8 of the Best Gifts for Mamas-To-Be

Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching, and so it’s time to start thinking about gifts. If you’re stumped about what to get your favorite mama-to-be, we’ve got your back. Here are eight of the best gifts for mamas-to-be, in no particular order:

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

An instant camera is a great item to have during the birthing experience. So photos of the mama can be taken during labor, or the first moment where she meets her baby can also be recorded. This is also a fun way to document the baby once she’s born; taking monthly baby photos and then displaying them in something like this is such a fun idea.

2. Diamond Eternity Band

Okay, this is admittedly a little extravagant, but if you’re going more of the “push present” route, this is a gift to consider. Alternatively, get her something personalized, maybe it’s the first initial of her child’s name, or a piece of jewelry that incorporates her baby’s birthstone.

3. A Cute Nursing Bra

Because nursing isn’t sexy. In all seriousness, buying a cute nursing bra for your favorite mama-to-be could really lift her spirits. It’s amazing how much it can help with that physical transition after birth, because we all want to feel comfortable with ourselves, and yes, even a little bit sexy.

4. Almond Supple Skin Oil

Not only is this oil amazing to help prevent stretch marks, but it also can be great to use postpartum. It’s richness melds into the skin and helps soothe it from feeling stretched out or dry. And it smells amazing!

5. Dwell & Slumber Caftan

Getting your favorite future mom a comfortable caftan is another great gift idea. Because she can wear it while pregnant, and then wear it after she has her baby. The simple snaps (or zipper, depending on which style you select) are very nursing friendly, so it’s something she can wear with ease. And, when she’s feeling like an outing, it can easily be knotted at the bottom and dressed up to be worn in public as well.

6. A Soothing Eye Mask

The sleep deprivation that babies bring is so real, so treat your favorite mom with a soothing gel eye mask that she can wear to help alleviate those bags under her eyes. Or the headaches that will most likely ensue.

7. A Mani/Pedi or a Massage

A little self care goes a long way, and it’s hard to think of yourself when you’re caring for a new baby. So another great gift idea is to treat the mama-to-be with a little spa experience, and offer to be with the baby while she’s away.

8. Dinner

Offering to provide a dinner (whether you make it, or if it’s takeout from her favorite place) is a gift that’s a little outside of the box. However, it can sometimes be the most meaningful thing. If you’re her partner, you’re hopefully going to be doing this already, so maybe it’s taking her out to a nice dinner baby-free, once she feels up to it. If you’re her sibling or friend, this can be something that both mama and partner will enjoy. You can even order a meal service for a week or two, if that’s something you think she’d love.

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Best Advice for a New Mom

Advice and opinions are usually well-meaning, but not always useful. We get it. Nobody knows yours and your baby’s needs better than you. So as you are trying to navigate the new waters of parenthood, we’re bringing you some inspirational advice to help you as you make decisions amidst a bombardment others’ opinions.

“If it’s not a problem for you, it’s not a problem.”

I read this quote as a new mom and loved it. So many other moms told me horror stories or their opinions of my plans. Others would offer their insight into the way I did things and made me question myself. Don’t let others get inside your head and create doubt or problems where they don’t exist. As long as it’s not a matter of safety, find what works for you and don’t let others make you insecure about it.

Don’t turn little things into big things

When you look back on this time you will not remember the specific days that ended with a sink full of dishes or a pile of laundry. You won’t remember specific days of a cranky baby or specific days in which you didn’t shower. You will remember your attitude and mindset, though. You will remember how you felt. Try not to make the things that won’t be remembered the priority. Do your best, but as much as possible just let it go.

Parenthood is a job

I’m a huge advocate for parenting classes, books, and education. People often call parenthood “the best job in the world,” and often “the hardest job in the world.” If all other jobs require training, education, certifications, continued education, etc. then why shouldn’t parenting? We’ve all heard the saying “babies don’t come with a manual,” but we aren’t born with a full toolbox of parenting techniques, either. Read books to learn new methods of calming a crying baby, parenting in a positive way, dealing with unruly toddlers, and even hormonal teenagers. Practice new techniques, problem solve, and use critical thinking as a parent just as you would any other job. You will never regret investing in your parenting skills.

