Archive

ShareThis Page
6 ways to help new parents | TribLIVE.com
More Lifestyles

6 ways to help new parents

The Washington Post
| Sunday, November 15, 2015 9:00 p.m

The birth of a baby is a wondrous thing — and nothing less than the crux of our entire human existence. But let us not forget: When a baby is born, so too is a mother. As tempting as it is to buy adorable baby toys and outfits, it is the mother who needs us most after childbirth. Sure, bring the tiny cute stuff if you like, but do this too:

Bring food. New parents do not have the time nor energy to plan meals, grocery shop and spend hours in the kitchen. It is an incredibly nourishing act to feed someone you care about. Nourish her. Bring everything she needs, including paper plates. Eat with her if she wants the company, and just leave the food with her if she wants to collapse later and eat it on the couch.

Support her baby-feeding choices. So she wants to breastfeed. Don’t give her the idea that she has to hide away out of sight while she’s nursing. If she decides to stop breastfeeding and move to formula, acknowledge that she knows what is best for her family. Don’t lecture, or inquire why she stopped. Let her be, and thank heavens there are safe, nutritious formulas.

Call or text her from the grocery store. “I’m out at Target. Can I pick up anything for you while I’m here?” Small to you, huge to her.

Take the big kids. If she’s just had her second or third child or beyond, offer to drive the older ones to preschool or soccer. Invite them over to play with your kids. If you’re close, see if the new parents would like you to pick up the big kids for an overnight visit.

Listen, and don’t assume she is loving new motherhood. If she shows signs of postpartum depression, help her feel OK about asking her doctor for additional care. She may not know if what she is feeling is a normal bout of blues, or something that could use a little extra attention from her medical provider.

Support maternal leave and postpartum care in the United States. By now most of us have heard the statistic: the United States is one of just three countries in the world that do not provide guaranteed paid maternity leave. What does that mean, really, for American mothers? Most women cobble together some mix of vacation days, paid disability leave, and unpaid time off. Consider this: many, almost one-quarter in one recently reported study, American mothers return to work within one or two weeks of birth.

— The Washington Post

Categories: More Lifestyles
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.