Having a solid partner during the draining postpartum phase can be a complete game changer. The days blur together. The spit-up never ends. It seems like the world is suddenly off-kilter, and new parents are just trying to stay afloat.
Having a supportive partner there during a stressful pediatrician visit, while pumping in the middle of the night, or even just during a normal, boring day of newborn life will do so much for a postpartum mom’s overall experience.
Despite this truth, there are so many partners and husbands out there who see their nursing wife waking up with the baby and think, “Well, not much I can do here! Back to sleep I go!”
Not so fast there, buddy!
TikTok content creator and mom, Melissa Messer, has a brilliant list for men filled with different tasks and responsibilities they can take on while mom is handling newborn life, noting that her list is the “bare minimum” when it comes to a supportive partner.
First, she believes two different water bottles should be filled for mom at all times — her water bottle and her peri bottle.
“Okay, first and arguably most important is that water bottles should always be filled with ice water. Like, don’t even let it get to the point where she has to ask. Just have that thing ready. Another thing that should be filled without them having to think about is their peri bottle that they’re using to heal,” Messer began.
She also thinks men should have all the healing products stocked and ready to go for mom at all times, including Tucks pads and adult underwear. This is one less thing mom has to worry about during the middle of the night.
Switching gears, Messer moved on to the ways men can lend emotional support to their postpartum partners.
“I know, at night, it’s like, ‘What can I do? Like I can’t feed the baby if like she’s breastfeeding.’ Wake up in the middle of the night for moral support, you know? … Tell her she’s a good mom, at least three times a day minimum. It can feel lonely to be up in the middle of the night with just the baby … just make sure you give her a pat on the back,” Messer said before listing off a few more easy ways for men to pull their weight.
“Laundry and housework … especially this is your first child, you should be keeping up with this a lot … Also changing diapers, making sure you take the baby so that she can shower and nap whenever she wants and stuff like that. That’s kind of like a given,” she said.
When it comes to families who already have children, a partner’s postpartum responsibilities may change a bit, leaning more focus on the kids.
“You should be doing everything with the other kids. Checking in and asking if mom needs anything, even though you’re with the other kids the whole time,” Messer explained.
“When you have like multiple kids and there’s a newborn and stuff, obviously like the house might just be messy, but like don’t make it to the point where it’s just completely overwhelming. Just be a little extra nice … Go to the store, get her a special treat, you know?”
Every woman likes a little special treat! This is great advice!
In Messer’s comment section, several moms offered up some other ideas for how partners can help their postpartum wives.
“I agree with this list 👌 I also feel like this is the bare minimum, and I would add cooking meals or just providing food to the list,” one user wrote.
Another wrote, “Buy a cheap bottle warmer off market place or goodwill. Keep it in the bathroom for the peri bottle so she doesn’t have to wait for warm water”
One user appreciated Messer’s list while also noting that this list needs to be presented to a partner rather than a “set them up to fail” kind of situation.
“I wouldn’t want him to think he has to guess these things. He does everything around the house when I can’t but the water botttle for example? I’ll ask for specifics when I need specifics I’m also not bed bound or something. Like I can still do things. He is also helping and tired,” they wrote.
“I agree! Different things work for different people for sure too. In my experience drinking water while breastfeeding was important to me 🤣 These are just some ideas! obviously we’re all tired postpartum but moms are also healing xx,” Messer replied.