shells for the GroEggs that transforms them into sweet little glowing animals.
This one is an energy efficient LED night light that can be used as a main light or night light. It screws into a lamp or ceiling light fitting (be sure to check your current fitting to make sure that it matches and can hold a wide bulb). We need to find the right light fitting before we can test this one out, but it will be great for the new baby’s slowly-coming-along nursery.
I’m particularly excited about this one! The GroFriend is a cuddly, fluffy sleep aid that plays soothing sounds and white noise to help your baby sleep. Any mom will tell you that this kind of sleep aid for newborns (and beyond) is so useful and worth getting. The GroFriends take a step further with their “Cry Sensor” which activates when the baby stirs in an attempt to soothe the baby back to sleep! Genius.
These are portable blackout blinds that suctions directly onto glass with suction cups. This is great for travelling with babies when you don’t know how dark the rooms will be and also for at home if your current curtains aren’t dark enough.
One of the things that terrified me when having a newborn was the fear of blankets coming loose and suffocating the baby. Even when I had a decent stretch of sleep I found myself waking up all the time to check that everything is still in tact in the cot. The GroSnug sorts this out as it’s a sleeping bag and swaddle that allows you to easily swaddle your baby without fear of loose blankets.
The material used for this one is designed for quick-drying while still being super soft for newborn skin. Since being through the baby battles with Luca, I now know how important the bath and bedtime routine is to prepare your baby for the wind-down to sleep and I can’t wait to try this out – the shape is made to recreate the calming and sooting effects of swaddling.
Now don’t say I don’t tell you anything useful, okay?
Sorry, my title is somewhat misleading – you’re not going to get a detailed account of why I’m making this decision about the upcoming birth of our little girl, but that is exactly what I want to touch on in this blog post.
I really don’t understand why society puts so much pressure on moms and moms-to-be to do things in certain ways. At the moment, natural and drug-free birthing is all the rage (yes, there are trends in birthing too) and I feel like I have to justify my decision not to do that when people ask me how I plan to give birth. Please, I mean no disrespect to anyone hoping for this kind of birth – I wanted a natural birth the first time around that ended in a c-section – but my point is: have the birth that you want, it’s none of my business!
Let’s quickly take a look at what society dictates for us moms-to-be and new moms… We must put our bodies through hell (whichever way you do it, it’s not easy) and then quickly “get our bodies back” and post on Instagram a gorgeous bikini pic on the beach, holding our few month old babies with some motivating caption about “bouncing back from pregnancy”. We must breastfeed until the baby is at least 1 years old (but not too far past that and try and keep it out of the public eye because that also becomes undesirable for others to see), but also not keep ourselves away from the real world out there and be back at work as quickly as possible to juggle the multi-tasking, pumping, sleepless life of a working new mom. Be sure not to let the nanny raise your child though!
Because that is what people want to see.
Guys, this is nonsense. The pressure is unnecessary.
Stop justifying your decisions about your own body and your own children. Nobody else is going to live your life for you, so you’re the one in charge here! As a mom, you will always do what is best for your entire family and you of all people need to trust your own gut and your own decisions.
Fed is best. A safe birth is best. Your decisions are what’s best and there is no need to justify any of it.
I’ve always been quite an active soul and since having a baby I have really struggled to get back into being as active as pre-baby times. Tired, no free time, back to work and a baby attached (most of the time screaming in my case) all contributed to a difficult time in trying to stay active.
The best thing that we invested in was a decent jogger pram from Thule which means that we can pop out quickly for a walk/jog easily. Living in Hout Bay, we don’t have many flat or pram-friendly roads around (bearing in mind I am also pregnant so options are particularly limited) so I’m always on the lookout for somewhere nearby for a good walk.
These are my top 3.
1. Sea Point Promenade
My all-time favourite spot is the Sea Point promenade. It’s 11km of easy, flat, very pram-friendly surface to walk/jog/whatever on. It’s easy to get to, there is loads of parking and the view (accompanied by the fresh sea air) is hard to beat.
