Most of my friends are having babies. I’m not complaining, not in the slightest. I just feel ill-equipped to wade through all the baby gear. At this point, I don’t have a tiny person so I don’t have first-hand experience about what to buy or specific food to take.
During baby showers, I’ve resorted to being the practical one, you know, the one who brings the essentials – diapers, wipes, baby shampoo and lotion. Although it’s not super cutesy or personal, I know these items will be used.
On Sunday morning, I set beside my friend Alyse during Bible class. She’s a registered dietitian so on a whim, I asked if she had any meal suggestions for new moms. My neighbor recently had her third baby girl and I volunteered to take them a meal.
Boy, am I’m glad I asked! Did you know that tomato-based foods can give new moms indigestion and if they’re breastfeeding, it can contribute to acid reflux in infants? Yeah, me neither and here I was leaning toward taking pizza. What a rookie move on my part!
However, I know I’m not the only one making this mistake. I’ve had several friends drop off crockpot chili and lasagnas for new moms and their families. After all, it’s that time of year and those things are fairly easy to throw together.
So, I’ve decided to share a few tips I gleaned from further research and advice from Alyse.
• One-handed meals. Alyse explained the kindest thing you can do for your new mom friend is to make eating food as easy as possible. She suggested one-handed meals like chicken salad sandwiches. That way, mom can even munch on that during the day for lunch.
• Bring fruit. This too is easy and nutritious to eat. Either make a fruit salad or bring a big container of strawberries or blueberries. Siblings typically enjoy a bowl of fresh fruit as well so it’s a win-win.
• Drop off and leave. I already do this unless my friends are insistent that I come in. (Once I held my friend’s new baby for an hour while she and her hubby ate and relaxed. That was unexpected.) However, I’m a big fan of not lingering. Give them the food, an encouraging word and leave.
• Don't pester them with preference questions. I’ve made this mistake, but it makes sense that the last thing a new mom has time or brain space for is to respond to friends asking what she wants or doesn't want.
These are just a few suggestions I found the most helpful. Admittedly, I’m not a mom, so I’m not an expert but it seems like it could get overwhelming meeting the needs of everyone.
Cooking has never been my thing. I can do it, but the planning, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and then putting up leftovers can be tiring. I don’t feel this way though when cooking for others. So, I encourage you, if you know a new mom, take the opportunity to give her one less thing to worry about. You’ll be glad you did.
Standard reporter Lacy Garrison can be reached at 473-2191.