Giving birth is a crazy, amazing, messy, painful, beautiful and exhausting act, one that leaves nearly every new mama totally drained, emotionally and physically, post partum. It’s your job as her BFF to do anything and everything you can to fill her back up and support her during this exhausting time. That whole “it takes a village” thing is 100 percent true, and as one of her primary residents, it’s your civic duty to spoil the new mom. You might be wondering what you can do to help- well, we can assist you with that, especially since those first 40 days are so important. Here are 10 helpful suggestions on how you can be the best, most supportive BFF ever in these first weeks.
1. Sign her up for a food service delivery. One of the last things on a new mom’s mind (even if she fashions herself a modern day Julia Child) is the idea of slaving over a hot stove making dinner. If her partner is not handy in the kitchen, then this hungry (and likely nursing) mama will need some meals. To make it super easy, give her the gift of a meal-delivery service like Munchery or Ayesha Curry’s upcoming food delivery service Gather (she’ll even have baby food on the menu for when the baby starts eating).
2. Organize a meal train. If you want to deliver food with a more personal touch, get all your BFF’s BFFs together and create a delicious meal train where everyone pitches in to make food for the family. There’s even a site to make scheduling and food preferences easier to keep track of, aptly called Meal Train. Be mindful of the family’s food restrictions and give meals to them in disposable food containers or ones they don’t need to return to make it easier on the new parents. If you need some inspo, check out our suggestions for some easy freezer meals.
3. Pitch in around the house. Head to your pal’s house armed with cleaning products and get to work. Wash some dishes, do some laundry, change sheets and just do anything you can to help make life a little easier and cleaner. It may not be fun for you, but it’ll make a world of difference to them.
4. Make snack time easier. Bring a basket of her favorite snacks that are easy to eat one-handed (since 90 percent of the time she’ll have her other hand on her beautiful babe). Granola bars, fruit, popcorn and various dried fruits and nuts make for good (and healthy) options.
5. Gift her an awesome massage. Now, unless you’re a certified masseuse, don’t try this yourself. Instead, have a massage service do a house call or make an appointment at a local spa (and offer to watch the baby while she gets that much-needed rub down).
6. Watch the baby so she can grab a shower. Seriously, finding a moment to shower is one of the things that new moms don’t get to do as much as they’d like. The struggle is real! Swing by your BFF’s house for 20 or 30 minutes so she can hop in the shower, brush her hair and maybe even grab a few minutes of quiet time alone. This is one of the best gifts EVER and it’s so easy to give!
7. Encourage bath time. All sorts of places will be sore after having a baby. Bring her a gift basket filled with things that will make for the most relaxing bath time ever. Plan on an awesome smelling bath bomb, a couple aromatherapy candles, that fancy shampoo you’ve wanted her to try and the time to take said bath (see tip number 6).
8. Netflix and chill. Well, not in the way we now think of Netflixing and chilling. Doing something as low key as watching The Princess Bride for the hundredth time or binge watching Gilmore Girls could be just the thing for a new mom to feel normal. Bring popcorn, her favorite sweet treat and a big comfy blankie for curling on the couch and doing next to nothing.
9. If they have other kids, take them out for a treat. It’s good for the new mom to spend some undivided time with her new baby. To help keep older siblings from feeling misplaced, take them out and spoil them. Swing by a toy store for a little shopping excursion, or just go out for a banana split. Take them to a playground, and go get another banana split! But make sure that they’ve come down off their sugar rush before you return them to their parents.
10. Finally, don’t wear out you’re welcome. Make sure she has time to rest and recover and don’t monopolize her time (unless she wants you to). Ask her what she REALLY needs. It could be as unglamorous as a sitz bath, or that she’s totally craving a Dragon Roll from her fave sushi place (now that she can finally eat sushi again). Listen to her. Be there for her.