Written for Daily Hive by Kristine Sostar, founder of One Tough Mother
Entering motherhood and experiencing your first Mother’s Day during a pandemic is a reality that no new mom should have to face.
COVID-19 has meant baby showers are cancelled, birth plans are changing, and new moms lack the support they typically rely on. But now, more than ever, pregnant and new moms need to feel love and connection from their circles, and there are still many significant and hands-on ways to provide support.
Rethink meal help
While it’s common knowledge to bring premade meals to the starving and exhausted new parents, this new context also brings new layers. Consider dropping off meals a week or two before the due date so the parents have time to sterilize and put away before they have their hands full with a newborn.
And once the bundle arrives, offer to drop off some groceries as the last thing a new mom (or dad) needs is to run to the store – especially with a newborn.
Meal delivery gift cards always make excellent postpartum gifts, but now more than ever.
Build a virtual community
Proactively checking in on an expectant or new mom can mean everything for her mental health. It may not be possible to pop by, but thanks to technology there are alternatives – so video chat, and video chat often!
Newborns change so much during those first, precious weeks. Create a private online group for sharing photos, videos, and updates so the new mom can still share every miraculous sneeze.
Support her recovery
This is in no way easy, but physical distancing provides an opportunity to practice what so many around the world do: a period of rest and isolation to bond and recover. Support a new mom’s mental and physical health by gifting her a subscription to an online meditation app like Simple Habit, or sending her the items she needs for recovery and healing, like something from this Postpartum Survival Kit.
And for safe pre and postnatal physical activity – great for mental health, too – give her the gift of evidence-based exercise guidance with a subscription to the Mamatrainer App.
Throw a virtual baby shower
Just because in-person showers are canceled doesn’t mean the whole celebration has to end. Stepping up to organize a Virtual Baby Shower will mean the world to a mom in this position. Here’s a simple step-by-step:
- Select a virtual hosting tool. Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype keep it simple, but there are also digital baby shower providers like WebBabyShower.
- Use a service like Paperless Post to send out evites and be clear about the digital nature of the event. Remember to provide mom’s home address for gifts and cards.
- Encourage guests to drop off gifts ahead of time so mama-to-be can do the traditional “unveiling of the baby onesie.” Many baby stores are considered an essential service and are providing safe curbside pick-up.
- Embrace the new normal. We may all rock the Zoom mullet for work (business on top, pyjamas down below) but taking the time to get dressed up will bring a different energy to the event. Unwrap gifts, play the traditional baby shower games — trivia games work well in this context and there are many free or cheap downloadables available on Pinterest. It will all make a difference.
What expectant and new moms are facing today is so challenging and unfair, but the support of good friends and family makes a real difference (as it always does). Even in these challenging times, there is joy to be had.