Give InKind’s Care Calendar helps answer the central question of how to give or receive support. In this case, how to set up a support page for yourself, a friend, or a family member who has a newborn rainbow baby. (A rainbow baby is a baby born after a previous loss.)
The so-called Fourth trimester is a challenging, beautiful, complicated time. It is worth remembering that a new mom of a rainbow baby may be at an elevated risk of post-partum depression. (Some moms may not experience this. There is no right or wrong.) Continuing to create a space for both their mourning and their joy is so important. This demonstrated understanding can be powerfully healing. In the celebration and joy that (so generously) accompany a rainbow baby, the race to reach for a happy ending may have the unintended consequence of inadvertently nullifying her experience of prior loss. Make space for both things. Some moms remain private. Others wish to talk. Either of these responses is correct. Create a channel of communication that rests on love – with no judgment. (Take a look at a Sample Give InKind Support Page for a Family Welcoming a Rainbow Baby.)
Add as many items to the Care Calendar as necessary to enable parents to bond with their baby. Don’t forget about dads. In helping to coordinate help, you are allowing both of them to rest and to adjust to a longed-for good outcome.
- Food: Meals and groceries for the family are always among the most popular calendar items. This is especially true for new parents of a rainbow baby. Most moms can remember the best meal they received. (One Give InKind staff member received a complete meal in a picnic basket with cutlery rolled in napkins and candles to light.) Do the parents have any dietary restrictions? If the mom is learning to nurse, be mindful of any ingredients that might impact lactation. Is anyone allergic to anything?
- Childcare: If there are older children to consider, you can easily build that into the Care Calendar. It is always nice to celebrate the singular role of older children as their place in the family shifts. Giving them some special love is hugely helpful. Offering to take an older sibling to a birthday party allows parents to focus on the new baby – and maybe for them to take a quick nap.
- Pet Care: Are there pets to care for? Arrange daily dog walks. Kitty litter boxes?
- Home Services: Add calendar events for tasks like housecleaning while they’re at the pediatrician for a check-up or schedule a weekly laundry wash and fold session. Depending on the comfort level, you can either pick up their laundry or do it in their home while visiting with them.
- Other: “Other" is the ultimate catch-all category. This is a great way to create opportunities for connections. If a new mom is learning to nurse, check in with her about that. Make sure she is getting enough sleep. See if she says anything that suggests she might need to few sessions with a post-partum doula. Designate an evening to a Ladies Night video call for mom, or a recurring day for Friends and Family video call. Don’t forget dads. They need their crew to check-in with them too.
The fundraising section can be beneficial for unexpected expenses. Ask whether extra cash would be useful. If there is such a need, simply enable the fundraising button on your InKind page and connect your PayPal or GoFundMe account.
The Give InKind Wishlist is another opportunity for others to meaningfully support a quarantined family with a new baby. Browse Give InKind’s curated list for suggested items. When you see an item that could be helpful, use the “+" icon to add to your Wishlist.
You may also add an existing Amazon Wishlist to your InKind page for items that may be leftover from their registry.
Use Give InKind’s do-not-disturb section to let others know about the family’s communication preferences. Keep in mind that these preferences can be easily turned on or off as a situation changes.
- Phone Calls: How do the parents like to communicate – a phone call or text? With a new baby, it can be impossible to know when the baby is sleeping. Parents may not be available to talk on the phone, but do appreciate texts.
- Visitors: Ask parents about their level of comfort with visitors (especially during COVID). A home with a newborn is a universe unto itself. Parents may welcome visitors – but make sure to define parameters and create definite boundaries.
- Flowers: Flowers can be great to brighten up a home. In this case, they may not the most important thing, but they are still very lovely and certainly worth considering.
Add unlimited updates to keep friends and family informed. This is a great place for a designated page manager to keep family and friends up to date or for the recipient to “blog" or “journal" their experience if they wish to do so. We know that with a newborn, they’re changing every day. Add as many updates as you or the parents like to keep friends and family up to date. Create your InKind Support Page here.
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.