Perhaps your best friend who lives in another state just gave birth to a brand new baby, and you want to show her you're there for her. Or you are bringing a new mom a meal and want to add a little something "extra" to help her along in those first few weeks. Maybe your sister-in-law is in the hospital with a new precious bundle, you're stopping by to say hi, and want to bring her a gift. Or you're attending a baby shower next month, and you're looking to put together a present that is thoughtful and unexpected. Who knows? You might be a postpartum mom yourself, looking for ways to treat yo' self!
Whatever the scenario, we've compiled a list of helpful (and fun!) little ways to shower the postpartum mom in your life with love. If you don't know of any new moms, you can always save this list of ideas for the future.
1. Micellar Water & cotton rounds
In those first few weeks after delivery, new moms are so busy taking care of their precious little bundles that they hardly have time to take care of themselves. Micellar Cleansing Water solves this problem by making face-washing a breeze. This glorious liquid contains micellar beads, which lift off oil and dirt from the skin -- no rinsing required! Simply squirt some of the cleansing water on a cotton round, gently swipe all over you face, and voila! clean fresh skin.
From what I've heard, French women have been using this beauty product for years, because it is far gentler on the skin than the hard, mineral-rich water coming out of the faucet. As a busy mom myself, I simply love this product. Also, I appreciate how noiseless it is. (So many nights I've skipped washing my face with water because I was afraid the splashing would wake my lightly-sleeping infant!)
2. A giftcard to a coffee shop within walking distance
This might not be an option for everyone, but if there is a coffee shop (or bakery) near by, a gift card can be a lovely little way to encourage the new mom on her path to recovery. Once she is up on her feet, it's good for her to get outside in the fresh air. Giving her an actual destination (coffee, bakery) where she doesn't have to linger long in public, or socialize if she doesn't want to, adds extra motivation to help her get moving. Although pampering gift cards (like a massage, spa, hair or nail salon) are often great gifts for moms, brand new moms often can't afford to be away from their baby that long, so it's a luxury they'll have to punt off enjoying until what seems at the moment to be the far distant future.
3. A cute and stylish water bottle
New moms have to drink TONS of water. Help her get motivated by ditching the hospital jug in favor of something more stylish. You're looking for something that holds a good amount of water so she doesn't have to keep fill it up a million times a day. You're also looking for something she can easily open with one hand, since her other hand is probably busy holding a baby.
4. High-energy individually-packaged snacks
Although eager to shed those pregnancy pounds, it's important for postpartum women to stay energized--especially if they are supporting an infant through breastfeeding. Gifting her a huge stash of high-energy individually-packaged snacks is a gift that does double-duty: happy and healthy. She can keep these piled by her night stand, in the car, and stashed in her purse. These small packages of nuts are one great option. Other great options are bars (I'm thinking Kind, Cliff, Lara, and the like.)
5. Roll-on scent
This might seem silly, but it's a real issue. There were so many times in those first few months that I probably smelled like the Bog of Eternal Stench, but was afraid to apply perfume to my arms, chest and neck in case it would bother my tiny little baby and interfere with our bonding mother-baby scent. It was such a mercy to learn that you can apply perfume to the back of your knees and it has the same effect as application to the wrist, check and neck (pressure points), but the benefit of keeping the concentrated scent away from baby's cuddly face. I have awkwardly reached down and sprayed the backs of my knees with perfume, but it is far easier to apply with a roll-on applicator. You can find these
6. Chocolate, wine, flowers, more chocolate, more wine
This is sort of a no-brainer, but a list of things to give women in any state of life would basically have a black hole if it didn't include chocolate, flowers and wine. Oh yeah, and probably ice cream.
7. Hair Help
Let's face it: new moms not only rarely find time to wash their hair, but when they do, it ends up coming out in depressing clumps. (Postpartum hair loss is real.) That's why dry shampoo can be such a life saver. When spritzed near the scalp, dry shampoo absorbs oils, getting rid of the greasy shine. It also adds volume and texture. Dry shampoo with a little color (choose one close to your own) has the added benefit of giving the roots fullness, and masking some of the effects of postpartum hair loss.
8. A Miracle Wrap
No, I'm not talking about the baby swaddle, although she might be in need one of those as well (I know I did!). I'm talking about a wrap dress with near-miraculous properties. One that is well-structured, breezy, stretchy, in a not-too-heavy fabric with a stain-camouflaging pattern. It is the perfect choice for a busy, on-the-go, 21st century woman. It's the perfect choice for the postpartum mom. She can wear it through pregnancy, she can nurse in it afterwards, and continue wearing it beyond -- because the wrap dress is so flexible. It doesn't depress you because it won't zipper up, or refuses to button, or because it fails to adjust to your adjusting size. As pioneer of the wrap dress for the modern woman, Diane von Furstenberg, wrote:
"The wrap dress is a favorite dress, a dress that does not need buttons, a dress that embraces the shape of the body and sculpts it, allowing it to move. ... It is a very unassuming dress, it does not look like much on a hanger, but on the body it becomes magic -- it takes the personality of the woman it dresses, it envelopes the body in a very becoming way. It is a dress that makes women confident, and confidence is the first step to beauty, many wonderful things happen when you wear a wrap dress. So, feel like a woman and wear it with joy..." (quoted from My Favorite Dress.)
If you are comfortable picking out clothing for your postpartum friend/sister/daughter/etc., a fantastic wrap dress will become a wardrobe workhorse for her in the coming months. (Who are we kidding? Years!) I have two wraps from Maggie London and l.o.v.e. them. Haven't tried it myself, but I've heard good things about Pink Blush, which actually markets their wrap dresses as maternity & post (nursing) wear.
9. A set of classic, button-down pajamas
In a similar way, the classic button-down pajama set is a great option for a new mom, who will probably spend a large portion of those first few months exclusively in comfort clothes. Why not help her feel beautiful while she's at it? If she's delivering in the winter months, opt for a long sleeves and pants option in a cozy fabric. If it's the summer time, something more light weight would do the trick. She can easily wear the bottoms with a nursing tank, and simply throw on the buttoned top when she wants more coverage (say, when visitors stop by). When it comes to fabric and feel, think luxurious. You want her to feel pampered and loved!
10. stain-removing wipes
This one's too easy, but it's a lifesaver that she might not think of. There are so many times when the new mom is out and about, and things conspire so that a huge whopping stain of something appears on her outfit. She's eating while nursing and drops a forkful of food on her lap; or a poop explosion; or the toddler with Cheeto-stained fingers hugs her leg. Whatever the scenario, an on-the-go stain-removing wipe stashed in her purse will save the day. (On a similar note, I once read a recommendation that new moms pack an extra shirt for themselves in the diaper bag, because there are those moments when a quick wardrobe change is the only solution.)
Some other ideas:
An ebook subscription (like Kindle Unlimited)
A few audiobooks so she can use her time well
A list of podcasts she might enjoy
A cute nursing bra/bralette
There are so many more wonderful and fabulous ideas of things to bring the postpartum mom that we can't possibly cover them all. Hopefully, you found something you wouldn't have thought of in the list above. Or perhaps it got your creative juices flowing with further ideas. If you have any good ones, share them in the comments below!