Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Postpartum Gift Ideas

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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A co-worker recently approached me for advice.  Her friend had just given birth and she was going to visit her at the end of the day. She told me she didn’t want to get the typical teddy bear or flowers.  She wanted to get something meaningful.  I encouraged her to bring a gift for the mother rather than for the baby.  Chances were that mama had already purchased or received everything she needed for baby.  After all, she had just gone through the most life changing and physically gruelling events of her life.  It was time to pamper her and help her on her road to recovery.

Here is a top 10 list of gift ideas that I came up with for mothers after giving birth:

10. Magazines, books or other reading material.  If she is in the hospital and must stay to recover, these gifts will be truly appreciated.  I remember my MIL dropping off some celebrity magazines and it helped me get through those last few hours before I was finally discharged. 

9. A keepsake, charm or figurine that will act as a constant reminder of this precious moment.  Consider one that you can build on in celebration each year.

8. Natural lotions, bath soaps, salts or candles.  Mama will most likely need some nice long baths to help her body recover in those first few weeks.  One of my most memorable gifts was from Hubby’s friend who purchased a basket full of shea butter soaps and lotions.  I really appreciated his thoughtfulness.  There are some amazing natural products out there.  Check out this lovely line by Earth Mama Angel Baby.

7. Something beautiful and womanly.  After birth you no longer feel sexy or glowing.  You are most likely wearing a moo-moo or an over-sized t-shirt and are yearning to feel beautiful again.   How about a nice piece of jewelry or a new nursing top?

6. Tea.  Red raspberry leaf tea (helps tones muscles in the pelvis region and uterus) or any of the Earth Mama Angel Baby teas are a great idea.

5. Snacks.  She will be hungry!  Natural healthy foods are preferable, but don’t starve her of chocolate and sweets.  She earned it!  Also, consider making a batch of these lactation cookies for the breastfeeding mama.

4. More food!  If visiting the new mama at home, don’t walk through that door unless you bring a meal!  Between physical pain, lack of sleep and constant feedings this mama might not have the time or energy  to prepare wholesome meals for her family.  Consider making a large hearty soup or casserole that she can store in the freezer.

3. Your time.  Do you have some spare time to come over and help with laundry or watch the older children so mama can get some rest?  Can you make a meal or watch the baby while mama has a shower? Consider making a homemade coupon offering your time and a list of duties you are willing to tackle.  If you’re lucky you will get some extra cuddle time with the baby in exchange.

2. A hand written note or card letting her know how proud you are of her and congratulating her in her new role. 

1. Your love and support. Let her know that you are there for her.  Share your stories with her so she doesn’t feel alone.  Support her in her early parenting decisions.  Love her for the powerful woman she is.

What do you bring to a new mother?  What is on your top 10 list?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 8 with all the carnival links.)

13 comments:

  1. What a wonderful list! I'm tempted to slyly email it to everyone on my local contacts list…hee hee.

    No one really brought us anything after Mikko's birth, which was kind of a bummer. We roped my sister-in-law into bringing us food, constant food, because we simply had no hands or time free. We realized that the best meals/snacks were able to be eaten one-handed and at room temperature, so we had a lot of veggie & fruit trays and hummus with crackers.

    I would love it if someone wanted to come over and clean my bathrooms — or, better yet, give me a gift certificate for a cleaning service!

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  2. I loved the girl scout cookies that people brought to the hospital for us! Great list!

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  3. Hello, Compatriot!

    I wish people had brought me FOOD when my babies were born.

    This is a great list.

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  4. Wonderful ideas! I had some friends bring me food in the hospital, and I was thrilled! I would have loved to get some reading materials and lotions. I could never ask people to clean my house, but if they had offered, I would have taken anyone up on their offer!

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  5. I always appreciated food after having a baby. With the constant nursing, and then especially when I also had older children, it was so helpful to just heat up food.

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  6. How about a personalized gift to commemorate the occasion? It's a keepsake the mom will enjoy for the rest of her life as much as she will enjoy her new child (or almost, at least!)

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  7. This is a great list! I remember wishing I had help with meals especially. I've never eaten so much takeout pizza in my life. Yuck.

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  8. This is great! I am bookmarking this post for later when I become a postpartum doula!

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  9. I was most thankful for the food my parents cooked (and froze) for me. Healthy and delivered to me in bed--no one requiring me to go down to the table with them, just visiting me in my own bed, allowing me to eat while snuggling my little one.

    This time around I think I could use an offer to babysit my firstborn, so I can rest with the new baby. Or a set-up where someone would agree to come by maybe twice in once week to check-in on us, let me shower, and help with laundry. ;-) I've got the "stuff" I need/want, but I would love an extra set of hands!

    Great list.

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  10. I love the idea of a tin of lactation cookies! Maybe with a new nursing top.

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  11. FOOD! YES! My goodness, the food they serve in hospital is gag worthy. My hubby brought me some real food and I think I feel in love with him all over again.

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  13. Great list! I got a gift certificate for a massage AND an offer to stay home with the baby (she was sleeping and I made it home before she woke up) and that was so great!

    A friend of mine also sent me some Mrs. Patel's Milk Makers - the Peanut Butter Fenugreek bars. They were yum, yum, yummy! They were my morning treats for myself. Plus, I was having some low supply issues and these amped up my milk. Yay!

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