This festive season, more than ever we’re seeking out thoughtful holiday gifts.
If you’re not able to see loved ones in person, you can show them you care with a thoughtful gift (and perhaps a Zoom or FaceTime gathering). Not sure what to buy? We curated some of our favorite Christmas gifts (and Hanukkah gifts, and nondenominational winter-solstice gifts) for the new and expecting Mom in your life.
The gift of connection
On that note, new moms will certainly benefit from connection even if it’s not in person. If you know someone who is a new mom, here are a few ways to show her your care and help her through life as a new mother amidst a pandemic.
Ask her how she’s doing
That might sound simple, but all too often when a baby is born the mother is overlooked, says Bellenbaum. Genuinely asking how she is doing and if she needs anything shows you care and gives her an (often much needed) outlet to talk about what she’s going through. If she says she’s struggling? “Offer to help her find some new mom support groups or treatment options to help her feel better,” suggests Bellenbaum.
Validate her feelings
Another important way to help if your friend is having a hard time? “Let her know that she is not alone. It’s really hard,” says Bellenbaum. “If you struggled, tell her it was hard for you too. Be honest and real and remind her that all the perfect posts she sees on Facebook and Instagram are most likely what people want her to see, not what is really happening behind the scenes.”
Text her a daily or weekly mantra
“You’ve got this; you are doing a great job mama; you are so incredibly strong; I’m here for you if you need a shoulder.” Even simple texts of encouragement like these can go a long way in boosting a new mom’s confidence and remind her that she’s doing a good job.
Give her a better gift
Send her some meditations designed for new and expecting moms. (Expectful is a great option.) Or buy her a book that talks about the real motherhood experience, like What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood.
Set up a virtual gathering
Invite her closest friends and ask her what time works best for her and check in on the new mama in your life. Keep the conversation focused around supporting her and her needs. It can make all the difference.