2. Constantia Nek
This is substantially more challenging, but not impossible. There is a decent jeep track all the way up the mountain from the Constantia Nek parking lot. Parts are quite steep, but definitely doable. I took the husband with as well to take over some (most of the) pramming because of my pregnant heart rate on the hills. It’s great to feel like you’re out in the mountains on a hike with as little hassle as possible.
3. Bantry Bay to Camps Bay
This is another beautifully scenic route. It is relatively flat (some hills here and there) and can get quite busy on the weekends, but is pram-friendly and easily accessed. This coastal road walk is about 3km long .
Who knows what’s going to happen with another baby in the mix soon, but that’s a problem to solve for another day! In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy our beautiful walks wherever we find them.
If you know of any other great pram-friendly spots, please do let me know in the comments.
You may have seen these before and wondered what the fuss is about and if they actually work. I got one for Baby Number 1 and had no idea if it was something that would make life easier or just another baby gimmick. But boy, I am glad that I had not only one, but two of them for my wriggly little worm because they were quite a life saver for us.
Coming home with a newborn is quite terrifying and I remember worrying so much that something is going to happen to him in his sleep, like a loose blanket suffocating him, or worrying that I haven’t wrapped him up properly and he won’t sleep properly because he’s uncomfortable… the list goes on.
Swaddling is a must for newborns and really just helps to prevent the startle reflex, regulate their body temperature, helps them to sleep and makes babies feel secure after being snug in the womb for 9 months. I can’t actually tell you how many times I googled the best way to swaddle a newborn because every single time I had thought I had done it wrong (sleep deprivation is a real thing, guys!). What’s quite unique about the Love To Dream swaddles is that babies can still self-soothe by sucking on their hands, which traditional swaddling doesn’t cater for.
When Luca grew into his Love to Dream Swaddle UP (we only had from Stage 2), life got a whole lot easier. We just zipped him in and went to bed without worry. Sigh. If only I had known about these sooner and bought him the smaller stage as well… hindsight…
Nonetheless, we are prepared this time with the Stage 1 and 2 and Love To Dream has kindly sponsored an original Swaddle UP to give away! Entry mechanism is below and entries close 8 April, so get to it!
*The Love To Dream range is currently available at selected Kid’s Emporium stores, Bub Hub and online at Takealot.
We recently travelled with our 8 month old to Australia. It was a great idea that we had when I was still pregnant and once the baby came we started to think that we’ve made a terrible mistake! It’s hard enough dealing with a baby at home in your own space and now we must all trundle onto a plane, squished amongst other people trying to sleep and “have a relaxing flight” while dealing with not-so-quiet, not-so-keen-on-sleeping tiny human… it was something I really struggled to wrap my head around.
That all being said, we did it and we all survived and I’ve got some long-haul travel tips to share with you as a result!
If your baby is small enough, be sure to book bassinet seats. I think that they cater for up to 11.8kg. It’s an awkward setup for actual sleeping as it’s difficult to transfer a sleeping baby from your arms up into the bassinet without a glitch, but once he’s in and settled, you’re free!
If you’re booking bassinet seats, they’re often right by the galley. Book the seats furthest from the entrance of the galley as it can get quite noisy there and at night people are coming in and out, sending spotlights of blinding light onto your sleeping baby.
Use a good travel agent to make sure that you get the right seats, are checked in on time and that everything is booked correctly. It doesn’t cost any extra and takes away a whole bunch of stress. We use Nicci Hayden from Travel Counsellors and she’s great!
Allow a few extra days either side of your arrival at your destination and home to cater for jet lag. Don’t go back to work the next day (or few days) when you arrive home – that is a terrible idea.
I’m a super organiser. So packing is incredibly stressful for me because how do I know that I have everything that we might possibly need? My husband and I were both hit with a stomach bug just before we left and I was having sleepless nights about the baby getting it on the plane and dealing with that and running out of nappies and soiling his clothes etc. I worry too much! We had a 2 hour flight from Cape Town to Joburg and then a 2 hour wait before our long haul flight there which was 11.45min. The long haul flight on the way back was 14 hours. Qantas doesn’t allow carry-on baggage for an infant, but does allow a nappy bag for nappies and baby food. We had one nappy bag with all his food, bottles and cloths and used one of our carry-on bags for toys, extra clothes, toiletries etc.
