Moms – this section is for you to share with your partner and/or closest support person!
WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD!
Babies are wonderful and change everything – including your partner! If you aren’t sure how to help, at what times, and how often, having a conversation to find out what SHE NEEDS is the starting point. Then, try to do that . We have a Postpartum Plan to help understand ways you can help her, so your family is best able to be healthy and happy.
Ask, Listen, Lead: What does support from you look like to your partner? Even if she seems to be managing it all, ask her about specific ways you can help. She really needs time to recover and you may too. Caring for a newborn is hard. Perhaps taking the lead on chores, childcare for other children or reaching out to close family and friends to ask for support will help lift the burden on both of you.
The Gift of Time: Feeding, holding, and caring for a baby takes up a lot of time. Talk about the best balance for your family, for now, so everyone has a little space to take care of themselves. Perhaps she is the lead on infant care during the night and you can take the early evenings and mornings shift so she can sleep. Be ready to hold the baby so she can shower. Take some to-do’s off her list. You can offer to be gatekeeper for visitors as well – find out what times she might like visitors, and what each visitor can bring or do to make your lives easier. If you have other children, taking them out to play or for activities may be just the thing needed.
Emotional Support: A lot is happening to her body and mind postpartum. Women are so strong – and it’s good to feel seen. With so much focus on caring for the baby, mothers need to be cared for too. Openly talking about her well-being and actively listen. Be gentle on her. Consider ways to surprise her or make her smile. Ask if she would like you to be in touch when you are not together, such as with texts. Learn about perinatal anxiety and mood disorders here. You know her the best. It can be hard to know what is part of normal postpartum recovery and what’s too much – if you’re not sure, encourage her to reach out to her health team. Be her person, to help her feel better.
Physical Support: Take a load off her plate! Make a plan together for who will do things like take out the trash and get groceries. There likely will be a situation where a midnight run for medicine or supplies is needed – thanks in advance! Consider online shopping too. If pumps or bottles are a part of your lives, learn how to sanitize parts. You all might benefit from a bag with extra clothes and other supplies when you go out — it may be helpful if you take the lead to prepare that and bring it with you. When your partner sits down, ask what you can bring her (like a snack, water, or a book). Keep in mind there are certain tasks she should be not be doing – learn more about her physical recovery. Where you are unable to support your partner in the ways she needs, try to find someone who can.
Financial Support: Know your rights for parental leave, insurance coverage, programs/benefits that may be available to one or both of you through your employer, school, or groups like a faith community. If you haven’t already, discuss budgets and bill-paying together. Your family may have the chance to do your taxes differently after a baby is born and you may qualify for different services too. If you are short on diapers a local diaper bank might help. Money stress is very hard and the birth of a baby is financially tough for many families. You are not alone.
Get Support for You Too: In a society where mothers’ rights and well-being are often overlooked, partners may be pushed to the side even more. No one sleeps very well in a house with a newborn. Partners can feel anxious, exhausted, and stressed while also trying to look strong. Talk to your friends too and if you are feeling unwell or down you deserve to get help too.
Resources to consider for LGBTQIA+ Parenting: