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Yay! The baby is here! You are so very excited to go and meet her and fuss over the brand new mama.


But hang on a sec.

Before you do, make sure you are equipped with some key rules to keep in mind to help the visit be a welcome pleasure, and not a strain:

1. Remember, it’s about them, not you

Your desire to visit a new mom and her baby is out of complete and utter love for them, I know! But sometimes we get so excited to meet the baby and shower the mama with love that we forget that, really, they are the stars of the show.

Make sure the visit is focused on her (probably not the time to start venting about work). She should not have to entertain or serve you during the visit.

Ask her when the best time for a visit is, and perhaps most importantly, be understanding if she says she doesn’t actually want to be visited right now. Which brings us to...

2. Do not be offended

She loves you. She appreciates you offering to visit her, she really does. But she may just not be ready for a visit—and that needs to be okay.

Let her know, before she even has to say it, that you completely understand if she’s not ready for a visit yet and that you won’t be offended. If she says she’s not, try saying, “I completely get it! I’d probably feel the same way! It’s a standing offer though. How about we touch base again in a week or two and see how you’re feeling then?”

As you know, each woman and birth is completely different. Some women will be craving social interactions, while others will go into hibernation mode. She needs your support to know that that’s okay—by doing so, you are setting the precedent that she is allowed and encouraged to care for herself as a mom. What a priceless gift!

3. Call first

NO POP-INS. EVER. END OF DISCUSSION.

Beyond that, give her a quick call or send a text to let her know that you’re on your way, even when you’ve scheduled the visit ahead of time. She may be in the middle of a nap or feeding the baby, and she’d really appreciate the advanced notice (and opportunity to say, “EEK, can you give us an extra 15 minutes actually?”)

Psst: Score extra points on that call by saying the following: “Hey, I’m on my way! I’ll be passing by Starbucks/the grocery store/Target/etc. on my way. Anything I can grab for you?”

4. Be super mindful of germs

She is probably very concerned about germs right now—most new moms are—and for good reason. Newborns don’t have much immunity, so even a small infection can turn into a problem.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Do not visit if you are sick, or have been around sick people (if your child has a bad cold, you should cancel, even if the child isn’t coming).
  • Don’t bring your kids, even if they are not sick, unless she specifically says it’s okay. Kids are little germ transporters, and it may make her feel concerned to have them there (even though she loves your kids).
  • Wash your hands when you arrive, before she asks you to. It can feel a little awkward to have to say, “Hey, sorry, can you wash your hands?” Instead, the moment the door opens, say, “Hi! It’s so good to see you! Before I come close to you, can you tell me where I should go wash my hands?”
  • Don’t kiss the baby. I know, I know! So hard! But unless you know for a fact it’s okay with her, avoid the temptation.

5. Bring food!

Nothing says love like lasagna. And chili. And brownies.

Make sure you’re aware of any dietary restrictions or dislikes, and then go for it! Extra points given for a meal for today and a meal to be frozen for later. Inspiration here!

If you are not a chef, consider a gift card for a local restaurant that delivers, or food delivery service.

6. Be helpful

(And make sure it’s help she wants, not help you think she wants.)

Here are some ideas:

  • Offer to hold the baby so she can take a nap or shower.
  • Ask her for a shopping list you can grab ahead of time.
  • Walk her dog.
  • Play with the older sibling.
  • Offer to clean something WITHOUT IMPLYING THAT IT’S MESSY. Try saying, “Is there anything you need done that’s totally stressing you out? I’d love to relieve some stress for you.”

7. Be thoughtful with the questions you ask

Again, you are so well-intentioned. But new moms can be sensitive, and may perceive the questions you’re asking as judgmental without you even realizing it.

Instead of, “Are you breastfeeding?” Try, “He looks so healthy!”

Instead of ,“Is he sleeping through the night yet?” Try, “I remember how tired I was after I gave birth. Let me know if you want to take a nap!”

Instead of, “Did you get an epidural? Try, “Do you feel like talking about your birth at all?”

Instead of, “Are you so in love?” Try “How are you feeling?”

This last one is really important—not all moms fall in love with their babies right away. And, they may be silently experiencing post partum depression or anxiety, which can alter her connection to her baby. Questions that assume that everthing is picture perfect may make her feel guilty and sad.

Instead, ask her with genuine concern how she’s feeling. Let her know that you are a safe person to come to if she needs support. If she does tell you she’s depressed, urge her to get mental health care right away, or call 911.

8. Do not comment on her house or body

Pretty much the last thing she wants to deal with right now is being self-conscious about a messy house or leaking breasts.

“Yikes, it looks like a tornado came through here!” or “Oh, you’re boobs are huge!” or “You look exhausted” are not okay. It sounds ridiculous, but it happens—a lot.

You could say, “Her nursery is so adorable!” or “You are absolutely glowing.”

9. Do not comment on her parenting choices

This is not the time for unsolicited advice, no matter how much you may know. Decisions like how her baby is being fed, whether or not her son was circumcised, her decision to go back to work or stay home—it’s all so personal, and probably comes with doubt, no matter what she’s decided.

If she asks you, go for it (gently). If not, please don’t bring it up.

10. Leave ?

She will love seeing you, but it’s really important not to overstay your welcome. She needs to sleep, bond with her baby, or binge watch a series on Netflix in peace. Make sure to give her that opportunity.

Bonus! Check back in a few weeks.

She will be flooded by well-wisher and visitors during the weeks right after birth—and then it all goes away, just as motherhood is starting to get really hard. THIS is when she actually needs you the most.

Set a reminder in your phone, and when the baby is 4 weeks old, call her and see if you can visit again. Ask if she and the baby want to go grab lunch, bring her over another lasagna, or simply tell her you’re thinking about her.

She is so lucky to have you in her life. Now go see that cute baby (but call first)!

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

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2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna

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3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

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4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

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5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna

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With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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