With these 7 ways to support new mothers in your ministry, you have a great opportunity in your church to reach first-time moms. It’s one of those times when families are most in need of support and care. Here are seven great ways to support the new mothers in your ministry:
Every new mom can use a mentor who’s been through it all–someone to listen and someone who’s there to help in action with basic tips, tricks, and spiritual advice. A woman who’s experienced the lack of sleep, hormone changes, and life-style adjustments can lovingly support a new mom. Consider recruiting experienced women volunteers who can walk through the last few months of pregnancy and the first few months post-birth to help new mothers adjust. A mentor can help a new mom understand that postpartum depression isn’t something to be ashamed of, and she can honestly and tactfully prepare the mother for what to expect. For some new moms, just knowing there’s another woman who will be there when she needs her is a reprieve.
It can be difficult just to get a shower in when you’re a brand new mom. Volunteers who are willing to watch a new baby even for an hour or two are a Godsend. When you’re a new mom, it’s hard to find the time to clean, do the laundry, go on errands, sleep, or get a moment of personal time; so any amount of time for a break (or maybe even a date with the husband) will be greatly appreciated.
A warm, home-cooked meal can make a huge difference for a new family. When the new mom and dad are just trying to keep up with learning how to take care of a new baby, it’s hard to conjure up the energy to grocery shop and cook a healthy meal. For the first two or three weeks, consider asking your church family to bring a few dinners to the new parents every week. They can live off the leftovers on off nights, and they’ll be relieved of the time-consuming cooking and cleaning that comes along with affordable, healthy eating. Takethemameal.com is a favorite for our staff.
4. Housework and Errands
Some moms may not feel comfortable with others seeing the mess they haven’t been able to keep up with because of the new baby in the home. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. If a mom doesn’t want others to do the dirty work of cleaning or laundry, she might welcome help with groceries or other small errands. Your team could also offer to do necessary outdoor work, such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.
5. Mom’s Bible Study
Along with a mentor, getting new moms together who are all going through the same thing can be uplifting. Choose a Bible study specifically designed to encourage and refresh moms, and offer childcare. Check out Group.com for the Where Moms Connect Bible study series.
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If a baby shower isn’t conducive for your group, your ministry still has options. Gift cards can be less costly than a full-blown shower. You can also find out what things the new mom might most need, then collect lightly used items from church members or your community. You never know when families may be getting rid of baby items.
7. Just ask.
Every mom is unique. Simply giving a new mom a listening ear, and asking “How can I support you right now?” can make a huge difference. You may have unique requests, or the mom simply may want someone to sit and pray with her. Asking is a key for each of these ways to support a mom; you never know what she’s most in need of and most comfortable with.
Supporting new moms is a great way to usher their children into your ministry, and to build a strong community among the families in your church. You don’t have to do it all–even a little bit of support can go a long way.
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