It can be really hard for partners to know how to help in the early days and weeks with a newborn. Read on for ideas from new mums on what helped them most - practically, emotionally and with baby duties in the first weeks after birth. Small things like these can make such a difference and help make the transition that little bit easier and happier.
If you can, have a think in pregnancy about how you would like to be supported practically/emotionally and talk to your partner about what would help you. Have another chat when the baby is here to make sure you are on the same page still. Try to communicate your needs clearly - even if you and your partner know each other very well, sleep deprivation makes everything foggier!
Tag-team - Taking turns to do shifts in the night and giving each other a nap in the daytime, preferably with the baby in another room, so you each have some uninterrupted sleep in your own bed. Agree in advance when you will swap over to avoid any middle of the night tensions!
Burping and settling the baby after feeds so you can get some sleep or rest
Giving you a break from babycare - holding the baby whilst you do something for you - shower, eat two handed or sleep
Keeping your feeding space stocked up with essentials - water, snacks, remote, great playlist, snuggly blanket, muslin etc
Bottle washing duties
Being the chief nappy changer. Confession: for the first few days after Sophia’s birth, I didn’t change any nappies, my husband seemed so confident I was worried of doing it wrong! I more than made up for it afterwards though!
Actively encouraging ‘Mummy time out’ i.e small chunks of time to do something just for you, without the baby (whenever you feel ready). It’s also so important for your partner to be able to recharge their own battery by getting some exercise, meeting up with mates etc
Telling you how well you are doing and what a good mum you are, encouraging and supporting your decisions
A hug, kiss or nice text
Telling you that they love you
Listening to you without offering advice
Handling visitors to ensure they don't overstay their welcome and setting boundaries especially with the in-laws!
Protecting your space from said visitors, and healthcare professionals
Encouraging each other, and reminding each other that you are a team and learning something new, together
Reminding you that your post-baby body is beautiful
Bringing you a hot drink
Leaving a good supply of snacks for you throughout the house
Making a yummy meal and taking the baby whilst you eat it uninterrupted
Letting you know when they are going off to work / when they will be home so you know when they can take over
Taking your other child(ren) out so you get bonding time with your baby (and vice-versa)
Taking the initiative to do chores like laundry, washing up, housework, cooking etc
Learning to use the washing machine if they don't already
Being comfortable with giving tasks to people offering help such as bringing you shopping, a hot meal or helping with childcare if you have another little one
Supporting breastfeeding being established if that is how you choose to feed e.g. watching the videos, knowing where to find support and resisting the urge to keep suggesting you try the rugby hold position!
These little things can make such a difference to your mood, day and postpartum experience ❤️
Interested in a Postnatal MOT in the 4th trimester or Postnatal Prep session in pregnancy? More information here or book a free discovery call.
The Postnatal MOT session as described by a new mum:'The time and space to discuss everything with Valentine and have a think about a plan for optimising my postnatal enjoyment, health and wellbeing'