A Note from Chris Adams: For so many years of grandparenting, we had a newborn enter our lives every couple of years. The youngest is now 5, so I haven’t had a brand new babe to cuddle for a while. I so agree with Dr. Deb Douglas, Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA when she says babies make us melt! Read her post today with ideas to help as we minister to moms of newborns.
A newborn is adorable. The softness, the sweetness, and the miracle of birth bring our emotions to the surface and threaten to take over everything we know about ministering to moms of newborns. When the natural desire to ooh and aah threatens to take over, we need to reel it in and focus on what is best for the mom.
The basics of ministering to moms of newborns:
- Determine in advance who is going to minister to moms at the hospital. Is it going to be the women’s minister or the preschool minister? Moms need time to rest and too many visitors can hamper this.
- Sharing personal stories of birthing experiences is not helpful. Make it about her. Let the mom tell her story.
- Making a mom feel loved is important, but she needs time alone with her new baby and family. Seek out balance by visiting the hospital, texting, or calling to check in with the moms and ministering to practical needs such as food and childcare for siblings.
- Minister equally. Be intentional in making sure every mom is ministered to in similar ways.
- Sip and See. Hold a small, informal gathering with sweet tea and cookies to introduce the new baby to church friends. This is a great idea for celebrating the birth with small groups or Sunday school classes.
- Remember basic hospital visitation rules:
- A great visit is less than 7 minutes.
- Never sit on the hospital bed.
- Pray! Encourage the new mom by praying for her and her baby.
- Minister to the family. Food is the easy way for church ladies to show love to a family! Enlist women to provide meals for the first week or two after the baby. Subtly remind the food providers of good ministry practices such as:
- Drop off the food and leave. Eating with the family is not a good idea!
- Use disposable containers.
- Consider allergies and special dietary needs.
- Use an online calendar to make it easy to keep the meals on schedule.
- Be sensitive. If a gift is brought to the newborn, consider giving small gifts to the siblings also.
As women’s ministers, we have the opportunity to set new moms on a happy, well-balanced journey into motherhood. With our encouragement, prayers, and support the mom’s experience will be heart melting instead of a meltdown!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.