Are you expecting a baby?
Are you being asked “what do you need?”, “what can I get you?”
Perhaps you have a friend who is expecting, and you wonder what you can give.
I have two words: FOOD and HELP.
These are the true Gift of Love to a family expecting a new arrival.
A wonderful gift is that of food.
Healthy meals made for the family, given to freeze for after bub is born or brought to share when visiting.
Do not underestimate the power of this gift.
This gift says “I love you”.
This gift says “you are important, you deserve to be looked after”
Healthy food means that mum will be able to concentrate on getting to know her baby, and if she has other children - managing the family food easily.
This gift also reminds the mother that she is part of a community. It reminds her that she has support, people to reach out to, people who love her and thinks she matters. Postpartum depression is often associated with the feeling of being isolated, and reaching out to a mum in advance by providing her with a few meals lets her know you are there for her.
Offering to help the new mum around the house, if she is so inclined, can also be a gift of love. This allows the mum to focus on resting and getting to know her baby. It takes off the pressure to be perfect, and if she likes her home to be neat and ordered this will help her stay sane. It might be as simple as hanging a load of washing, or bringing it in. It might be running the vacuum over. It might be taking the older kids to the park, so that she can do it herself.
Helping the mother as she needs, by asking her genuinely how you can help: Offer a few suggestions, maybe she just wants a shower to herself or some company. Maybe she would like someone to take a walk with her.
Many women do not feel that they can ask, do not know that they can ask…and so will not ask. They will not say that they would really appreciate the help.
And she shouldn’t have to ask.