Looking for the perfect gift for a loved one’s baby shower or blessingway? Step away from the muslin cloths and bibs, this list of 10 thoughtful gifts will blow mama away and truly support her postpartum experience.
1. The promise of a hot cooked meal in the postpartum
Completely free of demands of baby cuddles too. Newborn mothers really need nourishing, nurturing and warm food. And they shouldn’t have to cook it themselves! Why not make up a voucher (or several) promising a home cooked meal in the first couple of weeks post birth? Make sure to include that it will be a drop off only event if mama doesn’t feel like having company that particular day. Believe me, a hot meal from a friend with zero strings attached is a priceless gift.
2. A postpartum doula
Several friends might want to chip in to gift the services of a postpartum doula. Services included vary from doula to doula – you can read more about what I specifically offer here. The right postpartum doula can completely transform how mum experiences the postpartum. It is my dream that some form of care like this becomes standard as part of our health care system. We can start working towards this by showing that this kind of support is oh so needed by new mothers.
3. Chip in for a cleaner one week/fortnight/month for X amount of months
Again this is a great gift to be shared among several friends but it can make a world of difference to a new mama. Cleaning the house is not something that should be on the priority list of someone who has just given birth. But a messy house can create feelings of anxiety and stress – which are not newborn mother friendly! Having someone else take care of the cleaning can really take a load off, restore a feeling of calm and organisation and just make mama feel good.
4. Newborn Mothers by Julia Jones
This book is easy to read and also comes with a free audio version – perfect for mums with both hands tied up.
5. Postnatal massage voucher – preferably for a mobile service
A postnatal massage is a great way to boost oxytocin and feel good endorphins, and release stress and tension. Other benefits include:
- Improved circulation
- Speed up recovery from birth
- Better sleep
- Pain relief
6. Taking older children to a nearby park for a play (if mama has other children)
Even if it’s just an hour this time allows mama to rest with her newborn when she might otherwise be running after a toddler and feeling exhausted. A new baby in the house can be a big shift, so giving everyone some time to breathe into the new family dynamic is beneficial for all.
7. Birth photography or Fresh 48 photography session
If you know mama is longing for this but just hasn’t been able to commit, why not get a group of friends to put in for a photographer. Photos of birth, or fresh 48 sessions are priceless memories, and birth photos can also complete a birth story that might otherwise be hazy. Some of my favourite birth photographers in Perth are Amber May, Sara Bresser, Cat Fancote and Belle Verdiglione.
8. A non-judgemental approach to her birth plans and parenting style
What a gift THIS is. No matter what you think of your friend’s birth wishes do not voice your opinion on any of it. Be the refreshing person that is supportive, loving and kind. Always. Even comments that aren’t meant with any harm may do unintentional harm. Confidence and positivity allow your loved one to really discover her own intuitive sense about what is right and not right for her and her baby. Listen, yes, but stay neutral and supportive.
9. A ring sling or stretchy baby wrap
Babywearing is becoming an increasingly popular way to keep baby close in those newborn days, but give mum the freedom to get a few things done (like eating a meal!). After being born from a cosy, warm womb babies often want mum to hold them almost constantly. It’s warm, smells like home and there’s the familiar heartbeat close by. Although there are heaps of different carriers on the market, ring slings and stretchy wraps are wonderful for newborns and mums of all shapes and sizes. They are also a bit more affordable than some other types – which are also best tried on before purchasing.
Babywearers WA Inc regularly hold meets around Perth so that mum can get some hands on help if needed. I recommend joining this Facebook group for lots of great advice and help.
10. Australian Breastfeeding Association membership
Gifting 12 months of membership to the ABA is a thoughtful gift for a mum wanting to breastfeed. Breastfeeding needs lots of support – and the ABA is a great place to get it. Membership includes:
- the ABA Breastfeeding naturally book
- email counselling
- antenatal breastfeeding education class
- half price breast pump hire
- access to local meet ups with like minded mothers facilitated by ABA breastfeeding counsellors or educators.
Jam packed with goodness, you can pick up this gift here.
Did you receive anything out of the box that was really helpful in your postpartum? I would love to know what else should be added to the list!