Here’s what I packed for each flight for him:
2 packs of wet wipes – 1 in his food bag and 1 in his nappy bag
Silicone bib for feeding
20 nappies (way too many, but I was thinking of a possible diarrhoea situation)
2 changes of clothes (short sleeve and long sleeve baby grows)
2 large muslin cloths
1 baby blanket and his sleepy doo-doo (taglet)
3 toys that make use of multiple activities, e.g. those soft and squishy baby books that have things to touch and crinkle and feel etc.
Toiletry bag with Panado, syringe, aqueous cream, Telement drops (a drop on the dummy helps him to suck it when he’s screaming his head off), saline nose spray, thermometer.
8 pre-measured portions of formula. He didn’t need this many but I packed extra in case of delays etc. Formula containers are great because they save space. It’s difficult to predict how much milk and food he will need because you’re flying through time zones and the whole notion of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack etc goes out the window. I worked out that I should feed him every 3-4 hours, alternating milk and solids and that seemed to work out okay.
6 bottles so that I didn’t have to wash any. On the flight there I only filled a few with boiled water, thinking that they might confiscate the water but they seemed to be okay with it, so I filled them all on the way back. You can also fill with boiled/filtered water on the plane.
5 baby food pouches. We used the Woolworths ones as they’re the more natural and organic than the other brands. Again, he didn’t need this many but if a flight is delayed or cancelled you don’t want to be running around trying to find baby food. We discovered on our flight home that you can actually order baby meals and this would have been handy. It seemed like it was a little pack with a baby food pouch, yoghurt and juice at every meal that was served.
This one is key! A small roll-up changing mat bag inside his nappy bag. I packed this with just one nappy at a time, a tiny talcum powder bottle and a tiny wet wipes pack. I took this out each time I needed to change him so that I didn’t need to lug the whole bag with me each time we did a change and then put a new nappy in when we got back to our seat. Those bathrooms are tiny and awkward and this tip was a winner for me.
At the airport
You’re going to be running around at some point, no matter how organised everything is, so just accept that up front. You might have a poo nappy as you’re about to board and need to run off to sort that out quickly, or on arrival back to SA you will need to collect your baggage (even though you were told it was checked through to your final destination) and re-check it in after a delayed flight and there’s only one counter open with a queue to high heavens and you’ll need to run off to domestic departures and find someone to help get you to the front of the queue so that you don’t miss your next flight… you know.. that sort of thing!
Here’s how to make it all easier:
Get there early. If you have baby items to check in, like a stroller or a car seat, you will need to drop those off at the oversized baggage counter and that means an extra queue.
Check in your stroller. You don’t want to be lugging that around and it’s always a gamble as to whether you’re going to get it back as you leave the aircraft or if they’ve decided to send it on the baggage carousel or oversized baggage collection point. You shouldn’t need to worry about that.
Use a baby carrier. That way you have hands free and baby is contained and happy. If he likes to sleep in the carrier: bonus!
Wear layers of breathable cotton. You’ll sometimes be hot and sometimes be cold and a lot of the time have a baby attached to you or sleeping on you, so layers of breathable clothing really helps when you’re sweating on each other trying to keep a baby contained or asleep.
On the flight
Wear elasticated tights/pants that are easy to pull up and down with one hand. Even if you’re travelling with a partner, you may be in a situation where you need to go to the teeny tiny little toilet with your baby.
Don’t worry about what other people think. If your baby is screaming, he’s screaming and of course you’re going to do everything you can to make him stop, but you don’t need pressure from others added to the mix. Just ignore it. Most people are really understanding with babies on flights.
