The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion but it can also be exhausting and overwhelming. Friends and family are invaluable at this time, and there are many simple things that we can do to keep this special time special.

Take her a meal
A home-cooked meal can be a godsend to a new mum preoccupied with the feeding, changing, sleeping cycle, not to mention the usual day to day. If dinner is taken care of the family is happy and well nourished, then it's one less thing to worry about. Check out our meal suggestions for inspiration and our guide to preparing food for others. 

Drop in a food hamper
If cooking's not your thing, don't worry. You can still spoil her with culinary delights. Visit your local deli for fresh quiches, savoury bakes and salads and pop them in basket with a fresh baguette, and something sweet. Or how about a fruit basket? Or a delicious tray a basket of sweet and savoury treats tailored to the new mum's tastes. 

Spoil her with a pamper hamper
Who doesn't love to be pampered? Spoil the new mum in your life with gifts carefully selected by you. Include favourites like bath salts and oils , candles, chocolates, and magazines. Add a book or DVD or a specially chosen gift card for a massage or a movie. 

Take her on an outing
It's easy to get stuck at home when you have a new baby. Sometimes it's all too hard trying to fit socialising in around sleep and feeding routines. But we all need company and fresh air, so treat your friend to lunch or a coffee and get her out of the house for a bit. Go for a walk, take time to talk and  push the pram around for a bit. Time with friend can really recharge the batteries.

Take up babysitting duties
Baby's are never too young to have a sitter, even if it just means keeping an eye on the little one while mum gets some much needed rest. Offer to watch the baby while mum and dad take some time out together for dinner or a movie. Or offer to look after other children if she has them, and treat them to some special time with you.

Lend a hand
Help with the ironing or the housework, or tend to the washing up. Maybe there's some work to be done in the garden or some errands to run. Always remember to ask first and if she doesn't take up your offer don't push it. 

Give her permission to fail
Don’t judge her if the house is messy, breastfeeding is going badly, or she looks a mess. If the baby is fed and healthy, then she's doing well and you can tell her so.  Give her a shoulder to cry on if she needs it, and an ear to bend.  Knowing that you are there for her as she navigates the hormones, the nappies and the long sleepless nights will be a great comfort.