I am so excited to share this recent Ottawa Maternity session at the Ornamental Gardens in Ottawa. This beautiful momma wore one of my new maternity dresses by Free People and she absolutely rocked it. I can’t wait to meet her new baby boy for our Lifestyle Newborn session in September.
While we were chatting during our session, she was explaining to me that in Asian culture, the mother doesn’t leave the house with the baby for the first month and that she was actually looking forward to it. It is a tradition that the parents and family of the mother or father move in for a month and take care of the house so that the mother has time to heal and bond with her new baby. The village takes over. She does no cooking or cleaning; her family takes care of that. How amazing is that? I find in Western culture that there is so much pressure put on the mother to bounce back quickly. In reality, though, how are you supposed to bounce back seamlessly with all that comes with being a new mom? I was extremely lucky that after the birth of my first, my mom basically moved in for 2 weeks and insisted that I rest while she and my husband took care of the house and held the baby so I could sleep. With my second my husband was able to take a bit more time off and spent a lot of time with my toddler while I just spent the time getting to know my new baby and resting with her. I really think it makes all the difference in how you heal after delivering a baby.
I think at the end of the day a lot of family and friends don’t know how to be helpful after a baby is born, especially if they have never had kids themselves, so I decided to compile a list on some of the amazing things you can do to help a new momma!
1: Bring meals!! This was huge for me as I was so exhausted after a long labour with my first that the last thing I wanted to do was cook, but I needed nutritious meals to help me recover and help me produce milk. The important thing for this one is to bring meals without the expectation of a visit. I had so many of my family and friends just drop off meals on my front porch knowing that I just needed rest and wasn’t up for being social. This was so appreciated and helpful!!
2: Offer to do an evening shift. This is especially helpful right after the baby is born as both the mom and the dad are exhausted from delivery and haven’t had sleep in a couple days. I had my sisters come and do a night shift at the hospital and once I was home so I could get a couple hours of sleep. Everyone knows that babies sleep better while being held, so just coming to hold the baby for 3 hours in the evening was so helpful so the parents can get a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep.
3: Come over and help with chores. Whether that is doing dishes, folding the endless amounts of laundry or even hiring a cleaning service for a new mom is priceless.
4: Do groceries for the parents. This is another huge help so the parents have some good food in the house and they don’t have to leave the house with a newborn for the first couple weeks.
5: Last but not least just ask the mom what she needs. Instead of saying “Let me know if you need any help” ask direct questions so they don’t feel badly asking. Ie “ What would you like for supper tonight because I’m bringing something”, “Where is your laundry basket”, ‘What snacks should I bring” etc. Direct questions make the mom feel less badly and are so appreciated.
Let me know if I missed anything and I look forward to sharing photos of her new baby boy after our newborn session in Ottawa next month.
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