MomCare for the WIN
Want a better world? Take better care of mom. Because mom takes care of baby. And baby is our future.
After giving birth to my second child, a beautiful and healthy baby girl, I went to the women's health clinic to check on my stitches. This is where I met my favorite health worker to this day. She will forever be my hero and I have no idea what her name is or who she is. If you are reading this, mature health worker in London, thank you for making my day.
This was in Raynes Park, Wimbledon. I just came in to the appointment, sat down rather uncomfortably because I was still in pain after what had been about a five minute long birth. I would still prefer this super-speedy birth over the ten hour long one I had with my first born, but it does leave you with a rather beat up downstairs area. Let us not go into details. Because no one wants to hear about that.
What everyone needs to hear loud and clear is what this angel woman working at the health station said to me, that I will always remember. Without remembering exactly what we said, we were on the subject of how I was coping in general, and I believe I shared a feeling of falling short, as we had a two-year old also needing attention and help at the same time as a newborn being full-on for everybody in the house.
She looked me straight in the face and said "hey, you should be lying down like Cleopatra right now and people should be feeding you grapes. This is what every woman who just gave birth deserves."
I believe she is one hundred percent right. We should take better care of moms after they give birth. After everything these women have been through, they deserve and need some extra care and attention themselves. I think this is something most people would agree on in theory, but it can fall through in real life as there are so many things happening in a household when a new baby arrives.
The main focus is on the baby. As it should be, this is a fragile little being in constant need for attention and care. But we must not forget the mom. The mom is ALSO a fragile being after 9 months of pregnancy finalized by the marathon experience of delivering a baby. I know a lot of people always say "pregnancy is natural", "pregnancy is not a disease", "giving birth is the most natural thing in the world" and sure, it is what we are made to do. But that does not mean it is easy and feels like a natural thing for every woman. It may feel strange, unnatural, uncomfortable, painful, and confusing, along with all the positives. What I think we can all agree on is that is is a real piece of work and whoever just delivered a baby needs extra care.
So please, this is a message to all fathers out there, all people surrounding new moms, and especially all of you who have a friend or close relative who is living alone with a newborn. Take care of mom.
I made a list of 10 things you can do for a new mom, to make it easy for you. These are just examples, feel free to experiment with your own tactics. But I do find that in many cases, the mother herself is to tired or overwhelmed to ask for help, or even know what she needs help with, so it might be a great idea to just go ahead and help her, instead of asking her if she needs help. If you say or do the wrong thing, offend her (new moms can be easily offended) it is okay too. She will remember this later. That at least you tried. Remember that she is operating on very little sleep so if she doesn't seem grateful it might be because she simply is to tired to show it. You will get your reward in heaven if no place else. And know that by helping a mom you are helping the baby as well, and these little cuties are this planets future. So you are doing important work.
Take Care of Mom by:
Make food for mom. She needs to eat. Preferably food that can be eaten with one hand.
Bring water and Ice coffee for mom. Nothing hot as we know this can be dangerous for the baby.
Do the dishes. Just get it done. Or pay someone. Whatever, just let mom off the hook.
Make dinner. Or order in. Just take it off the new moms to-do list.
Do the laundry. Try to not ruin the clothes. Follow the labels.
Ask mom if she would let you hold the baby for a little while so she can take a nap or a shower.
Talk to mom, tell her about your day. She needs adult input. Tell a funny story.
Go to the shop for mom. Buy things she needs but also candy.
Give mom the gift of a comfy yoga outfits so she can feel fresh.
Tell mom she is doing an amazing job.