Being pregnant this time of year is great. For one, you can blame the holidays for the ten pounds you gained from November through December. ;-) But I also just think there’s something special about carrying a child during such a love-filled season. Whether you’re pregnant right now or know someone who is, I hope it’s a magical month for you and those you love. And in case you have a pregnant woman in your life, here are some gift ideas that will make her month even merrier.
1) Body pillow
If she doesn’t already have one, she needs one. I got a body pillow during my first pregnancy, and I slept with that thing through all four of my pregnancies. It was the best.
2) House plant
Not only would this lovely little friend remind her of your love and support as she prepares for birth and then adjusts to her new life as a mother, but it would also purify the air in her home, keeping her and her baby healthier. I’d be sure to give my new momma friends the most tolerant and low-maintenance options, of course. Rubber plants and snake plants are very forgiving when it comes to neglect from busy caretakers. (See this post for more info).
3) Stretchy wrap
Second only to a pair of breasts, a stretchy wrap is, without a doubt, the most helpful and useful newborn care item available (in my opinion). This is why mothers have been tying their babies to their bodies for thousands of years. I love making stretchy wraps and giving them away to any new mom who will take them. They’re so easy and inexpensive to make, if you watch for good clearance fabrics. See here.
4) Epsom salts
If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with magnesium. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. When you soak in a bath with epsom salts, you boost your body’s magnesium levels. Magnesium has been called “nature’s Valium” because of its anti-anxiety affects, so it can help new and soon-to-be moms to quell their stress and fears. Magnesium will also help release tension, reduce fluid retention if you’re swelling, help prevent preterm labor, ease muscle cramps, and reduce constipation, among other things.
5) Maternity top
Especially if she’s toward the end of her pregnancy, she’s probably getting really tired of wearing the same few clothing items over and over and over. A cute new maternity top would be a treat. If you’re not her baby’s father, ask him her size, and be sure to get something stretchy and comfortable to accommodate her beautiful belly. I like this and this.
6) Prenatal massage giftcard
Massages can work wonders, especially for pregnant women. Listen to this:
In [pregnant] women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care. (Source: American Pregnancy Association)
Stress relief and serotonin? Can I get some of that, please? What a gift to give your pregnant friend.
7) A tree of life
At no other time is a woman more representative of life and life-giving than during pregnancy. She is a tree of life, her placenta is a tree of life. Give her a tree as a symbol of her strength, life-giving power, and beauty. A friend of mine gave me a necklace with a tree of life charm that I adore. You could give her an actual tree, like the bonsai I received from my friends. A piece of art like this print or this metal wall hanging. Etsy is full of beautiful trees of life (click here for a sampling).
8) A good book
I did a lot of reading during my first pregnancy. I don’t read many books these days, but I have Where the Mountain Meets the Moon on hold at the library at the recommendation of my friend Heather. Post your book recommendations for pregnant mothers in the comments. Or you could always give her this one. I hear it’s getting rave reviews. ;-)