iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — “No, thanks — we don’t need anything. We’re fine.”
It’s the reply text that new mamas know all too well. Friends and family are constantly dropping in to meet the babe, and while you’re getting the occasional tray of lasagna weeks after giving birth, there’s so much more that’s needed, emotionally and physically.
Baby showers are appreciated, so why not invest in helping moms during their first six to eight weeks postpartum?
Whether you’re shamelessly throwing one for yourself or want to pitch in for a pregnant pal, here are tips for planning an epic postpartum party that’ll celebrate her — or you — in the ways she needs it most.
Set up a guest list with tentative visiting hours
If you’re the one hosting the two-month-long soiree, reach out to potential visitors and let them know what you truly need — food, cleaning, babysitting, etc. — over the next few weeks of recovery. If you’re the party-planning friend, consult with the new mom on her network of people.
Then, explain to guests that the next few weeks are for celebrating Mom.
But remember to set your boundaries, according to Jenna Greenspoon, mother of two and co-owner of savvysassymoms.com.
“The most important thing for new moms to know is it’s OK to say ‘no,'” Greenspoon told Good Morning America. “This way, you are in control rather than everyone ringing your doorbell.”
If you’re setting up a digital calendar where loved ones can sign up, establish mealtime hours as time slots so guests can bring dishes.
In addition, Greenspoon suggested offering tentative visiting hours that revolve around the baby’s feeding times. But be sure to leave wiggle room.
Kick meal-trains up a notch
It’s easy to forget about yourself when caring for a bundle of love. Your buds and relatives can organize homemade meal-giving, but why not elevate them a bit?
“Put together a Friday-night dinner,” Greenspoon said. “A friend came over with a whole dinner, and she sort of took it to the next level.”
Print a menu out spotlighting your friend’s baby pic. Then, schedule a girlfriends’ night with a bottle of wine, and have everyone prepare a course.
Put together an aftercare gift
To the bestie in charge: Recruit the girls to assemble a postpartum kit for Mom. Some suggestions include witch hazel pads and comfy clothes to take the pressure off getting back into pre-baby threads.
“Make Mom feel better in a fun way by giving a squeeze bottle, a blowup donut. Take away the stigma of the things that we’re not supposed to talk about, like how she can’t sit on a hard chair,” Greenspoon said. “Make it funny so she doesn’t feel isolated.”
If you’re not into DIY, we love the survival kit from the Etsy shop, White Confetti Box. Inside is a “Haute Mama” silk sleep mask, a milk bath soak, candle, “Tired as a Mother” tumbler and more.
Offer a housecleaning service she can’t refuse
Ask a new mommy if you can play maid for an hour. Chances are she’ll turn you down.
Instead, arrive at an acceptable hour with the squad donning aprons. Each of you tackle a small but helpful task, like emptying the dishwasher or doing a laundry load of bibs and burp clothes.
“Have one person in charge who’s sitting her down and not allowing her to stop you,” Greenspoon said.
Another option she won’t decline is a gift card for a cleaning service.
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