A Practical Guide To Supporting A New Mom || Built For All Our Single Besties

Supporting a new mother during the postpartum period is crucial for her mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Having been on both sides of this fence now, I do have some basic advice. I wish I knew this when I was single and newly married, so I would have been able to be more helpful to my sisters and friends that became mothers before I did!

Family and friends play a significant role in providing this support, which can make a tremendous difference in her adjustment to motherhood. Here’s a few tips that family members and friends can reference to best support a postpartum mom:

  1. Offer Practical Help

New mothers often face physical exhaustion and time constraints, especially if baby isn’t sleeping great. Offering practical assistance can alleviate some of these pressures.

  • Household chores: Help with cleaning, laundry, dishes or grocery shopping. Simple tasks can be overwhelming for a new mom, and there is nothing better than a trusted close friend or family member lending a helping hand.
  • Meal preparation: Prepare and deliver nourishing meals that can be easily reheated. Healthy, nutritious meals are essential for a mom’s recovery. After months of not being able to eat a full meal without feeling stuffed to the rafters, having tasty homemade meals is a big treat for the new mom!
  • Errands: Run errands like picking up prescriptions or other necessities, this gives moms more time to focus on her baby and herself. There is so much new stuff to learn during the postpartum period as a first time mom, so a little help goes such a long way. And for second time moms with toddlers, go ahead and offer to bring her little tots along for errands to give mother and new baby time along to relax and bond. It’s also fun for the toddlers to get a special outing with a close family member or friend, as they adjust to the new shifting dynamics in the household. This is my favorite thing to do with my nieces and nephews when a new sibling joins their families!
  1. Emotional Support

The postpartum period can be emotionally challenging due to hormonal changes, lack of sleep, physical changes, and the new responsibilities of caring for a newborn.

  • Listening ear: Be available to listen without judgment. Sometimes, just having someone to talk to can provide immense relief.
  • Encouragement: Offer positive reinforcement. Compliment her efforts and remind her that she is doing a great job. Also, encourage the mom to share her struggles, if you have been through the postpartum stage before, you may have the perfect solution for her struggles. I have learned and shared so much with my fellow mom friends that has been very practical and helpful for everyone involved. One of my sisters was struggling getting her baby to latch, so I mentioned to try hand expressing a little before nursing. Babies sometimes have a hard time latching once the milk comes in because engorged breast can be similar to trying to sucking on bowling ball, so relieving some pressure often does the trick! I could go on, but I’ll leave it there for now.
  • Understanding: Acknowledge her feelings and experiences. Avoid minimizing her emotion, and seek to understand by listening. Becoming an mother is incredibly emotional in the best way, so showing empathy and understanding to the burst of emotion that can overcome a mom quickly is one of the kindest things you can do. And to the new moms, be patient with friends that haven’t experienced birth yet. It is hard to wrap your mind around something this special and emotional without experiencing it, so show those friends some grace as well. And hey, send them the link to this article if they are asking what they can do to support you.
  1. Provide Time and Space for Self-Care

Encourage and enable the new mom to take some time for herself, which is vital for her mental health.

  • Baby sitting: Offer to watch the baby for a few hours so she can nap, take a bath, or relax. For first time moms, it’s hard to believe that babies will keep breathing when you fall asleep, so having a trusted family member or friend look over your baby while you nap can help relieve some of those first time mom anxieties.
  • Scheduling breaks: Help her schedule a few breaks during those first few weeks for self-care activities, whether it’s a short walk, reading a book, or simply resting. One of my sister in laws offered to come over before or after her job to come hold my baby while I napped for many days during my first two weeks postpartum, and it was amazing. No matter how poor sleep we got at night, I knew I had a hour or two to nap and catch up on sleep during the day when she came over to hold our baby.
  1. Respect Her Boundaries

While support is crucial, it’s also important to respect the new mom’s boundaries and personal space.

  • Ask first: Before visiting or helping, ask her when would be a convenient time. New moms may need time alone or might not be ready for visitors yet, others may want visitors right away. Every mother has different preferences, so just be flexible with her boundaries no matter how silly or small you might view them.
  • Short visits: Keep visits short and sweet unless she explicitly asks you to stay longer. Long visits can be tiring, so depending on the day she may have different wants/needs.
  • Non-intrusive help: Offer help in ways that don’t intrude on her privacy. Dropping off meals without expecting a visit, for instance, can be very considerate. If you’re a mom with little kids as well, try to leave your other kids home with dad if possible to limit the commotion during your visit/drop-off with the new mom. Too much commotion can be very overwhelming for new moms, and they may also want to limit exposure to other kids and their cute, cuddly germs during the first month.
  1. Educate Yourself

Understanding the challenges of the postpartum period can make you a more empathetic and effective supporter.

  • Learn about postpartum depression and anxiety: Being informed about the signs can help you recognize if your friend might need professional help. My number one advise is if a mother seems particularly down or out of sorts, offer to watch the kids while she naps. One of the biggest contributors to postpartum depression is sleep deprivation, so offering to watch kids while she sleeps can be a very effective way to show and give support.
  • Understand basic newborn care: Basic knowledge about newborn care can help you provide more effective assistance. Offer to change a diaper or two, bring the baby to and from mom if possible (especially for those c-section mothers) and offer to get her water during and after feedings to keep her hydrated.
  1. Encourage Social Interaction

Isolation can be a significant issue for new mothers, so encouraging social interaction is important.

  • Social visits: Invite her to small, manageable social gatherings or visit her with other close friends.
  • Mom groups: If you’re a part of a mom group, make sure to extend out a welcoming hand to invite her to hang out with moms that have been through similar experiences to her.
  1. Offer Long-Term Support

Support shouldn’t end after the first few weeks. Continued assistance can help her adjust more smoothly over time.

  • Check-ins: Go ahead and make sure to check in on her, even after the initial postpartum period. Continued support and caring can make a big difference, especially if she is having a hard time adjust to motherhood (which is perfectly normal).
  • Be a good friend: For her friends that aren’t in the parenting stage of life, always remember that even though her conversations may change to diapers, birth stories and tales of her new baby, she is still the same friend inside. However, she now has a small human in her life that her world revolves around, so do your best to look for ways to involve yourself in this new chapter in her life. And for new mom friends, don’t forget your about friends without kids. Find ways to connect with them and continue to show interest in their life adventures and journey.  


Supporting a postpartum mom involves a combination of practical assistance, emotional support, respecting boundaries, and continued involvement. By being empathetic, proactive, and informed, friends can significantly contribute to a new mother's well-being, making her transition into motherhood smoother and more joyful. Your thoughtful support can help her feel valued, understood, and less isolated during this transformative period.

If you’re a new mom reading this, struggling to ask for help and don’t know who to turn to, just comment below and I will do my best to respond quickly with practical advice/suggestions. I’ve been fortunate enough to be blessed with 4 sisters and 10 sister in laws, so I have plenty of exposure to a large variety of motherhood journeys and struggles and would be happy to help! Until you hear back, don’t forget to take a deep breath, and do your best to relax. 

XXX Jessie

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