Holiday Gifts for New Mamas

My last blog covered some ideas for holiday gift giving for pregnant mamas.  Even more than with pregnant mamas, new mothers with infants are very used to most of the gift giving attention being centered on their little ones.  But, the postpartum period is a huge transition for moms – from single woman to mother, from part of a couple to parenting, from responsibility for oneself to responsibility for a tiny helpless baby…along with a massive amount of sleep deprivation.  So, new moms deserve and need to be spoiled.  Here are some ideas for holiday gifts that pamper a new mama over the holidays:

1.  Postpartum massage – Find a massage therapist in your area that does house calls and specializes in working with pregnancy and the postpartum period.  There is nothing more relaxing than having a gentle massage tailored to those areas that get tight and tired while caring for a new baby, given in the privacy of your own home.  I recommend a 90 minute session.  If you absolutely can’t find a therapist that does house calls, find a location near her that offers a specialized postpartum massage and make sure that the gift certificate you give her doesn’t expire too soon.  If you are expecting her to be able to leave the house and leave her infant to get the massage, it may be some months before she is able to redeem it.

2.  Private yoga session – This is another great gift for a new mom that doesn’t require her to leave her baby or her house.  Find a yoga instructor in your area that specializes in postpartum yoga and does private sessions in students’ homes.  Usually an hour long session is sufficient and the baby can be included in the session or nearby, whichever the mama prefers.  Postpartum yoga can safely help new moms begin to stretch and move their bodies again and provides many benefits to her postpartum recovery as well as promoting breastfeeding.  Typically, after a normal vaginal delivery, new moms can start doing more yoga around the 4-6 week time frame.  After surgical births or any type of complicated delivery, 8-10 weeks postpartum is safer.  Speak to the instructor for more details.

3.  Meal delivery service – No matter how many meals a new family has frozen preparing for the postpartum period or how many friends and family members bestow meals on a new couple, delicious, home cooked meals are almost always appreciated.  If the family has a lot of support right after the birth, like a friend or family member staying with them, they can use the service once that support has dwindled a bit.  In larger cities, you may even be able to find a meal delivery service that specializes in making meals that are healthy and recuperative for the postpartum period (in LA, I highly recommend MotherBees).  Other ideas along the same lines would be hours from a postpartum doula or a maid service, if they would prefer help with cleaning to cooking.

4.  Postpartum herb bath – If you prefer to give a new mom something tangible for the holidays, I recommend some satchels of herbs for her bath.  No matter whether she is a brand new mama or a few months postpartum, delivered vaginally or surgically, a postpartum herb bath is healthy for her recovery and encourages her to take some time for herself to relax in a bath.  My favorite brand is LuSa.

The ideas above work for almost every new mama, but if you are at a complete loss, or don’t know what kind of support the new mama in your life needs, there is nothing wrong with asking her.  You might find out that you could give her an IOU for some errand running, a few hours of baby care, or that she might need breastfeeding tools or clothes that fit, or that she would prefer a night out to a gift.  Rather than assuming what she needs, asking her what type of gift or support would be most appreciated is always a good idea.  Most of all, just because there is a new cute little baby to buy adorable things for, don’t neglect the mother and other caretakers.

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