How to Help a New Mother

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We asked three mother support workers for some simple tips on helping a new mother. Here's what they suggested:

Empathetic listening is very important for mom in the post-partum period. There's a lot of changes going on physically, emotionally, spiritually. She needs someone to go to and vent feelings. But empathetic listening is an art in itself giving advice is a lot easier. A lot of times parents just need reassurance, someone to say, "Hey, everything's going fine. You're doing a wonderful job."

Come over and give mom a massage.

-Kendra-Ann Dookheran, R.N., B.N. Abbott Mother and Child Resource Centre (Manitoba Clinic) (204) 788-5500.

Resources

If mom is having any difficulties, help her find different resources and information in her community. Part of assisting mom is looking at what resources she needs to access a parenting program, or, if alcohol abuse is part of her life, an FAS/FAE program

-Rose Lionetti, Senior counsellor for the Abinotchi Min Awayn Program, Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre Winnipeg (204) 925-3700.

Make a Job Jar

Help mom to make a chart of what needs to be done so when people come over they can pull a job out of a job jar. If a friend helps her make the jar, it takes off the pressure of having to ask for help.

Avoid Advice

Don't judge her. You are inundated with advice as a new mom, so just be supportive.

Take the Kids
If she has older children, take them out for a while so they get some attention. If she has a wakeful baby, take baby for a while so she can rest. For her to be a "good mother" she needs to have rest too.

Support her breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere
.

Be there
Be there when she needs you even if it's the middle of the night.










-Jody Thomson, Mother's Program Coordinator, Women's Health Clinic Winnipeg (204) 947-2422 ext. 113.