These are posted at the request of a client who we were chatting with the other day, who had just had her third, and had a friend who'd just had her first:
1. "you look amazing!" -because, having just grown a human for 9 months and then spent anywhere from 1 to, oh, 48 hours, getting that baby to exit her body, which may have required major surgery, and even if it didn't is no piece of cake; she may look tired, she may look swollen, she may look a lot of things, but, given the circumstances? she looks f*ng amazing.
2. "how are you doing?" and then wait for a response, and just listen and nod and let her talk, and if she says "great", then great.
3. "have you gotten any vitamin d lately? like, gotten out of the house? could i possibly get some baby time in some day? maybe i could come over and hold him/her so you can get dressed and we can go for a walk? no pressure. just an offer."
4. "what can i do for you?"(not "is there anything i can do?") if she says "nothing but thanks", then follow up with "well, let me know if anything comes up" and give a list of a few things-grocery shopping, taking a stroll so she can bathe, bring by dinner or have it delivered, etc
5. "what kind of help do you have?"
6. "how's that sleeping thing?" because "how is the baby sleeping?" in the first few weeks? yeah. silly question. whoever coined the phrase "sleeping like a baby" clearly never had a baby. what you want to know is-is mom getting any sleep what-so-ever. sleep deprivation is a form of torture. literally. everyone says "sleep when the baby sleeps" but. not everyone heeds that advice, there are so many other things to do when the baby is sleeping!
7. "remember- at 3 am your mind is a dangerous neighborhood that you shouldn't go into" (see above. torture) ask her what she does to steer clear of that neighborhood? prayer or meditation? gratitude list? math problems? count sheep? whatever it is (and we've heard a long list), having somewhere that you know to go is helpful.
8."are you nursing?" if yes " how's it going?"
9. "you do eventually get your body back, don't panic. you'll have plenty of time to focus on your body later. you know, when you get to sleep again. focus on self care now, not self fear and loathing."
10. "did i mention? you look amazing!"
There are no doubt many more. But those are the 10 that we discussed, so, as per request, there you have them Annie!