Support A New Mom By Asking These 10 Simple Questions
Support a New Mom By Asking These 10 Simple Questions:
- Did you sleep last night? Can I watch the baby while you nap?
- What is your favourite meal that I can make you?
- Do you want me to watch the baby while you shower?
- Can I do your dishes?
- It can be really hard transitioning to being a mom, how is that going for you?
- What can I bring you, coffee or tea?
- It is common for new moms to go through the baby blues, have you had this at all? Can I help you with this?
- What laundry can I do while I am here?
- Do you need anything from the grocery store?
- If you are having a hard time, do you know that you can talk to me about it?
Remember that this new mom may feel like she is the only one who is struggling! Help her feel normal by reminding her that many new moms struggle, and that there is help out there. If she does tell you she is struggling, she may just need you to sit with her, be present, and listen to how she is feeling. She may also need you to help her access professional help. Whatever her struggles may be, ask the mom in your life how you can best support her! These 10 questions will help the mom in your life to feel supported. There are also questions that you should avoid asking a new mom, we listed these for you below!
Questions to Avoid Asking a New Mom
1. How Are You? When supporting a new mom, well-meaning friends and family often ask the question “How are you?”. Asking a new mom this question often leads to the answer “I’m fine.” In reality, many new moms report that they are not fine. 1 in 7 new moms will struggle with a postpartum mental illness). Becoming a mother also comes with a lot of worry, stress, and feelings that can be overwhelming. Many women may feel like its easier to give a simple answer such as, “I’m fine”, rather than dive into all her struggles.
2. “Don’t You Love Being a Mom?” Asking questions like, “Aren’t you just loving being a mom?” or “Are you enjoying every minute?” can make a new mom feel isolated and alone. She may feel like she can’t express her struggles, or that she can’t ask you for help! The expectation that new moms should be elated and carefree is very harmful, as it can make women suffer in silence postpartum.
3, Do You Need Anything? If you want to ask questions that will help you support the new mom in your life, try to be specific. Rather than asking her open-ended questions about what she needs, let her know exactly what support you can give her! This will make it easier for her to accept help from you. Being a new mom is exhausting, and using her limited mental energy to think of ways that you can help her might be tough.
“It takes a village to raise a child, but also to raise a mom.”
Be a part of this village by asking new mom’s questions that will make them feel supported and heard. What was one thing you wished that you were asked as a new mom? Share it below!
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*Thank you so much to the #speakthesecret campaign from the Postpartum Stress Centre for opening up the conversation on maternal mental health through these images!*