10 Ways to Support a New First-Time Mom

Working as a nanny is a rewarding and exciting experience, but it can also be a difficult one from time to time. Accepting a post with a brand new infant and first-time parents is often one of the more challenging occurrences that a veteran nanny faces, but it doesn’t always have to be. As a childcare provider, your first responsibility is to the child under your care. As the employee of parents, however, you’re also there to provide support and assistance in any way that you can. Brand new moms can run the gamut from terrified to completely overwhelmed, and helping them to adjust to their new role in the world can not only give them the assistance they need, but also help to create a better and more enjoyable working environment for you. These are ten of the things you can do to help brand new, first-time moms when they need it most.

  • Support Her Feeding Choices – While everyone from the World Health Organization to the La Leche League asserts that breastfeeding is the best and most nutritious choice for a baby, that doesn’t mean that all moms will be successful in their endeavor to breastfeed. Some may also opt for bottle feeding from the beginning for reasons that are solely their own. Regardless of how they choose to feed their new baby, realize that you’re not there to criticize them. Your job is to care for the baby and to ensure that he’s fed, not provide a single shred of commentary about what’s in his bottle.
  • Respect Her Parenting Style – Pregnant parents will read everything they can get their hands on, and may have their hearts set on a specific parenting style endorsed by a self-proclaimed expert long before they bring their new bundle of joy home from the hospital. Unless it’s actively harming the baby, however, it’s not your place to comment on that parenting style or to detract from it through your own actions. More often than not, unrealistic parenting styles and rigid rules about baby care will fall to the wayside as a new mom hits her stride and becomes more confident.
  • Allay Her Fears – Regardless of how together she may seem, it’s a safe assumption that your new mom boss and first-time mommy is at least a little frightened at the prospect of parenting. She may even be downright petrified. As an experienced childcare provider, you can help to make her more comfortable by allaying any fears you can along the way. Gently reassure her that she’s doing a great job and that she’s adjusting to parenthood beautifully.
  • Providing Extra Support to Post-Surgical Moms – Giving birth naturally is difficult enough; going through major abdominal surgery to bring a new life into the world is another story altogether. Make sure that you’re offering extra help to new moms that are recovering from a cesarean section, as she will likely have restrictions contingent upon her recovery.
  • Looking Out for Signs of Postpartum Depression – No matter how much a new mom reads about recognizing the signs of postpartum depression, it’s not always easy to self-diagnose such a serious condition. This especially holds true when her feelings are being dismissed by other moms in her social circle as the “baby blues.” If you notice signs of postpartum depression, you can provide your mom boss with invaluable assistance by talking to her about it and letting her know that it’s okay to ask for help.
  • Offering a Shoulder to Cry On – Dealing with the rigors of new parenthood while you’re holding a baby that simply won’t stop crying is enough to bring even the strongest mom to tears. While nannies are encouraged to establish and maintain professional boundaries, there is quite a difference between listening to a mom boss dish about her personal life and being there for her when she needs to vent a little bit. New moms don’t always feel comfortable opening up to their partners or family members, which leaves you uniquely positioned to offer them the support they need.
  • Giving New Moms Time to Sleep – Some parents will hire a nanny to look after their baby at night for sleep training purposes, even when they’re planning to be home. Others will wait until the last possible day of maternity leave to turn their precious baby over to a childcare provider. Even if you’re chomping at the bit to get home after a long day of work, one of the best ways you can support an exhausted new mom when she returns home is simply allowing her an hour or so of uninterrupted sleep by sticking around with the baby for a little while longer.
  • Helping Mom Learn the Ropes – While most brand-new moms aren’t eager to admit that their nannies know more about childcare than they do, some will quietly take parenting cues from the professional under their employ. Be sure that you make yourself available if your brand new mom boss is looking for help in terms of learning the basics, especially if she’s far away from family members or friends that could help.
  • Taking Plenty of Pictures – Your mom boss will have to tear herself away from her new baby to go to work each day, and will almost certainly hate feeling as if she’s missing important new developments. Even if the most advanced thing your infant charge does over the course of a day is discover that she has feet, make sure that you document the occasion with plenty of pictures for mom to see when she gets home.
  • Not Taking Jealousy Personally – No mom wants to leave the lion’s share of parenting responsibilities up to an employee, regardless of how experienced and competent a professional that employee might be. Try to take remarks made out of jealousy with a grain of salt until she’s had a chance to adjust to not only becoming a parent, but also being forced to leave her new baby behind each day.
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