A dear friend from Boston recently asked me to compile a list of things she could give her friend who is expecting her first child – and she suggested I turn it into a blog post! I went back through my own Amazon orders to see what I'd purchased right after Daisy was born and have shared those as well as the gifts I've given my own best friends since:
Your friend is likely not thinking about what they need, but rather, what the baby needs, and the truth is that she’ll need to be taken care of too, so, this list is focused on the mama. Hopefully her shower registry will have taken care of everything she needs for baby!
An Herbal Stress Relief Body Wrap
These provide immediate relief for the aches and pains new moms experience from things like carrying baby 24/7 or breastfeeding in the same position for hours a day. A few minutes in the microwave is all it takes for some soothing. I like this one because it can be used for the shoulders, neck or back and is filled with cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus that release calming aromas.
Gift Certificates for Spa Services
A quick Yelp search will help you identify a reputable spa near your gift recipient – call to see if they provide specialty services for new or expectant moms and ensure a gift card won’t expire within a year. New moms desperately need some pampering and for me, massage is the ultimate gift. There are also national chains like Massage Envy and Hand & Stone that I think provide fairly good services for affordable prices.
Most new parents will tell you that showers go out the window at the end of pregnancy (too tiring) and after baby is born (no time). The best thing I did for myself in early motherhood was commit to regular blowouts at a salon nearby. Even when I felt downtrodden and bedraggled, having shiny, styled hair that looked great for a few days made me feel somewhat human.
I was never a girl who got her nails done until after I had Daisy. Now, I get a manicure every two weeks and a pedicure every 3-4 weeks religiously. I look forward to the ritual of someone else taking care of me for an hour when I can read a book or even just close my eyes. Having hands and feet that look taken care of helps me feel together.
A Good Mask
If a trip to the salon or spa isn’t in the cards for your friend or your budget, there are other ways to offer relaxation. A face mask is a quick way to clearer skin and a restored look. These are some of Sephora’s best (I LOVE the Glam Glow mud mask personally) and Target sells a bunch of fun and affordable masks for one-time use.
These bath cubes from Fresh create the most luxurious bath experience and are beautiful enough to keep on display in a stylish bathroom. Dr. Teal’s is another favorite – a little less luxury but this stuff is a miracle worker at relieving tension and minor aches and pains and these bags last for years. Dr Teal's makes great bubble bath too - all can be found at Target.
Cute Granny Panties
Yep, I said it. And I promise, she’s going to need them. Whether she delivered vaginally or C-section, your mom friend likely has a lot going on “down there” and is going to need something roomy and comfortable for at least a few weeks after giving birth. Here are some that aren’t totally awful-looking 😊
Black Roomy Stretch Pants
I LIVED in stretchy pants for the first few months after Daisy was born. My size was changing rapidly as swelling went up and down and I lost weight gradually and what I needed was pants that were gentle on my new healing scar and roomy enough for comfort. Whether they’re jersey, terrycloth, satin or loose cotton, your friend will love you for some soft, roomy pants.
Last but not least…
Words of encouragement
The best part: this one is free! I was so humbled and uplifted by the outpouring of cards and letters I received from other moms after Daisy was born with inspiring messages. Your mom friend is on a roller coaster of emotions, changing hormones and a lack of sleep so she will no doubt be glum here and there. A card telling her how wonderful, brave and strong you think she is will go a long way. Tell her of what an amazing mom she’ll be and remind her that you’ll always be there as a support when things are hard. That is the best gift of all - she can read it over and over and over again.
Hope this is helpful to all of you who know someone expecting a new baby – sending best wishes for lots of healthy births and happy new families!