One of my good friends just gave birth last week, and OMG I nearly had a panic attack on her behalf. It seems most mothers I know stand planted in two single-file lines: those who love the fresh scent of newborn babies and find them endlessly intoxicating, and the mothers who have panic attacks on behalf of other mothers the moment that baby emerges from the birth canal. I’m the latter (obv) – the mother who holds memories of nursing issues and chronic tears and clouded judgment in those early days of child-rearing; the one who has a hard time seeing past the hard to acknowledge the good. Pregnancy was hard(ish). Birth was harder. The newborn phase, for me? HARDEST.
So, when a girlfriend shares that she’s pregnant and well on her way to a great, beautiful life change, I want to spoil her in any way I can. I want to call her daily and offer support and bite my tongue and nod my head and massage her feet. I want to send her baskets of Saltines and Lansinoh and peppermint oil. I want to shower her, offering sticks and straw for the nest she’s building because gracious, that nest sure can feel small after the tiny little night owl arrives.
Here are those tried-and-true sticks I love to give, from one Mama Bird to another:
1. Bump Nest Pregnancy Pillow ($99): By far, the best gift you can give a pregnant gal is likely a good night’s sleep. And since you can’t necessarily dole out a slew of counted sheep, the next best thing is this pillow. Perfectly designed for optimal comfort (for both mama and baby!), it combats all sorts of pregnancy issues, from acid reflux to restless leg syndrome. (Bonus: You can use it for breastfeeding support when that baby bird arrives!)
2. Operating Instructions ($11): Give her a break from “What To Expect…” and offer a real account of what’s in store for her. Both heartwarming and hilarious, Anne Lamott is a genius at documenting first-time motherhood in a realistic, lighthearted manner.
3. Decaf Coffee ($15): Breaking her three-cup habit never tasted so good. Laced with toffee and vanilla, it’s the perfect sweet jump-start to her day (minus the caffeine).
4. Luxury Plush Terry Robe ($59): She’ll be living in a robe once the baby comes – why not give her the push she needs to start now?
5. Fig + Yarrow Body Oil ($44): Help her combat stretch marks and pregnancy-induced excema with a luxurious body oil. The masculine scent is a welcome change from those overtly floral notes that tend to bring on endless morning sickness.
6. Bacon Jam ($14): With so many foods off limits, she’ll welcome some artisan variety in her diet. Don’t forget the second (or fourth) jar for Dad-To-Be!
7. Baby Blanket ($66): This blanket is crazy soft and perfect for welcoming baby (or snuggling with mama!). Plus, it’s scribed with the sweetest sentiment, “And so… the adventure begins.”
8. Juice Beauty Perfecting Foundation ($35): Packed with organic ingredients, this skin perfecter will make any pregnant mama feel like herself again. And with more and more thought going into what we’re putting on our bodies, it’s a beauty indulgence she won’t feel guilty about.
Tell me, what are your favorite gifts for pregnant mamas-to-be? I’d love to hear what your go-tos are!