Introduce your baby. It helps to introduce your baby to everyone around him on the flight so they all go “aw sweet, what a cutie, we love him” before he potentially keeps them awake 🙂
If you’ve got an overnight flight, chances are that your baby is going to sleep through it all, hoorah! If it’s a day flight, you might have to accept that you’ll be entertaining a baby for a loooooooong time. Try to get him to sleep when he shows signs of being tired but also accept when he’s not going to sleep and just go with it. Keep him entertained with his toys. We put our little guy sitting in his bassinet with his toys for a while when we had had enough of trying to get him to sleep and just wanted to relax for a bit. Remember that it is temporary!
When you arrive
Get the baby into a routine as soon as you possibly can. If you arrive early morning, give him breakfast even if it feels like you just ate lunch. Get him to bed at the destination bedtime and go to bed early that night so that you get a few hours in before the midnight/2am wakings start.
Jet lag is a special kind of hell and you just have to go with it. We didn’t find any special tips for this (we’re on Day 6 and it’s getting better but we still don’t feel normal or well rested yet) other than to try and get him into the destination routine as quickly as possible. When he wakes up at midnight wanting to play for 2 hours, just go with it, play with him until he gets tired again and try and get back to sleep as quickly as you can once he does. Trying to force him into sleep when he is actually wide awake is just too frustrating for everyone. It will pass. It can take up to a week. We found that we had a few bad nights on arriving in Australia and are still dealing with it now coming back to SA.
And that’s all I have to share with you on this. I hope that it’s been helpful and if you’re preparing for a long-haul trip ahead – good luck, you’ve got this!
Having a baby is quite scary. Getting pregnant, being pregnant, growing a healthy baby … it’s all a big deal and then the time starts to draw near when you need to think about getting the baby out. I found it completely overwhelming and terrifying. I intended to have a natural birth, missed the antenatal class that actually dealt with details of the birth (it overlapped with our baby shower) and was armed with Dr Google information. Our baby came 2 weeks early and it was a wild ride, ending with an emergency c-section after 13 hours of natural labour and a very drugged up new mom who felt like she needed to sleep for a week.
With all of the anticipation and uncertainty around birthing a tiny little human that you’ve made in your own body (it’s still a bizarre concept to me), you can at least be prepared for your hospital stay. Having something that is certain and planned can help to ease the anxiety that comes with this exciting time of a new mom-to-be’s life.
What I found:
A lot of the experience is a bit of a blur to me, but I dug out my research from when I was pregnant and freaking out about the birth and pieced together bits of my memory and created a downloadable checklist for you. It’s based on a 3 night’s stay in hospital in a private room. I’ve left some space for you to add some extra items that I might not have thought of or maybe didn’t find necessary but you do. (I’d add some earphones if you’re sharing a room, because I’m sure it can get pretty noisy and when you’re needing a nap you’ll want to be able to.)
I included nursing vests as I found these far more useful than nursing bras. The first 2 days I couldn’t fathom getting changed into pyjamas, never mind putting on a bra so those nursing tops with the built-in support and clip-off straps are amazing and comfortable.
I added in maternity panties and large cotton panties because those maternity panties are not amazing. When you get up for the first time after a c-section (I’m not sure if this happens with natural birth as well), there is a scary amount of blood and the maternity panties are good for this. Once that calmed down I wanted to be in normal panties – just make sure they are quite large and stretchy to be comfortable when you’re still so round and also tender.
Don’t underestimate the amount of maternity or maxi pads you’ll need. Rather have more than less. The hospital provided me with a pack in my welcome pack as well as some newborn nappies, a newborn hat and a few toiletries as far as I can remember.
Don’t bother with any nipple cream other than Lansinoh and remember your breast pads else you’ll stain your bra/top with the oils from the nipple cream.
I’ve been told that the squirt bottle and ice pad is a life saver after natural birth but we didn’t go the whole hog with that so I can’t tell if it’s true or not. Pack them just in case!
Juice was an essential item for me. I was insanely thirsty for some reason and I asked every visitor to bring me juice! It might have been the pain meds that had me so thirsty. The hospital does supply some juice and water, but I needed far more than they were giving me.
