Five Postpartum Gifts We Should Start Giving
Entering the fourth trimester can bring on a lot of emotions and a great lack of sleep. Here are five postpartum gifts we should start giving to ease new parents into parenthood!
Thinking back to being a first time parent one of the things I wish I had been given was not more receiving blankets or baby onesies – it was help. Help in so many different forms I had never realized I could or would need. We had family help get us home but we lived far from family members and most of our friends were adults with no kids who had no idea what we were balancing. Even as a second time parent, I still felt like there were items I wanted on a baby registry that I couldn’t add.
New parents are definitely exhausted, probably confused and I wish we were in a place where we were less excited to overload a new parent with cute clothes for baby as postpartum gifts and more ready to give the gifts that matter most. Not to say the cute outfits aren’t appreciated, of course, but there’s only so many outfits a little baby can wear! From a sustainability aspect of it, much of what we gift new parents at baby showers or at the first visit with baby are wasteful, too.
I have a longer list of postpartum gifts ideas for new parents that my community pulled together with me but here’s the top five postpartum gifts I think we need to start normal giving.
- Gift Cards for Food Delivery
There I was, seven months pregnant and stuffing the freezer full of meals I prepared to defrost and eat once our new baby came. It included some favourites like macaroni and cheese and lasagna and I thought I was going to be thanking myself for it once baby was here.
Turns out I had zero desire to eat the food I shoved into my freezer once baby was here, heading out to buy food while recovering from birth and an emergency c-section was harder than it seems and takeout was a cost we couldn’t afford regularly.
Food delivery gift cards are an amazing postpartum gift that can even be used in the hospital right after birth! Gift cards mean parents can order whatever they want, whenever they want. It removes the worry of food going to waste, trying to store it all, pretending you enjoy the food you were gifted and more. While many may see gift cards = unhealthy food, let’s be real here: food is food and the people you’re giving these to just grew and birthed an entire human being and if that means they want McDonalds, so be it!
2. TV/Audiobook subscriptions
Netflix, Disney+, Audible – oh my! Maternity leave is the perfect time for binge watching tv and listening to audiobooks and podcasts. I spent many, many hours awake at night watching Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls reruns
Luckily most services like Netflix offer gift cards or credits towards their subscriptions. Give the gift of free tv, movies and/or audiobooks for the new parent you know.
3. Postpartum Nanny/Doula
Ever heard of a postpartum doula or postpartum nanny? I sure hadn’t when we were pregnant with our first baby and, being someone who lives far from family, definitely could have benefited from having one.
Postpartum nannies and doulas are an extra set of hands with experience, knowledge and motivation to make your first few days, nights or weeks home a positive experience. They can watch the baby while parents catch up on sleep, cook meals, tidy the house, change diapers and more. Some are also certified lactation workers who can help with breastfeeding and bottle feeding challenges!
The catch: they can be expensive. I’d consider this a great option for people who are looking to pool money together and give one big gift instead of many postpartum gifts to the expecting family.
I will note that hired postpartum help a great example of postpartum gifts I’d ask the new parents about gifting as they can feel quite personal – it’s a human you don’t know coming into your house in a vulnerable time and some might not be comfortable with it.
4. A House Cleaner
Along the same lines of a postpartum nanny or doula, a house cleaning service can be amazing postpartum gifts. While I didn’t struggle as much with needing postpartum help with baby, I definitely struggled with cleaning even before our first baby arrived. It’s a gift I could have used both times we had a baby and knew what we were doing but felt overwhelmed.
I’m a big believer that a messy house is a loved and lived in house. That being said, basic tasks like dishes and laundry can become overwhelming when you have a tiny baby to be feeding, changing and cuddling around the clock!
Hiring a cleaning service for new parents is on the list of postpartum gifts that can be useful even while still pregnant. They can come clean the house top to bottom while the parent is still pregnant and have it ready to go when the new parents come home from the hospital or they can be used in those first few weeks to keep up with basic tasks while the parents focus on the new baby. Since many companies offer gift cards or credit, it’s a baby shower gift that can be given and used when the parents choose to need it most too.
5. Pelvic Floor Therapy
Guess what – peeing when you sneeze or cough isn’t actually normal and shouldn’t be accepted as a typical part of having kids.
Pelvic floor therapy is amazing and not talked about enough to new parents. I feel pelvic floor therapy should be a routine option included in postpartum care the same way a six week checkup is in Canada or a lactation consultant is in hospitals. Unfortunately most new birthers have no idea it exists and many insurances barely cover it, if they do at all.
I view postpartum gifts as an opportunity to help new parents and that’s why pelvic floor therapy is on here. A pelvic floor therapist will assess whether or not the birthing parent is healing properly internally, check pelvic floor strength to see if exercises are needed to prevent leaking urine and overall help understand if everything is healing and functioning as it should.
While some insurance providers will cover pelvic floor therapy most only cover a certain dollar amount – some don’t cover it at all. Offer to help schedule and pay for a session of pelvic floor therapy when the parent is ready for it and help them stay healthy and ready to care for that new baby!
We could go back and fourth all day about whether or not these are the five most important postpartum gifts to be giving but I believe they are. Bringing a new baby into this world, whether it be your first or fifth, will always bring along some sort of challenge. While one person may have commented on my original post about this saying postpartum gifts for parents were selfish and unnecessary I beg to differ – happy, healthy and helped parents means more time, love and energy for that little baby.
It’s 2021 friends – it’s time to break the social norms and start rethinking the postpartum gifts and baby shower gifts we’re giving new parents!
Watch my original Reel that inspired this post h e r e!
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