Thank you for tuning in today and watching my segment on WBKO’s Midday Live where I discussed practical gifts for expectant Parents. As I discussed on the show this list was created through suggestions of my clients, social media followers and network birth professionals. Here is the detailed list that includes items not seen on TV today and how to find the items mentioned.
“…break tradition and get practical gifts that will make birth and postpartum a positive experience for the whole family.”
- Rice Sock/heat pack. We get a lot of useful ideas from the Wellness Mama, but this reusable rice heat pack is one of our favorites. It can be heated up in the microwave and used for aches and pains in late pregnancy, labor and postpartum. Any mom gifted this DIY item will use it until it wears out! Great for the gift giver on a budget or someone who prefers giving handmade gifts. Check out wellnessmama.com for all instructions.
- Postpartum Clothing. Comfortable clothes are a very practical gift. Most moms wont realize until they are home from the hospital how important yoga pants, PJ pants and tank tops are. By gifting these items you will save their partner a trip to Target when mom is searching for clothes that comfortably fit her postpartum body. It can be a daunting task to buy clothes for other people and you may lean towards a gift card. I would suggest staying away from the gift cards, because no mom wants to pack up a newborn to go do her own shopping.
- Soft slip on shoes/boots. Something similar to a house slipper or Ugg boot will do. You can fine this type of shoe from $10-$150 just depending on your budget. All new moms need a shoe that goes on without bending over and doesn’t require both hands to put on. This is particularly helpful for moms who have had a cesarean birth.
- Evidence Based Birth Books. Expectant parents want knowledge to make the best decisions for their growing family, but can often end up with 10 copies of ” What To Expect..” when what they really want is evidence based books by Ina May, Penny Simkin, etc… Not familiar with which books are in demand? check out our resource page where we have a list from our network of birth professionals.
- Breastfeeding Care Package. As I mentioned on the show today we need to support our breastfeeding moms any way we can. Every bit of support helps them find success on their breastfeeding journey. Get a nice basket or tote bag and fill it with the following:
- Reusable Water Bottle (most moms will prefer glass/stainless steel). This is helpful because a breastfeeding mom needs to drink a lot of water for health & milk production. Having that water bottle by her side will be key to breastfeeding success.
- Her Favorite Chocolates (Bite size is best). Chocolate has been known to help with milk production, but the real reason I suggest this is Oxytocin. During those 2am feedings having a bite of your favorite chocolate can trigger Oxytocin (the love hormone) and that will help with milk let down and over all mood.
- Lansinoh 3-in-1 Therapy Packs. Amanda Poteet-Woolen (the Grateful Moms Doula) is a Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and she suggested this item. While you can freeze them or heat them up she suggests keeping them frozen to use for relief postpartum.
- Medela Tender Care Reusable Gel Pads(not mentioned in the segment). After my daughter was born I had irritated nipples and my Lactation Consultant (Bonnie Reed) brought me these and they were a game changer. Though we hope the mom you are buying for wont have irritation it doesn’t hurt to keep these on hand.
- Hours with a Certified Lactation Counselor (3 CLCs in our Network). When I asked on Facebook, “what practical gift do you wish you had received” this is one of the top answers. Pay for 2+ hours with a CLC, so that after baby is born a professional can come to their home or the hospital and give them one-on-one care and attention.
- Birth Balls. The best source I’ve found for birth balls is BirthSource.com. You are buying from a seasoned birth professional and you know you are getting a quality product. The problem with buying a yoga ball from a local sporting good store is that typically they are going to be 65cm/26″ balls. Unless you are under 5’3″ that will be too short of a ball. Birth balls are used during Lamaze/Bradley Method classes, during late pregnancy for optimal fetal positioning and during labor. Now, 17 months after my birth it is my toddler’s favorite toy. The gift that keeps on giving!
- Doula Services. A Doula is a trained birth professional who provides support to the mom & dad before, during and after birth. More and more moms are choosing to hire a Doula to support them at the hospital or during a home birth. If you know a mom who is considering these services a very practical gift would be paying for their Doula. If the price tag of $500-$700 (local price range) is out of your budget consider having several friends, family member or coworkers pool their money together. If you have questions on how to hire a Doula for an expectant mom please email email@example.com or call (270)303-1546.
- Lamaze Certified Childbirth Education. Lamaze starts Jan 7th in downtown Bowling Green at The Spot (historic Spot Cash building 1 block off square). It is 16 hours of in depth education covering pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding and newborn care. If you know a mom that you’d like to gift a spot in an independent childbirth education class to please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (270)303-1546. An 8 week class is $350 and you can reserve a spot with a $100 deposit.
- Food. Particularly freezer meals that are easy to reheat and homemade. Store bought freezer meals can be convenient, but not nutritious. Try making a lasagna, meatloaf, soups, etc… and stocking the parent’s freezer. Consider having a kitchen party where you prepare food together before baby comes or having a shower where everyone brings a dish. Tip: do this BEFORE baby arrives so that mom is NOT dealing with a slew of visitors after baby is born. If you don’t have the time or skill to create freezer meals consider buying freezer meals from Need More Acres and My Sunshine Birth Services. We’ve teamed up to created dinner burritos, breakfast burritos, and sausage balls for postpartum or busy families. The best part is the ingredients are fresh and locally grown. This is a new partnership and we hope to see it grow in 2016. We even set up our first food registry.
- Housekeeping. You can purchase professional services or give them a homemade gift certificate for an hour or 2 of YOUR time. Moms report needing dishes done, supper cooked, grocery shopping and a load of laundry completed.
TIP: if you go to a home postpartum to clean do not try to hold baby unless mom requests it. We want to help around the house without disrupting mom & baby.
One thing I’d like you to get from my segment on WBKO and this post it is to be brave enough to break tradition. Get practical gifts that will make birth and postpartum a positive experience for the whole family. An interesting point was made by one of my friends. She said, “it seems people want to buy gifts for the baby instead of the mom”. Lets try to remember that the baby doesn’t need much and we need to focus on taking care of mom & dad. I hope you have found this helpful and please reach out with any questions. I know buying services versus products is a new concept and I’m here to help.
Love & Blessings,
Mary Duke LCCE
P.S. A HUGE thank you to Andrea Walker of WBKO and Natalie Bodekker of Zest Juice for making today a wonderful experience. I look forward to returning to WBKO on Tuesday Dec 29th for a segment on AM KY. Please tune in!