Random acts of kindness. Visitors do not expect to rock up, sit down holding the baby whilst she makes tea and biscuits. Here's the thing - it's truly exhausting caring for a tiny human, especially when your body is still recovering and hormones are raging. If you're popping round ask if she needs anything from the shops, put the kettle on yourself, unload the dishwasher or offer to hold the baby whilst she gets a shower - you get the idea?
Thoughtful gifts are always welcome for new mums but keep in mind the person you knew before the baby was born. She's just the same gal who loves music, fashion and box sets - she just hasn't been out shopping for a while and leggings are her new best friend! So step away from the lavender gift set, she's not your octogenarian aunt and find something meaningful and she'll love you for it.
It's good to talk. First time mums need to connect with others who are going through the same highs, lows and daily challenges. Ask your health visitor to recommend some local groups and browse the internet for websites such as NetMums or Apps such as Mush that connect mums with each other. Your new mama mates will be invaluable and reassure you that you're doing great and that you're not the only one who's nursing a baby and watching the shopping channel at 3am.
Small steps. Don't expect too much too soon and it's okay to take short cuts along the way. Order your food shopping in, let the housework slide and watch rubbish daytime television if you feel like it. It's likely you'll spend most of the first few weeks in your pj's so just go with it but invest in some lovely lounge wear that resembles real clothing. That way you won't have to worry if the delivery guy, or an unexpected visitor come knocking and trust us, you'll feel much more human and in control if you feel dressed!