What can a new mom really use? What gifts will she truly appreciate?
At Milk for Thought, we were inspired by blogger, huge breastfeeding supporter, and mom to Toby, Joanna Goddard, who often shares gift ideas for a new parent. She lists tangible items, such as a certificate for a massage and chocolate-covered strawberries, but also non-tangible gifts, which new and breastfeeding moms know can sometimes be the most valuable.
Joanna mentioned …
Cooking. Food of any kind. When Toby was a newborn, Alex and I were so, so grateful when friends would come over with soups, fresh salads, sandwiches, homemade cookies…It felt delicious and nourishing. (A handy tip: If your friend is breastfeeding, leave out garlic and raw onions, since those ingredients can make newborn babies fussy.)
Cleaning up the house. I literally teared up when a friend came over and, without asking, went into the kitchen and did all our dishes. It’s so wonderful for people to help around the house when you’re a new parent! You just never get to those things. If a friend came over and swept the kitchen floor, did a load of laundry, changed the bedsheets, replaced the toilet paper, and did the dishes, it would be such a joy and gift to the overwhelmed new parents.
Now Milk for Thought would like to add …
Care for older children & pets. If you have other children, a friend or family member can bring them to see you and the new baby so everyone feels loved and included. Give older kids a little extra attention so they never feel left out of the excitement. You’ll also need help with Fido or Fluffy while you’re recovering, so dogwalking and petsitting are amazing gifts.
Help with errands. A friend might offer to do the grocery shopping, pick up dry cleaning, run to the post office — whatever Mom needs so she can rest and not feel anxious that things are left undone.
No pressure. With any physical presents, cards or congratulatory emails you send, consider a message such as, “No need to respond. Enjoy your time with baby. Congratulations again!” New mamas will secretly thank you.
The gift of silence! When baby is first born, sometimes you just want family and friends to let you get some sleep and spend time with baby and Dad. It can be especially important for breastfeeding success for family to let you have those first hours alone.
Unconditional support for breastfeeding. Whether Grandma or your neighbor breastfed or believe in breastfeeding or not, they should gift you the support and love you need. Helping you feel safe and confident will help you have a great start to your breastfeeding journey.
We all know that having a strong support network after baby comes can make all the difference in both bonding and breastfeeding! Ask your friends, loved ones and neighbors to read this list and let you know how they can help!
Visit MFT for more information and to connect with moms and breastfeeding experts at www.milkforthought.com.