Kids & Family

5 Simple Ways to Help a New Mom

Know someone who just had a baby? These five simple things can help put a smile on her face.

The closest I ever got to being in jail was, well, being in a jail.

The Allegheny County Jail, to be exact, in Pittsburgh. In seventh grade, on a field trip for MADD. All it took was one look at the toilet in the corner of the shared cell to convince me that the slammer was not the place for me.

Fast forward 18 years to when I had my first baby. And then? I put myself in jail again. This time it was in my own house and admittedly the bathroom amenities were much nicer, but based on the amount of ground I covered in those first few months of my son's life, I may as well have been sharing an eight-foot cell with an actual violent offender.

I was, for lack of a better term, stuck.

So,it's in the spirit of helping new moms everywhere who may feel similarly trapped or otherwise overloaded that I bring you "5 Simple Things to Do to Help a New Mom."

In my case, thank God my sister-in-law got me out of my house by saying to me a simple phrase that, to anyone else who's not in the mind-numbing grips of newborn exhaustion will loudly scream "DUH" to: "You know, you can leave the house with the baby if you want."

It was like being smacked upside the head with a bag of frozen breast milk.

I can leave this place? I thought. I can actually bring this baby WITH me, in the car, and not about him maybe crying or pooping himself or me having to nurse in public? I can do that??!

Well, I did that, with her help, and honestly, that small nudge of reality and kindness was all I needed to break free of my own little jail.

One more piece of advice on my "feed her" tip: if you can't prepare or deliver a meal to your new mom's house, or you have a bunch of people who want to chip in, the website Take Them a Meal is super helpful. It lets you coordinate meal deliveries among a group of friends or relatives for delivery to the new mom. She will be so grateful, I promise.

How can you start something good?
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