What to Say (and Not Say) to a New Mom - Brenna Heater

What to Say (and Not Say) to a New Mom

For Parents, Tips & Tricks

As a newborn photographer, I’m around new moms day in and day out. I have two kids, who were once newborns, too, so I know a thing or two about what to say, and not say, to a new mom.

We’ve all heard those not-so-helpful comments before, whether they’ve come from a family member, close friend, co-worker, or acquaintance. We all know they mean well. Or at least we hope they do.

But there are just some things you don’t say to a new mom, am I right?

What not to say…

“How is the baby sleeping”

Not all babies sleep through the night right away. And that’s okay. My daughter didn’t stop waking up at night until she was two-and-a-half years old!

It’s normal for newborns to wake up multiple times throughout the night to eat, get their diaper changed, snuggle, or for whatever reason. Yes, it’s exhausting. But new parents don’t need to feel like failures if their brand new baby isn’t sleeping 10-12 hours at night without waking up. Every baby learns to sleep on his/her own timeline.


“You’ll bounce back soon.”

Ouch. A new mom is already not feeling like herself. She’s tired. She’s recovering from childbirth. She’s sore. Her hormones are settling back to normal…sort of. The last thing she needs to hear is a dig at her current physique.

Have you ever heard the terms “nine months to gain, nine months to lose?” That’s a decent guideline, but some moms never lose the baby weight or “bounce back,” (myself included). Our bodies go though so many changes when we’re pregnant, and everyone’s body is different!


“Can I hold the baby?”

Unless the new mom or dad asks you to hold the baby, it’s impolite to ask or assume.


“When are you having the next baby?”

I’m sorry, what did you just say? Ha! The next baby is likely far from the parents’ minds at this point. And pregnancy is not as easy for some people to achieve. Many couples struggle with infertility so asking when the next baby is coming is quite insensitive.

What to say instead…

“When can we drop off a meal for you?”

What was that? Did the clouds part and the angels start singing? Or was that an extremely considerate friend asking to drop off a meal?

Meal delivery is quite possibly the greatest gift you can give a family with a new baby. Whether it’s a home cooked meal, restaurant gift cards, take out that you order, pick up, and drop off…it’s all amazing. Cooked meals and quick clean ups are the key!

Tip: Do your best to drop off your meal quickly and quietly. It’s much appreciated, but the new parents are likely too exhausted to host and chat.


“How are you feeling?”

Ask this with a sincere care for the new mom. She may feel great, tired, overwhelmed, alone, or a plethora of other emotions. Be ready to genuinely listen and care without the urge to “fix” or offer advice. She may just want someone to check on her instead of being infatuated with the adorable newborn.


“What can I get for you from the store?”

Say whaaaat?! A trip to the grocery store or Target is probably on this new mama’s mind, but she likely just doesn’t have to energy to put real clothes on, pack up the diaper bag, and get the baby in the car… nor should she! Offering to do a little shopping for her will make. her. day.


“Which day works best for me to come over and fold laundry/do dishes/feed the baby so you can rest?”

Just a like hot meal being delivered, help with tasks around the house is always appreciated!


And if the mom has a toddler or older kiddos…
“When can we come pick up the other kids for play date so you can have a quiet house?”

Having a quiet house, for even a few hours, is like a day at the spa to a second- or third-time mom. She can actually sleep when the baby is sleeping, binge a new Netflix show, wash and blow dry her hair, or bake cookies in peace.


Thanks for reading! As always, let me know what you think. Leave your comments below and maybe share this post with someone who may to read it 😉


xoxo,
Brenna

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