Often times, new mamas are overlooked. Sure, after the birth, help and support is gladly offered. People wait in line to bring meals. But what happens when the "newness" wears off, and this tired, sore mama is expected to "go on" with her normal life activities? When her mother goes back home, and the father goes back to work?
I have been in that place many times. (And most certainly are right now!!) And you have, too. Regardless of how your experience with a new baby was/is, I have put together a helpful list (from my perspective) on how to minister to a new mother. I truly believe new mothers are the "least of these" Jesus talks about.
1. Meals. Meals are so needed when the new mother is recovering from birth and adjusting to her baby the first week or so. But what about when the baby is two months old? A meal brought to a mother during this time is so very helpful. I can't tell you how freeing it is to know your dinner is ready after a long day (and night) with a young baby and all the other children to care for. Is there a mother you know who has a baby 2-3 months old? I guarantee she would love a meal right now.
2. Calls/emails. I don't know about you guys, but when I have a baby I am at home. All. The. Time. This is fine, it simplifies things. It helps the baby get used to life and mama too. It protects the baby from any germs he or she might get when you are out and about. But it also can be lonely. I don't have much time to call and "catch up" with my friends or schedule play dates or get togethers. I'm not saying I want to be out all day with friends, but just having someone actually call or email and say, "Hey, thinking about you--how are things going? Do you need anything?", makes a new mother feel connected at so vital of a time. Perhaps ask her if she wants to go get coffee. Offer to come and visit. Give her a call and speak words of encouragement. Just don't assume that "everything is ok" and she "is just getting used to the baby.". These things may be true, and the new mother might even decline going out, but just knowing there is someone who is there and who cares during this precious time means so much.
3. Take her children. Sometimes a new mother needs a mental break. Why not offer to take one or some of her children one day? It allows her to have a slower day and to focus more on the new baby. It can help a new mother emotionally and mentally so very much.
4. Offer to come fold and put up laundry. Enough said?!
5. Bring her lunch. Why not make a special "mom's lunch" for the new mama, for her to enjoy just for herself? What a wonderful way for her to feel loved and appreciated--and so simple to do.
What about you? Are there any other ideas you have for a new mother? Remember--this is for those moms whose babies are older than the first 6 weeks, when all the "newness" has worn off.