When a new baby arrives, everyone can:
- Lower expectations for maintaining household tasks and the usual routine - help mom to choose a minimum of tasks that are manageable for the day.
- Encourage mom to sleep or rest when the baby sleeps - if she finds this hard to do, suggest she start by sitting down for a short time, having a tea or a bubble bath, calling a friend or reading a magazine.
- Advise mom to accept people's offers to help, or ask other family members and friends for help, especially so mom can get some time for herself.
- Acknowledge that, for mom, leaving the baby with another caregiver is a big step - suggest that mom initially go out for a short period, leaving the baby with someone trusted and experienced.
- Listen to how mom, partners, siblings and other family members are feeling - help them to understand and accept that fatigue, jealousy, guilt and doubts mixed with happiness, pride, love and excitement are normal.
- If people want to visit and mom or other family members are too tired, learn how to discourage visitors politely by finding words to gently say "Thanks for thinking of us, but today is not a great day for visitors."