Sometimes being pregnant means you really want something edible. Sometimes you really want something tangible. And sometimes you need something that has no monetary value but makes all the difference!
Here are two wish lists – one that will make the pregnant person in your life feel nourished and loved; one that will make a positive impact for those with newborn.
Pregnancy Wish List
- Prenatal Massage – A pregnant body is working hard to grow and nourish itself, and prioritizing growing and nourishing a new human. This is incredible physically and emotionally. A massage feels even more incredible pregnant than not, maybe because your body is working so hard.
- Childbirth Education Classes – information is empowering. Usually families come to birth with minimal birth knowledge or experience. Childbirth education classes provide an opportunity for families to learn more about what to expect, what their choices are, and how to navigate this new-to-them territory. This was a Christmas gift from my parents when we were expecting our first baby, and it was very much appreciated.
- Pedicure – Even if you can’t see your feet anymore and if you can, they don’t look the same, your feet are still carrying around all the weight it isn’t accustomed to. Like a prenatal massage, a pedicure when pregnant feels amazing. Those hard-working-feet get a reset and they come away looking more cheery … which only puts a smile on a pregnant mama’s face.
- Birth Ball – Also known as an exercise ball or therapy ball, these are easy to find and pick up locally or online. A birth ball provides a comfortable seat during pregnancy, especially the further into pregnancy a woman is. The ball is also an incredible resource during active labor. And even postpartum, a birth ball is a gentle seat spot for a mom and also a great soothing option for a fussy baby, held in a caregiver’s arms and bounced.
- Birth Doula – Doula’s provide care for the pregnant family prenatally, continuously during labor, and postpartum. This continuity of care has shown to improve birth satisfaction, lower birth intervention rates, and support growing families. A gift of birth support from a professional birth doula is powerful as it provides expecting families birth support as they enter a new phase of life.
- Prenatal Celebration – closest friends and sisters can gather to offer support to the expecting mother as she enters this transitional phase in the last few weeks of pregnancy. This is a time to surround a pregnant woman with love, encouragement, and peace. Organizing such an event is an incredible gift for the expectant woman in your life.
Postpartum Wish List
- Meals, either hot and ready or freezable – This can not be emphasized enough. In our family, my husband is the primary cook. I thought we wouldn’t appreciate meals as he would continue cooking. This was a quick lesson in parenting. Newborns are more demanding than you realize – even if it’s just spending time staring at them. Meals that were brought to us during that time were greatly appreciated. Freezing leftovers meant we were appreciating those meals for a good six months.
- Space – everyone is excited to meet this new bundle-of-amazing … but sometimes, you want to be able to walk around without a shirt on. You also don’t want to have conversation – you want to stare at this person you just met and are falling in love with. If you’re the one visiting a family that recently added a newborn, bring food and leave. Keep visits short. Unless you’re doing laundry/dishes/cleaning the bathroom. Then stay as long as that takes.
- Childcare for big kids – This helps with wish #2. Big kids made you a parent. When the new baby comes, the transition can be challenging at times. Big kids getting out of the house and having an opportunity to do their usual stuff is a great relief for everyone.
- Postpartum doula service – whether it’s your first baby or tenth, a postpartum doula eases the transition a new baby brings to a family. A postpartum doula by helps with light housework, processes the birth experience, troubleshoots breastfeeding, etc. As an experienced and trained support person, a doula is an incredible postpartum asset.
- A no-expectations phone or in-person chat with a friend – Sometimes those early days can feel isolating. A conversation with a friend who can listen to your story, relate to the challenges and victories in those first few weeks, and even fill you in on what’s going on in the world – but only as much as you’re interested – is a wonderful gift.
What would you add to this list?