How to find help around the house after birth?

Hello BPN! My wife and I are just days/weeks away from bringing our first baby home.

Both of our sets of parents would love to be able to help out as much as possible, but they all live on the east coast, so they have recommended that we hire someone to help with chores around the house like doing the dishes, laundry, general cleaning. Are there such services available? We are aware of professional maid services but our understanding is that those services usually focus only on things like cleaning the floors/bathrooms/dusting and don't really help with laundry/dishes.

Is anyone aware of any services or people that provide something like what we're looking for? No child-care would be involved in the service.

Any advice is appreciated!

[Moderator Note] a similar question was asked a couple of months ago. See Managing Household Chores with a New Baby

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Most house cleaners will do dishes but not laundry, just specify that when you have them come to give an estimate. It is a big help to get a service going now so that it is running smoothly when you have a newborn. My biggest tip is to have a list of what you want them to do every week and go over it with them the first few times they come. Do not be shy about telling them how you want it done/not done.

Hi! I had a great new parent helper for several months. It isn’t inexpensive, but Gabi and Patricia (Patricia is the mom and Gabi is the daughter) did dishes, light cleaning, changing sheets, vacuuming, and (most importantly for me) folded laundry. Patricia’s number is (510) 322-1697. Another way to do it is getting a regular cleaning service and have a wash and fold laundry pick up. Now that my baby is a little older I can see to more of the tasks while he’s entertaining himself, but in those early months I really needed the help. 

One thing that can help with the expense of this help is to ask family members who want to give you things to contribute to your helper fund. We didn’t need the financial assistance but I think my parents and in-laws would have been up for helping with it if we asked. 

Good luck, you got this! New parenthood is really hard and I’m glad you’re looking for help. 

Have you considered taking your clothes to laundry mat and have them washed there? I take my clothes to the lake Merritt laundry mat on 600 Wesley and Brooklyn and Ms. Lottie washes our clothes. She weighs and charges by the pound. Such a life saver! Been going to her for years and has been a godsend now that I have a little one. 

In my experience (two adults, one newborn), an extra adult would have been unnecessary and would have added to the stress. We divided and conquered! The birthing adult took care of baby-related tasks such as feeding and changing, and rested, and the non-birthing adult took care of everything else such as meals, cleaning, and laundry. By the time the baby was 6 months old, even two adults home all day was too many. At that point, the birthing adult started working outside the home while the non-birthing adult stayed home, and household and baby tasks were split more evenly. Good luck!

Look into hiring a post partum doula perhaps. Some do cook and tidy, and lots of experience with new parents and babies. 

A few thoughts:

What the person you hire to help will do will vary. Explain the details of what you're looking for when you interview.When our kids were little, the house cleaner we hired sorted and folded baskets of laundry (thoughI never asked her to actually run it, I suspect she would have).

Also, if you are part of a faith community or other group, letting folks know you would appreciate some help when the baby comes may bring offers to do whatever needs doing.  Having folks bring meals for a while can also free up your time for other things.

Be sure you take all the leave you entitled to so you can be a support for a while, too.  Check out Legal Aid at Work to understand all the paid/unpaid leave and job protection rights you have as the non-birthing parent (I assume that's you - but if it's your wife, same applies to her).…

And finally, part of the plan should be being ok with things being a little messier than you're used to for a while!

Look for a postpartum doula! 

I know Alma Avila offers those kind and a services. She currently helps also an elderly person exactly with that home support. Clear instructions is very helpful. Hope you already have someone, but if not give her a call at 510.759.6475. She’s seeking new clients.