5 ways to support a newly postpartum mother

Mothers are born right alongside their babies, and while they always need support, it’s especially important in the fourth trimester (the first three months after birth), writes Emily Mitchell

This postpartum period is a time unlike any other. Everything is different. Who you are has evolved, your body is unrecognisable, and motherhood changes the way you look at the world and what’s important to you. Mothers are born right alongside their babies and while they always need support, it’s especially important in the fourth trimester (the first three months after birth).


Here are five ways to support a newly postpartum mother:

  1. Treat the mother like the baby. Comfort her when she cries. Check on her often and hold her close. Feed her nourishing meals and support her to sleep. Tend to her quickly and be there for her as she navigates a brand-new world alongside her baby. She is as vulnerable as that baby she birthed and deserves the same care, love, admiration, and compassion. A baby doesn’t have to prove that they are worthy of love and comfort, and neither should mothers.
  2. Honour the mother’s experience and sacred transition from maiden to mother or mother again. Every pregnancy and birth experience is unique. It’s all-encompassing, life-changing, and emotional. Mothers never forget how they were made to feel at birth or in the postpartum period. Give her thoughtful gifts that remind her of her power as a woman.
    Write heartfelt words on a card that encourages her to be gentle with herself. Motherhood Milestones has the perfect card to honour a woman’s transition into motherhood.
  3. Support the family. Spend time with her other children and give the mother one-on-one time with the baby to bond. Think practically and gift the family a cleaner, time with a postpartum doula or lactation consultant or a meal delivery service instead of a onesie or soft toy. Support the partner as they also adjust to a brand-new way of living, so they too can support the mother.
  4. Be realistic with your advice and keep your opinions to yourself unless they support what the mother wants in her experience. Acknowledge that the fourth trimester can be a challenging time. Motherhood is hard, and mothering yourself is harder while you’re figuring out who this new version of yourself is. Survival is more than enough sometimes, and validating a mother in the hard times is just as important as celebrating with her in the good times.
  5. Everyone is different, so ask her what she wants or needs and respect that. Drop supplies at her door. Don’t knock, just let her know they are they for whenever she is ready. Organise a meal train with your local community or sort out transport for her other kids to their activities. Make her life easier and help her feel supported. It’s hard for new mothers to ask for help. We think if we can’t do it alone, we are failing, but all mums need help in some way, and taking some of the mental load off her shoulders would be appreciated.

Emily Mitchell is the Founder of Motherhood Milestones. Emily creates heartfelt cards for real-life mums that promote education and empowerment. Emily is a keen advocate for mothers and is working hard to better women’s motherhood journeys through partnerships with government.