Do you have a new baby, or do you know someone who is about to adopt or give birth to a new baby?
It is true that in some non-western cultures supportive rituals are provided to ease the mother into her new role. In these cultures, it turns out, there is far less postpartum depression. Even the baby blues is rare!
In western cultures there are many medical “rituals” that take place in the hospital, but once you are home, you might feel pretty much abandoned, overwhelmed and alone!
Here are some ideas for simple acts of caring and kindness that typically make a big difference to the mother of a new baby in her first few months at home.
- Meals: Preparing meals for the mother or organizing carry-in meals
- Older siblings: Playing with older siblings, bathing them, reading to them, taking them to and from school
- Housework: asking the new mother what she needs most in terms of housework, cleaning up after visitors
- Community: finding new mother groups, mom and baby activities and giving her the information so that she can get out of the house, offering to go for a walk with her, or sit in the park with her.
- Emotions: Asking her how she is really feeling. Letting her know that it’s normal to feel sad and tearful and overwhelmed. Offer to listen without giving advice.
If you are a new mom, practice asking for what you need from those around you. It is difficult for people to know exactly what you need, and most people, are very willing to help, and are waiting to be asked.
So ASK today!
Kim Richardson is an experienced Postpartum Depression Counselor, Certified Professional Coach, and psychotherapist. She works by telephone and skype – counseling, coaching and supporting mothers who are struggling. Visit:www.themommyblues.com or Email: Kim@TheMommyBlues.com to contact her.