By Guest blogger Emily Graham.
The pandemic has stymied many of our usual means of supporting pregnant families, but that doesn’t mean we can’t support them at all. We hope this article inspires you to find safe, low-risk ways to show new and expecting parents that, despite it all, they truly aren’t alone.
For most of human history, people have come together to support expecting parents. Indeed, this tradition is not just a core aspect of human history; some theorize it is the very reason human civilization came to be. Giving birth alone was dangerous, so women who had birthing partners were, as a result, more likely to survive. Those patterns likely carried on.
Although COVID-19 hasn’t taken away women’s access to medical care during childbirth, there are myriad other ways new parents rely on the community that the pandemic has stymied. Baby showers—which traditionally prepare parents for their new child—are tougher to hold in person. Visits—where friends and family might cook, clean, or simply watch the new baby while parents get some rest—aren’t as prevalent. As a result, many new parents feel more isolated than ever, and many loved ones feel helpless to come to their aid.
The good news is, there is plenty you can do to help expectant parents without increasing anyone’s risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. Courtesy of Emily Graham | firstname.lastname@example.org’s a look at some effective, ways you can support a pregnant loved one during the pandemic.
Help Stock The Hospital Bag
One of the most important tools at a soon-to-be-parent’s disposal is the hospital bag. Although in the past you may have physically helped your loved one pack and organize that bag, you can offer your support now by helping to purchase supplies. Offer to go on a shopping trip for your loved one to pick up any postpartum things they might need, including snacks, hygiene items, flattering leggings, and even entertainment for their hospital stay.
Make Freezer Meals
When it comes to the new days of parenting, every single survival task needs to be as easy and low-barrier as possible. After all, new parents are chronically exhausted, and often don’t have the energy to make meals for themselves. That’s where premade freezer meals come in handy.
Make your loved ones dishes such as casseroles, stews, soups, and lasagnas which they can keep in the freezer and easily heat up in the oven or microwave. Go the extra mile and separate them into portion sizes to make their lives even easier. Ideally, you’d drop these off before the due date, but if the baby comes early, after is fine. However, don’t use the drop off as an excuse to linger and socialize unless they initiate it—you never know if that’s their one chance to clean, shower, or nap.
Offer A Supportive Ear
Early parenthood is always an isolating experience, but as we mentioned above, it’s more so now than ever before. The risks of having people come by to visit or help out are, for many families, simply too high to take. As a result, new parents are left to fend for themselves without outside help. By the same token, they will lack emotional support, as well. That’s why it’s so important to offer some form of social support for your loved ones, both at the end of pregnancy and during the early days of parenthood.
Don’t be afraid to help them out with tasks that you can’t completely do for them yourself. Find thoughtful things you can do to help out around the house. For example, you can work on making sure your home is safe for a growing baby. You can also work on decluttering the house to reduce everyone’s stress. Just remember, whatever you do to lend a hand, make sure that you make it fun for the both of you.
You may be hesitant to call your loved one in case they’re resting or putting the baby down for a nap. In that case, send them a text asking when would be a good time to talk. Respect their needs: If they’re not sure if they can talk that day or don’t have the time just yet, give them space. Remind them that they can call you if they need to vent, unload, or just hear a story about something other than feedings and diaper changes.
This article is brought to you by Marks Lactation Support, which aims to empower parents to feed their baby their way, with up-to-date information, personalized goal-setting, and supportive strategies. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!