One of the biggest mistakes friends and family make with a new mama is asking her what she needs. Don't ask, just do. The truth is, all she wants to do is rest and take care of her new baby. She WANTS you to jump in and do what needs doing without asking her. She WANTS you to anticipate her needs. How? Feed her. Clean for her. Make her feel special. And don't ask!

Don't Ask ... ANTICIPATE her needs:

FEED HER

Every new mom needs to eat, but cooking is NOT at the forefront of her needs right now. She needs others to feed her. Sites like takethemameal.com and mealtrain.com help you do that. Schedule meals to be delivered to her for two weeks or longer after the baby is born. Just tell her to have a cooler out on her porch so people can just drop meals by.

— AND —

Order her family meal delivery services such as:

Eat Well Nashville
Individual (approx. $10) or five-pack meals (approx. $42) plus delivery fee. Delivers in Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties.

Dinner Belle Nashville
The emphasis is on farm-fresh here. Order an organic meal the week ahead of your need. Prices vary by meal.

Fresh Chefs Nashville
Chef-prepared recipes using freshest ingredients. Delivers throughout Middle Tennessee. Designed for three days for a family of four at a cost of $150. Serving two for $75.

Katie's Plates
Find gourmet dishes, including gluten-free options. Meals range between $15 and $20.

Fresh N' Lean
Organic meal delivery. Starts at $28 a day.

CLEAN FOR HER WHEN YOU VISIT

Sometimes everybody thinks this is the jurisdiction of the best friends and family only, but any friend can pitch in and help. Don't take "no" for an answer. When you finally get the word that visitors are welcome at the new mama's house, doing something helpful when you visit will be greatly appreciated. See dishes in the sink? Get to it. See laundry piling up? Just put in a load. The mama won't be mad, she'll be thankful. Also — consider a "group friend buy" for a cleaning service for the new mom, too.

THINK: 'HOW CAN I MAKE HER FEEL SPECIAL?'

Want to help but don't have the budget for a meal service? The gift of time with thoughtfulness goes a long way:

Text and Drop
Make life easier for her by leaving a hand-made gift basket on her doorstep. Consider flowers, a girlie magazine, fresh-baked muffins, body lotion, etc. Send her a text and let her know there's something on her doorstep!

Offer to Take the Siblings to the Park
She just may be able to get a shower if the newborn is sleeping and you do a little childcare for her.

Offer to walk with her
The baby can go in the carriage and you can walk together. Bring her Starbucks and get going.