Before I had a baby, I was really clueless on what to do, say or bring when I was going to visit someone that had a baby. When I saw new moms I felt strange, a little bit out of place. The whole pregnancy and giving birth thing really freaked me out; almost like they were part of their own club. So if you have ever felt that way, unsure on what to do when you go visit a newborn, here are some tips.
1. Gifts are a new mom best friend. If you are wondering what to bring to the new mom, I think that it is pretty unanimous that diapers or wipes are a great gift. I do not know any mom that will turn away diapers. If you are not sure about what size or what brand to buy, feel comfortable calling the mom and asking her. Better yet, you can always call her and say that you were thinking about getting her diapers but is there something else she would rather have you bring. Trust me we always need something. It is funny because when you have a child any trip to the store that you do not have to take is a blessing.
2. We need our rest. The first week that a mommy comes home, she needs her rest. I have never been as exhausted as I was the first week home. It’s like your hormones are raging and your body is soooooooooooo soared. Maybe the best comparison would be you feel like you were hit by a truck. Furthermore, you have so many expectations that you want to fulfill. For me I know that I wanted to be the perfect mom, wife and hostess. The problem is that your body just won’t let you. So here is the truth, even though we loooooooooooove to have people around, we still must rest. The best compromise would be to respect visiting hours. So no midnight visits
3. Compliments are a mom best friend. This could be the only time I ask people to lie. But yes we want compliment. So telling us something like “oooh you still look pregnant” is just not acceptable. That's the last thing we want to hear. Trust me we just spent 9 months pregnant we do not want to look pregnant. So yeah, I am asking you to lie if you have to.
4. Cleaniless is the key. Since we are on the subject of look. Please make sure you are looking clean and presentable. To my fellow ladies, watch what you wear. The truth is that most of us when we just give birth we can be a little paranoid. When you are coming to visit a baby, please abstain from wearing something too revealing.
5. Hand sanitizer. Use the hand sanitizer without making a scene. I am always perplexed why this is such a problem. People sometimes take it personal and I wonder why. Babies are sooooo susceptible to germs; please don't be offended if you are asked to use the hand sanitizer. Some moms have a hard time even telling people to do so, so use your discretions and do that anyway. If there is none available please just wash your hands. It shows that you care about the wellbeing of the baby.
6. No kissing of the baby on the lips. I am so sorry, but as much as babies are cuties, you can not kiss someone's baby on the lips. It is wrong on so many levels. I heard a story that horrified me. Someone kissed a baby on the lips not knowing that they had Hepatitis B and passed it to the baby. The baby got it and was paralyzed. So I know that the temptation can be there but don’t do it. No kissing on the lips. Also, ladies, babies love to suck on things. They will try to lick your skin. So please be aware especially if you are wearing makeup. Also, if you have a cold or you are coughing, postpone your visit, we will understand.
7. Right to have an epidural. I took the epidural so mind you I could be bias. I have heard so many times: “ooooh so you took the epidural, uhm, well you know the side effect. I mean if you were in Cameroon you would have pushed..." Well to start with, I feel like the decision to take the epidural should be left to the person giving birth. Also, if you think that it is not a good idea, you should keep it to yourself. There is nothing degrading with opting to take an epidural.
8. Don't forget the fathers. The fathers are heroes in their own right and too many times they are forgotten. They are there from the beginning; they take all the mood swings. They are the ones that hold our hands through most of it. So it is always nice to keep that in mind when preparing your visit.
9. No parties .Don't invite the couple to parties the same week as the baby is born. I am sorry but that is just not to thoughtful. They need time to bond as a family.
These are just a few suggestions, please let me know if you can think of anything else.