Looking at racks of floral baby grows? Cellular blankets? Or trying to be helpful and stressing about how to make a nappy cake look professional?
Forget all of that- Mumma’s going to have enough baby grows that she wouldn’t have picked for herself for days, and probably receive an array of blankets ranging from home knitted fleecy ones to plush white company. Lets be honest, kid’s only going to use one at a time and most probably will have only one favourite anyway!
A little while ago I posted about the 5 things you would need for a calm birth– so obviously some of those things already are going to be winners as gifts for the new mum to be. But what about first time pregnant mum, maybe she is planning a hypnobirth and is more aware of the things that will be useful to her but maybe she won’t. We are told we need so many things that we end up buying all of them just in case. My list below incorporates essentials yes, but also those that are nice for mama to have in labour and will hopefully look back and think, thank goodness for that snack/oil/tea etc!
We are told, eat snacks through labour. Have light meals if you feel like it as you are going to need all the energy you have. There is definately some truth in this and while it’s probably not wise to gift mum to be with some light ready meals, you could easily get creative and make some really easy healthy energy balls to giver her. Store them in a mason jar or old jam jar and it looks even more ‘gifty’. The best ones I made were the deliciously Ella ones and I actually did have a couple of these through my labour. I was craving sweetness (suprise surprise) so I was glad to have these in the fridge along with a jar of sugar free homemade blueberry jam for toast! Both of these things take about 15 minutes to make and store really well.
An alternative for me are the protein bounce balls which yes, have undoubtedly more ingredients in them we probably don’t need but are a good option to have handy for emergencies.
Some lavender oil and a burner would be great for a mum that maybe hasn’t been practising any sort of relaxation as getting her to lift a candle and burn some oils while she labours at home are so comforting. You can also tell mum that should it be straight to hospital, a drop of the oil on a muslin nearby will also do the trick. Frankinsense is another amazing oil which calms the atmosphere though is quite a strong acquainted smell. If mum to be has been practising hypnobirthing she probably already has oils BUT if only on the start of her journey, the oil and a carrier oil for massage are a winner. These are life gifts as well as will be great for when baby arrives, either to use in the bath or use as a very diluted version for baby after bath time* (newborn babies do not need to be bathed for at least a week and even then it only needs to be with water, I would advise to use the oil when baby gets past …weeks)
You’ve just given birth, you have a lovely cup of tea/coffee and to be frank whatever the hell you want because you just did an amazing thing! Then after a few days/weeks and you’re feeding you realise that actually a cup of coffee/tea every 2 hours probably isn’t a good things caffeine wise. For me herbal teas were a saviour. I used to HATE herbal teas. I thought they were witchery- wafting sweet berry flavours your way for you then to rase them and realise they don’t taste how they smell. My mistake was that I was trying to trade them for sugar and caffeine. The trick is realising that cup of tea/coffee doesn’t only give you caffeine, it also signifies a break, a couple of minutes away from craziness. And that is what proper herbal teas can do for you, still give you that comfort. Fennel was a great way to give my milk a boost* (would recommend trying one cup first because of engorgement) but there are a range of great uplifting ones that really work and taste great. I prefer Pukka– the range is incredible. The good news is, the beautiful packaging looks great with your other bits in a gift box!
As mentioned above soon mama to be will have done such an amazing job at birthing her baby that a treat for her is more than well deserved. Another honest admittance from me is that after I had my first child I came to realise that as much as I loved my baby, I also missed being pregnant. Why? The purely selfish reason that once that baby is out and everyone congratulates you, all eyes are on that bundle of joy. It gets bundles of new clothes, new blankets, kisses and cuddles. What do you get? About a thousand cards and a scruffy old maternity wardrobe to go back to. I packed some Montezumas into my sister in laws baby shower bag so that she can have something to look forward to. For other mums it may be a lovely bottle of red or just some smellies that she can look forward to using and feeling good about herself again. For mums that are trying to cut out dairy/gluten or any other crap found in normal treats, head to planet organic where you will find the biggest selection of the cleanest chocolate in town!
Setting the scene/candles;
You will be doing pregnant ladies an amazing service if you explain to them the importance of setting the scene during labour. You don’t have to be a hypnobirther to explain this… We like other mammals will labour best and efficiently when we are surrounded by security and comfort. Ever heard of the mum that was so sure she was further along and then got to hospital and everything seemed to have slowed or she wasn’t dilated ‘enough’? Adrenalin has in fact kicked in and prevented labour from progressing as well as it was. In hypnobirthing we work to avoid this. So giving a mama tools to get her as comfy as possible at home for as long as possible will be the best thing you can do. If you have some extra room in the expenses to add something to the baby shower bundle and you didn’t do the oils then you should go for this one item… Hyp candles are especially designed for relaxation during pregnancy and labour and combine the oils I have mentioned above. Treat her to one of these beauties (because we rarely treat ourselves to luxuries like this), they are in fact such a useful tool to help you set the scene and labour efficiently in your own environment.
So ditch the blankets, cuddly bears and baby grows and give a mama a helping hand. Go for useful, practical feel good pressies that will send her off to the birthing unit as zen AF…