+
upworthy
Community

People share the most practical ways to support new parents after giving birth

Sometimes the best gift is practicality.

parenting; new parents; motherhood; postpartum gifts; support new parents
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

People share the most practical ways to support new parents

There's a lot of preparation that goes into having a child well before they're even born. First there are the physical changes your body makes to clear up some space for a tiny human roughly the size of a watermelon. Then there's preparing the nursery, buying lots of extremely small clothes, diapers and an expected understanding that while sleep may be your friend, you won't be getting any of it for about a year.

Lots of people give plenty of advice to help you cope in the early days but after the baby arrives, the focus shifts to solely the baby. It's obviously not a deliberate shift. Babies are just more shiny and new that the parents. But not everyone forgets about the parents once baby makes their grand entrance–some go out of their way to make sure the parents feel supported.

Upworthy asked its audience, "what was the best non-baby related gift you received as a new parent," and the answers were a masterclass on how to care for new parents.


Usually when people think of new babies, they often stop short of thinking of the person that just gave birth. All of the gifts that come in are typically for the new infant, which is helpful but in the early days it can feel like you're invisible. This means that the small gestures to focus on the parent or parents can really make a big impact and it looks like the Upworthy audience is acutely aware of this fact. Here are some of the most meaningful and practical gifts:

1. Everyone has to eat, especially when you've just birthed a human

"My best friend came by a day or two after I’d given birth with fresh washed and precut fruits and veggies and this is the only thing I remember being given. I was so thirsty and depleted and that gesture was everything," Emmanuelle Hertel writes.

"My grandma brought me groceries. Right to my third floor apartment. She was way old and it was probably a big hassle for her but incredibly helpful and thoughtful. She knew it was hard to leave the house and that I was a single mom of a baby," Kristina Scott remembers.

"A basket of easy to grab finger foods, cheeses, sparkling cider. It was a godsend," Peggy Auerbacher says.

2. Cleaning is a gift of love

"A house keeping crew for a month from my sister-in-laws," Evelyn Strimel Durkin says.

"My mother had someone come in and deep clean my house right before I delivered. It stayed clean with little effort right through the first couple of weeks. And those last couple of weeks of pregnancy, I was definitely not able to clean the way that I would have liked to. It was a blessing. And a fabulous gift," Patrice Powers King writes.

"My mom came and cleaned my house top to bottom, let me shower, kept our crockpot full of healthy food, and helped me learn how to breastfeed. Best gift I’ve ever received," Casi Dixon Hitchens admits.

3. Giving parents a much needed break from their littles to do wild things like nap.

"When my sister in law came & took our two little ones & said “do what you want but I’m taking your kids for a few hours “ These kids are now in their 50 ‘s and I still think about that. Best gift ever," Esther Keber says.

"A friend picked up my kids and took them to her house for dinner and play when she delivered dinner for husband and me," Mara Capuano writes.

"After a C-section w my first, my Mom came to help. I needed groceries AND I just needed to get out. She said “ take your time, no rush, I’m here”. She knew, I just needed a minute to myself, even if it was just getting groceries. She’s long gone, but she saw ME," Sandy Corr reminisces.

Of course people were happily taking notes of the thoughtful gifts other's received so they could pass along the practical joy. Is there a gift you received that simply made your life a little easier with a newborn? Tell us about it but most importantly, remember these ideas when you find yourself curious what to gift your expecting friend or relative.

How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

Still, some people wash and dry them after every wear while others will hand wash and never hang dry. With all these significant differences of opinion, there must be a correct answer somewhere, right?

Keep ReadingShow less

Tom Hanks and Bill Murray


What do you think?


via Reasons My Son is Crying/Facebook

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE ANSWER

Given the narrow beauty standards in Hollywood, there are a lot of actors and actresses that look look amazingly similar.

Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt look a lot alike…

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Researchers studied kindergarteners' behavior and followed up 19 years later. Here are the findings.

Every parent wants to see their kid get good grades in school. But now we know social success is just as important.

Image from Pixabay.

Big smiles in class at kindergarten.



Every parent wants to see their kid get good grades in school. But now we know social success is just as important.

From an early age, we're led to believe our grades and test scores are the key to everything — namely, going to college, getting a job, and finding that glittery path to lifelong happiness and prosperity.

Keep ReadingShow less


Asexuality is often misunderstood.

In general, it's believed to be the absence of any romantic interest, but asexual identity actually means that a person is not sexually attracted to anyone. Romantic feelings and the strength of those feelings can vary from person to person.

Currently, about 1% of adults have no interest in sex, though some experts believe that number could be higher. For a long time, information on asexuality was limited, but researchers recently have found information that gives us more knowledge about asexuality.

Being asexual can be tough, though — just ask the artists from Empathize This.

To demonstrate, they put together a comic on asexuality, defining it as a sexual orientation, not a dysfunction:

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

This innocent question we ask boys is putting more pressure on them than we realize

When it's always the first question asked, the implication is clear.


Studies show that having daughters makes men more sympathetic to women's issues.

And while it would be nice if men did not need a genetic investment in a female person in order to gain this perspective, lately I've had sympathy for those newly woke dads.

My two sons have caused something similar to happen to me. I've begun to glimpse the world through the eyes of a young male. And among the things I'm finding here in boyland are the same obnoxious gender norms that rankled when I was a girl.

Keep ReadingShow less

An avocado tree farmer explains the science of Hass avocados

Have you ever seen anyone put an avocado pit in water to grow an avocado tree? I've seen lots of people try, but only a few succeed. My mom has a tiny avocado tree growing in her living room that she managed to grow from the pit of a Hass avocado she ate. It's small but thriving, and I've often wondered if it will ever grow actual avocados.

As it turns out, it could—but they won't be Hass avocados.

Wait, huh?

Keep ReadingShow less