A baby being born is SO exciting for everyone who loves and supports the family, and often, people are so thrilled to see the little bundle that they forget that there’s a new woman who was born that very same day. Having a child is transformative and although I’ve only done it once, I imagine there’s a transformation that happens with every single birth.
While the labor and delivery process can be beautiful and peaceful, it is often challenging, physically and mentally taxing, and in some cases even dangerous. I never realized until I had a baby myself and SO appreciated those who checked in on me specifically, that we as a society aren’t often taught to make sure mama is doing okay… but we absolutely should.
Now when someone I know has a baby, I make a special effort to say something like, “I’m so thrilled for you that baby is here safe and healthy, but I wanted to check-in with you and see how YOU are doing? How was the labor and delivery experience for you? Are you feeling supported?” Of course depending on how the conversation goes, it will guide further questions and how I follow-up in the future, but I think the important part is really just giving mama an outlet to share — as she might not have had anyone ask — and let her know that while you care about baby, you recognize that she’s a whole important person herself who wasn’t JUST a vessel for baby’s arrival.
Additionally (and this is really important to remember), it isn’t just those first few days that you should check on mom, but continue in the coming months. And if you find she’s struggling with any or all aspects of this new role of motherhood, consider gifting her something like this sweet book written by my friend Jaclyn, You’re Doing Great, Mama, along with a personal note… and I guarantee she will feel more seen and more supported than you even realize! If you live local to her, it’s also not a bad idea to offer to pick up groceries, watch baby for a few hours so she can have some time to herself, offer to mop the floors or fold the laundry… whatever you determine she is struggling with the most.
In my opinion, being a mom is undoubtedly the most fulfilling job in the world. But, we all don’t experience motherhood the same and even for mom’s like me who didn’t struggle with the sleepless nights or the nursing schedule (or maybe a different challenge a mom you know dealt with), the friends who checked on me and just listened to what my difficult delivery process was like or noticed I was up at all hours of the night and therefore sent me sweet messages, truly made ALL the difference.
Sending love to all the moms out there wherever you’re at in your journey. Just because it is the best doesn’t mean it isn’t the hardest job out there! I hope you feel loved and supported always. 🙂