To be honest, I waited about 2 days before attempting to dress my baby. He was wrapped up so nice and snuggled in the wraps provided by the hospital that I didn’t feel the need to. Depending on what size you think your baby is going to be, pack a size smaller and bigger in case he/she comes out bigger or smaller than you expected! Our baby needed Premature sized clothes of which we had none.
The vaseline is necessary for baby’s first sticky black poo… it’s quite a shocker and the vaseline helps.
You’ll spend a lot of time trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and your baby will need to feed A LOT while there so a nursing cushion is a must for comfort.
And that’s it! There’s a lot that you are going to discover and figure out for yourself and a lot that you don’t see coming, but at least you can be prepared for your hospital stay 🙂
It takes some getting used to – being called a ‘mom’. You’re just your normal self for all your life and then you’re another thing all of a sudden. Like you’re supposed to know and understand this new thing that you are and just ‘be it’.
Maternal instinct is a very real thing and unconditional love for another human being is also a very real thing, but it doesn’t make you automatically know all the ‘mom things’. You don’t always know what to do when the baby is screaming, you don’t know how to rearrange your life around the dysfunction of sleep deprivation, you don’t know how you’re keeping it all together in the chaos. You don’t know if everything you do is the best that is possible for your little human and for yourself and for your marriage and for your career and, and, and…
I finally feel like I’m in a space now where I understand it. A space where I just am a mom without trying to wrap my head around it. It doesn’t define me, but it is me. It’s been in me my whole life. My love for my baby has filled a space that I didn’t know was there to be filled.
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now – since I had my baby 6 months ago, in fact! I love to tackle those awkward topics that nobody really wants to talk about (did you read about the labour haemorrhoids?) and if you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I’m always keen to show honest real life, not just the highlights version. So let’s talk about how to visit a new mom.
It’s often a situation where a someone just doesn’t understand what a new mom is going through and their visit causes more stress than support, or it’s someone who knows that things are chaotic when a new baby is born and don’t know how to visit without it being awkward so they rather just don’t. So here’s the deal with visiting a new mom. Call it the unwritten (now written) rules.
Never just pop in. It’s a continuous cycle (24 hours, day after day after day without a break) of 2-3 hourly stretches with very little sleep within any of those. Every tiny moment where mom is able to be apart from her baby is used for things like showering, napping, going to the toilet or eating a meal – never all of those in one stretch, though, it’s a case of prioritising which of those is most important. Every hour of the day is precious and a pop-in when she’s planned a quick shower or a nap is not going to go down very well to say the least.
Bring something useful. Ask her for a shopping list of things you can pick up from the grocery store or pharmacy. She’s not able to get out to buy anything and someone offering to pick up a few things is a massive help. Offer to get the awkward things too, like nipple cream, or maxi pads – she will be so damn grateful!
Be flexible. Don’t be offended if she cancels with you last minute. She may have been able to create a little gap in the day to take a much needed nap and that is more valuable than pure, solid GOLD. There is no schedule that you can fit into, you just need to go with the flow and be okay with it.
Do something helpful. Wash some dishes, make tea, throw a load of clothes into the washing machine etc. Do so in a helpful way without making her feel like she doesn’t have things under control.
Be okay with boobs. If she is breastfeeding, you will see boobs at some point – guaranteed. Don’t be weird about it. It’s not easy and most of the time there’s a lot to do with a boob out and a crying baby and fumbling and that’s just how it’s going to be. Offer her a cup of tea while she’s feeding.
Wash your hands. Always wash your hands before going near the baby. Tell her that you’re going to wash your hands before you touch the baby so that she knows and don’t need to worry about any germs you may have brought in with you.
Bring food. She’s not going to have the time or inclination to cook and a meal that she can keep in the freezer and bring out whenever it’s necessary is hugely helpful! Do a bit of research into what’s okay for breastfeeding. Newborns have gas and colic and all sorts of nightmarish things that are exasperated by certain foods like spicy foods, onions, garlic, dairy…
Those newborn days are so hectic and the support and help is really so appreciated (as long as it doesn’t cause additional stress – that’s really so avoidable.) Now you know!