Again, as it’s most likely you are the granny, helping your offspring out I will use PD to stand for Precious Daughter / Daughter-in-law and PG to stand for Precious Grandchild. But if you are not the granny, don’t let that stand in the way of being able to help a new mother!
1. If PD is nursing PG herself, PG will associate the smell of PD with being fed and may want to nurse almost continuously. This can be exhausting or maybe even painful for PD. Holding the baby while PD has a chance to get dressed, have a bath or move around the house will help her to recover better and will encourage PG to go to sleep for a while.
2. PD may be a little unsure with a new baby, especially if PG is her first child. She may be happy to have some uncritical help with bathing or changing the baby. A spare pair of hands seldom comes amiss, provided you support PD in what she is doing and don’t criticise. Things may have changed since you last held a baby, so help PD follow what the midwife or health visitor has suggested, if she wants, rather than criticising “new-fangled ideas”!
3. PD will need to keep drinking fluids, including water and maybe warm drinks. It may be helpful to hold PG if PD is getting herself a hot drink, so she can drink it while it’s hot without risking the baby getting hurt.
4. PD may need to get more rest and PG may need to be held. Letting PD get some sleep or a bit of time away from PG if necessary can save her sanity and help her return to full health that much quicker. Daddies or partners can be very helpful here in holding their own precious child while mum gets rest.
5. PG may be a bit colicky and need held upright to help get wind up. PD may be glad to take turns at burping PG, especially if it has been a “bad night”! This also relates to tip number 1. PG may be trying to feed continuously from PD, without giving themselves a chance for a rest between feeds. Being held by someone else can encourage PG to take a rest from feeding, maybe get some sleep and help that colic settle down.