Saturday, July 11, 2015

Here's How YOU can Help a New Maa :)

When Prabir arrived, I was overwhelmed and knew little how to go about things around me. Even regular and routine things became big tasks as I struggled and fumbled as a new Maa.

And isn't that what happens everywhere? When a new baby arrives, there's a flutter in every heart around. From the new parents to new aunties, uncles, grand mothers and grand fathers, everyone wants the new baby to be comfortable and happy.

However, often, we tend to ignore the new Maa who needs equal love and help. Had it not been for my two sisters and bua (paternal aunt), we (hubs and I) would not have been able to manage. And for all that they've done for me, I'd be forever indebted.

So, if there's a new baby in your home or if one's arriving soon, here are a few ways you can make things better for the new parents and child. 

Help prepare the hospital bag - The expecting mother would need help in her shopping trips to get the bag packed. You could also divide the items in the list and volunteer to buy them after the baby arrives, as many cultures do not allow you to shop before the baby is born. 

Help arrange the nursery/wardrobe - The new entrant would need space of their own. It becomes difficult and tiring for an expecting mommy to bend or sit for long hours in the run up to labour. Not to mention that it's almost impossible to do it when the baby finally arrives. So, go ahead and help stack diapers and clothes for the little one. Set up the little one's crib and arrange their little cot. You have no idea how much it'll help. 

Pick out the stuff for mumma and baby every morning along with other regular things- These things might sound too small, but trust me, they go a long way for a sleep deprived new Maa. My younger sister would pick out clothes for us every morning. I got so used to it that it was difficult doing it myself after she left. There are many other things here that you can do like stacking the diaper/nappies pile, getting the laundry done, keeping things within the mother's reach, etc . These are little, but count a lot.

Volunteer to rock and hold the baby - Babies know their others right from the day they are born. Prabir would not be calm with anyone else, but me, for the first few months. Yet, there were times I needed to get some time off, even if that meant 5 precious minutes. My aunt would hold him in his favorite position, while my elder sister would rock Prabir and even sing the same lullaby as I put my feet up for some rest. So, pick up cues when the new Maa would like some help with rocking or holding the baby.  

Get going with the household chores - A new Maa would forever be indebted to one who'd take over the household chores for her. My bua did that and I cannot thank her enough. Not only did that help me establish a bond with my newborn, but also got a good and balanced diet that a breastfeeding mother should have. 

Spend time with the new mother - Post partum depression is real. I too did go through it, though slightly, but thanks to my support system, I was able to push through it. Just talking it all out and talking and laughing at things other than this new phase can help a new Maa feel so much better. 

Surprises are always nice - Yes, shopping trips are bare minimum, if at all, for a new mother. And whoever visits, only brings gifts for the little one. While I love all gifts that come my son's way, the little sweet things someone got me some time or another was thoughtful and precious too. A chocolate bar counts too.

While one may not think much of these things as you read, but ask any mother and she'll recall exactly how people around her helped her when she gave birth.

A good support system can help a new mother function so much better. And most of us, especially in India, are gifted with it as our folks would come flying to us, at extremely short notice, just to be there. Such things not only help the new mother care better for her little one and herself, but also strengthens the bond between you and her.

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