Experts estimated that approximately 116 million babies throughout the world would be born under the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic. Are you getting ready to give birth, or have you recently given birth?
If you’re a soon-to-be or new mom, it’s perfectly understandable that you might be feeling anxious about caring for a newborn during these unprecedented times. This is especially true since social distancing rules or ordinances have made it difficult for many people to spend time with friends and loved ones who may be able to offer support and guidance.
Even if you’re practicing social distancing, you can still seek help from your friends and family as a pregnant or new mother. Chances are they’re looking for ways to provide the support you need while still protecting you and your family from potential infections.
If people in your life are asking what they can do, don’t just brush them off. Consider suggesting these five ways they can assist from afar:
1. Deliver Quarantine Care Packages. It’s customary for friends and family to deliver care packages to loved ones who are new or soon-to-be parents. The people in your life might not be able to come into your house to deliver these kinds of packages, but they can still drop them off and provide support from a distance.
There are lots of items that new parents need to care for their little ones, including baby wipes, diapers, and cleaning products. Especially now, it’s even harder than usual for moms and dads to get out of the house and buy these items. Having plenty of supplies on hand will help to minimize the amount of exposure you have as a new parent to the outside world. This, in turn, helps to minimize the risk of spreading infections to your baby or others in your family. A good way to organize this is through a website like Give InKind.
2. Create a Meal Delivery Train. Meal delivery trains are another customary option for friends and family members who want to support new parents. A potential problem with this practice in the time of Coronavirus, though, is the fact that meals cooked in someone else’s kitchen could potentially be a way to inadvertently spread the virus. Instead of cooking, loved ones can sign up for a specific day to deliver takeout to new parents by organizing an online calendar that makes it easy for everyone to pick a day when they will arrange to have food delivered or deliver the food themselves. They can leave it on the doorstep to minimize contact.
3. Purchase Gift Cards. Another way to provide socially distanced support is by sending the new mom gift cards. There are a lot of expenses associated with becoming a new parent, and everyone can use a little extra financial assistance during this stage of life. Whether it’s for retailers like Amazon or for local restaurants that offer food delivery or grocery stores that have delivery services, most gift cards can be emailed which again, reduced potential contact and exposure. You get to provide support without even leaving your house!
4. Help Celebrate the Siblings. Taking care of a brand new baby is difficult, for sure. It can be even more challenging, though, when you have other kids at home who need attention. This is especially true in the time of Coronavirus when kids are home from school and can’t go to friends or babysitters’ houses as easily as they once could. During normal times, it would be common for friends or family members to come over and watch other children in order to give parents some one-on-one time with their new baby. They might even take the child to their house for a while to give the new parents even more of a break. Now, though, that’s not an option for most people.
One way to celebrate siblings and support parents in lieu of offering babysitting duties is to provide activity options that help to keep children occupied. Sending play and maker kits, movies and crafts via mail can keep young kids busy and give them something to do while their parents tend to their new sibling.
5. Offer Mental Health Support. Parents often require mental health support after bringing a newborn into the world. Now, more than ever, though, they need to make this a priority. For new moms, especially, it’s important for them to be able to talk to other moms and seek help and guidance. Make plans to schedule regular virtual catch-ups with other new moms and trusted friends. Having weekly Zoom or Skype dates is a great way to stay in touch, seek advice, and get reassurance that despite this uncertain time, you are doing a great job.
Keep the tips listed above in mind and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when you need it. Remember, your loved ones want to be there for you. If they ask how they can help, suggest one of these options. You don’t have to go through life as a new mom alone.