With just a few days to go until News 3 Morning Anchor Erica Greenway's due date, Lacey Bauer from Hampton Roads Doulas stopped by the station. She has some great tips for preparing family and friends of new moms and their co-anchors too.
Check out the video to see Blaine and Jessica learn what to say, and not to say, to a new mom.
Here are some of her tips:
What NOT to say to a newly postpartum parent:
- Is baby sleeping through the night?
- So when are you having baby number two?
- Are you breastfeeding?
- You look exhausted! (Or anything else regarding her looks or weight)
- Sleep when the baby sleeps.
- My birth way way more traumatic....
- Well I did it XYZ way....
Things you should/can say:
- You look wonderful.
- What can I do to be of most help to you right now?
- Can I bring you dinner?
- You're doing an amazing job.
- I'm so proud of you.
- I understand how you feel. Tell me more...
- Your baby is adorable.
- Can I take (older sibling) to the park/library to free up your hands for a bit?
Proper manners when visiting a newly postpartum family:
- Wash your hands!
- Always call first. It's not always a good time to come by. Be okay hearing "not right now.
- Bring food - warm dinner, prepared snacks, etc. If a woman is breastfeeding she will need approximately 500 additional calories a day.
- Be okay with her method of feeding baby. If she's comfortable breastfeeding in front of you, do not ask her to do it in another room. If you're uncomfortable, step away. If she's bottle feeding, don't question why.
- Your presence should always be helpful. Can you switch the load of laundry? Clean up the few dishes in the sink? Ask her how SHE is feeling (not just to hold baby). Offer to watch baby while she catches a shower or quick nap if she needs that right now.
- Provide encouragement. Many new moms feel insecure in this new role. Provide positive words of encouragement and reminde her of the great job she is doing.
Recognize the signs of postpartum mood disorder:
- The number one complication of pregnancy and childbirth is anxiety and depression.
- 10 - 15 percent of women get PPMD, and that just what's actually reported.
- The best way to prevent and combat PPMD is by providing hands on support along with professional care from a therapist.
- Signs and symptoms include: changes in functions such as sleep, energy level, appetite, weight, gastrointestinal functioning, significant anxiety, intense irritability and anger, feelings of guilt, a sense of being overwhelmed or unable to care for the baby, feelings of inadequacy and of being a failure as a mother, not bonding to the baby and intrusive thoughts of harming oneself or the baby
- If you notice these signs, speak with her and her spouse and direct them to her care provider to get her the care she needs. Postpartum Support Virginia is also a great resource.