Think Outside The “R Us”

coffemom1. Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or any other place with a drive thru, caffeine, hot breakfast and the option for an indulgent treat. Even if a new mom is avoiding caffeine an indulgent pastry or hot breakfast can truly make her day and help her forget she only slept four hours the night before….

2. A postpartum support belt or belly binding kit. Until you deliver and experience the “Oh my gosh,  my insides feel like they will fall out of my abdomen!” moment you simply do not think about these things. I thought with my first two it was just a grin and bear it thing, then I got a support with number three and oh what a difference it made!

3. Send a meal on week three or four postpartum. A homemade meal is nice, but really ANY hot food mom did not prepare is purely AMAZING! Drop off a homemade meal, send a gift card for take out or have a pizza sent. Really, any hot food is heavenly. At this point most meal trains are done, grandma has gone home, partner is back at work and mom feels like she needs to get back to “normal” on a few hours of broken sleep.

4. A gift certificate for a spring/deep clean. The first couple weeks the results of her awesome nesting skills hold up but then things start falling apart. The dust starts building, laundry is piling up and the floors have not been mopped in a week plus. Mom has a more alert baby demanding her attention and she might also have older kids contributing to the chaos.

5. Time. You do not need money to bless a new mom. Pop by (after calling of course!) and hold baby so mom can grab a shower or fold a basket of laundry so mom can feed and enjoy her snugly newborn with one less task to stress over.

6. Encouragement and an ear. Again, it is not all about money. Send a card, text her she is doing well and be a quiet listening ear when she needs to vent. As adorable as babies are the lack of sleep and never ending bodily fluids can really wear a new mom down. Having a safe place to chat and getting encouragement can make a world of difference for a mom’s mental health.

7. A gift card for car detailing. You might be thinking why on earth would a mom want a car detailing card…ever look inside a mini van? Seriously kids are messy but the car is most likely at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to chores, bless mom with one less thing to deal with.

8. A gift card for mom’s favorite clothing store. Baby will be dressed in gorgeous outfits but what about mom? She will likely get a few weeks postpartum and no longer need maternity clothes but will not fit well in anything she wore pre-pregnacy. The body changes SO much during pregnancy, postpartum, lactation and weaning and it can be hard to accept sometimes. A new outfit that looks awesome with her new figure can be a confidence boost and truly make her feel amazing.

9. A gift certificate for a birth doula, postpartum doula, pregnancy or postpartum massage, or other wellness and support people. A positive birth experience can help a mom enter her postpartum period with joy and confidence. However a mom gives birth, when she feels supported and respected she often reports a positive experience. A few visits with postpartum support can help mom process her experience, get assistance and rest and help her learn coping techniques to enjoy motherhood. I do not think a massage needs any explanation, you might even feel more relaxed just seeing the word.

10. Healing aids, the things few people will mention she might want and she may not realize she needs until her partner is making a late night run to Target. Witch hazel pads, herbal healing spray, chux pads, nursing pads, nipple cream, perineal ice packs, jumbo bottle of ibuprofen, stool softeners, and all the other fun things.

Gifts are just that, gifts and so anything given is often received with gratitude and greatly appreciated. Babies do need clothes, diapers and a few gadgets so this is not to say ignore the traditional gifts, but simply an idea to get a little creative and get a gift no one else is likely to give.