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5 Ways to Help a New Mother Handle it Once She’s on Her Own

There’s no denying that the arrival of a newborn is an event like no other. There’s plenty of excitement leading up to the birth, and typically a whirlwind of attention once the child arrives. Relatives and friends come to see the baby, announcements are sent out, phone calls are made, pictures are taken, social media posts trumpet the news, and it seems almost like the circus is in town.

There's a lot you can do to help a new mother.

There’s a lot you can do to help a new mother.

But what happens when the circus is gone? Eventually, life returns to a quieter pace (or relatively quiet, now that there’s a newborn in the mix). Whether mom prefers a stay-at-home role or is just taking time off from work, at a certain point the responsibility lands almost squarely on her shoulders.

That’s when friends and family members are needed more than ever. So what can you do to help mom adjust to the arrival of a newborn? Here are five easy ways to help that may not be obvious to everyone.

Be available

It’s easy to think that mom and baby might want to be left alone for quiet time. However, it’s also realistic to believe that mom might be at her wits’ end.

“It’s normal to feel overwhelmed even about something as positive as a new baby,” says Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, medical director for The National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland. “Stress is a reaction, a physiological and emotional adjustment to change.”

You can help relieve stress just by being available as often as you can for whatever you can do, and to know how to “be there” without actually being there. Even little things can mean a lot; for example, many new moms say that sometimes they just crave an adult to talk to.

Be persistent without being a pest

Just because mom says she doesn’t need anything now doesn’t mean she won’t need something later.

Sarah Powers, managing editor of The Happiest Home mommy blog, offers some sage insight from her time as a new mother. “I didn’t know how to ask for help,” she said, “and the ‘help’ I had been offered wasn’t what I wanted or needed at that moment.”

Capture some memories

Powers also points out that many new moms want to take pictures and capture the early days of the baby’s life. But that’s not easy if both hands are taken up with the baby. That’s where you can help; try to get pictures – especially of both parents – with the newborn. Don’t just pose the photos, but try to get candid shots as well. They’ll mean a lot for years to come.

Bring food … quietly

Meals are always welcome, since newborn moms can be too busy (or too frazzled) to just whip something up for dinner. But remember that dropping off food doesn’t have to be a major event. Leave it in a basket on the doorstep, text mom to check outside for a surprise, and continue on with your day. And if it’s something that can last as leftovers, so much the better.

Make mom feel secure

Since mom and baby may be home alone, it’s understandable that the house might look unoccupied. That makes it a potentially tempting target for burglars and intruders, since roughly 65 percent of all burglaries take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., when a home is unlikely to be occupied.

You can start before the baby arrives by suggesting a basic burglary alarm, with sensors on all doors and windows. A panic button is also a great idea. Best of all, home security is a gift that keeps on giving over the years, whether mom stays at home or eventually returns to the workforce.

It’s a pretty big step, but it’s a gift that keeps working around the clock – not just for mom and baby, but everyone else in the family.






Everyday Superhero: Tia Williams

It was early evening on February 22. Emergency Dispatch Operator Tia Williams was standing watch, calmly keeping her eye on Monitronics alarms. She saw a silent hold-up alarm, from a business in Arkansas, flash onto her computer screen (Swoosh!)

Faster than a speeding bullet, Tia was on the phone with the local police department. She had them zooming to the scene in no time at all.

After the emergency

The police arrived and approached the store with caution—they didn’t know what to expect. They began interviewing the victims and found that the evil villain had left the store on foot. The pursuit was on. Several officers headed out to search the vicinity.

Other officers stayed behind to interview the shaken victims. “He came up to the counter … he … he said, he had a gun … wanted all the money in the register,” said the cashier through staggered speech. “I, was scared, didn’t know what to do. I was able to hit the silent hold-up button—he had no idea—then I emptied it out (the register) and put the money in the bag.”

Just then, another employee said that her son had just called. Turns out, Mr. Not-so-getaway was just down the street. He had gone to another restaurant and was bragging about the robbery. Officers picked him up, with the money, almost instantly.

Another one bites the dust-ah.

Everyday Superhero: Debra Harold

It was a bitter, chilly December night. Emergency Dispatch Operator Debra Harold was keeping warm at Monitronics when a Florida burglary alarm burst onto the scene. Debra leapt to action and took to the skies (Swoooosh!).

With a sense of unwavering urgency, Debra called the business. A greeting never came (silence). Within seconds, Debra had the police department on the phone. She gave them the info they needed to continue the crime fight. Then they were on their way, speeding to the business.

After the emergency

Once Debra had the police on their way, she tried to reach the owner again. This time, (Pow!) she made contact.

When the PD made it to the business, they made a lucky discovery: the burglar was still inside. Mr. Destructo was quickly shipped off to jail where he belonged.

Everyday Superhero: Heather Schneider

Friday, December 9, 2011, 7:30 p.m. It was a cold, drizzly night. Monitronics Emergency Dispatch Operator Heather Schneider was on duty and ready for anything when she intercepted a burglar alarm from a Weatherford, Texas, business.

It took her fractions of a second to shift into Everyday Superhero mode. She swiftly called the quaint shop. But … no answer came. Heather knew that time was of the essence. She tried to reach the shop owner at home. Heather was relieved to hear a voice on the other end of the line. She said, “We just received a burglary alarm at your business.” The shop owner asked Heather to send the police.

Almost instantly, Heather had the local police on the phone and on their way to the business.

After the emergency

Thanks to Heather’s Everyday Superhero swift action, the police arrived just in the nick of time. They found two men right in the middle of robbing the store. Of course, the bad guys were immediately arrested and received a police escort straight to jail.

Everyday Superhero: Delia Rico

Recently, Central Station Emergency Dispatch Operator Delia Rico received burglary signals from a business in Houston. She quickly called the business but didn’t get an answer. Delia was able to reach the manager and he said, “Send the police!”

Delia was able to send the alarm notification using a pilot technology, ASAP, which communicates signals electronically to the 911 center. The dispatch was communicated to the Houston Emergency Center within seconds and officers were on the scene in no time.

As a result of the speedier dispatch time, the police were able to call us back within six minutes to tell us they made three arrests. SIX MINUTES—THREE ARRESTS!