This too shall pass

I thought I’d never sleep more than 3 hours at a time again when my son was a newborn. I couldn’t see the end in sight of having to nurse while trying to eat at a restaurant. And then one day I realized I was waking up to an alarm clock again, but didn’t notice when it happened. I was showering at the same time every day again. In the moment, it is hard to imagine an end to some phases, but there will come a day very soon that you realize the phases end quickly and don’t last as long as you think.

Things will end better if you ask for help

I’ve had friends reveal their struggles as new parents once their children are older. They’ve revealed dramatically losing their temper with their husband or calling their moms in hysterics that they need a break. So many times I think and say, “Why didn’t you call me?! I would’ve helped you in a heartbeat, even if it was just to let you take a shower!” But then I think to myself, “Would I have asked for help?” Of course, we can see that the burdens of others could be lighter if they asked for help and maybe prevent negative situations, but how often do we accept the same answer to our own problems?

Accept the wide range of emotions

It’s not only OKAY to cry and feel emotional as a new mom, but NORMAL. Yes, that’s right – NORMAL! Remember, this phase will pass, but don’t feel guilty for being emotional, crying, getting frustrated, etc. However, if you begin feeling hopeless, your emotions seem to be abnormal for an extended period of time or you’re struggling to bond with your baby, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. There’s no shame in not being able to heal ourselves – sometimes our bodies don’t self-regulate and bounce back by themselves, and that’s okay.

Live in the moment

One of my favorite quotes of all times is from Andy Bernard on The Office, when he says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in “the good old days”, before you’ve actually left them.” Social media has made me more aware of how precious life and time is, as I see news stories and even tragedies from those I know who lose children, parents, or others who are close to them. I do my best to try to live every day like it’s the last day I have with my children. Any day that we are all healthy, taken care of, and together is a good day.

What advice would you give to a new mom?

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Breastfeeding Wardrobe Staples

Breastfeeding often means doing a lot of maneuvering with your clothing to get everything positioned just right, which isn’t always easy with some styles of clothing. Whether you’re on the go or lounging at home, here are some staples of a functional breastfeeding wardrobe to help nursing or pumping for your little one a seamless process.

Flowy tunics

The loose-fitting top trend is a huge benefit to nursing moms. Long, loose tunics give you easy access from the bottom of your shirt, and many of mine were even long and loose enough to act as a cover on their own. You don’t have to buy nursing-specific tops, either. I found many of mine online, like this Relaxed Luxe Tunic from Old Navy.

Wrap dresses

I’m not nursing anymore, but my favorite dress is still a wrap-dress I bought when I was nursing my son. It’s so flattering, even as my curves have widened over the years, and makes it easy to pull down the top to nurse or pump. This is the exact dress from Viva La Jewels, and it comes in several colors and a knee-length option as opposed to a full maxi-length dress.

Button-down shirts

When you’re going for a more business-casual look, button-down shirts are the perfect choice for nursing or pumping mamas. I like these relaxed-fit button-down shirts from Old Navy. They could easily be dressed up with a blazer or cardigan, or worn as-is.

Nursing camisoles

Finding a good nursing cami with support and coverage can be difficult, but this one from A Pea in the Pod has great reviews. With built-in cups and a variety of colors, these seem to be one of the best options. Many reviewers say it easily hides leaks, and the support is enough to replace a bra! I’d call that a win!

Reusable nursing pads

Reusable nursing pads are an eco-friendly option that is also safer for your skin than disposable nursing pads. They also have a better reputation for completely absorbing leakage. These Bamboobies Washing Nursing Pads from Target have OUTSTANDING reviews and come in a daytime or nighttime version. Even the daytime pads, which are lighter, have impeccable reviews for being super-absorbent and many reviewers have found they don’t cause skin irritation like disposable pads. Wearing these every day and keeping some of these on hand in your purse is a must during your nursing and pumping days.

What are some staples of your breastfeeding wardrobe?

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Best Gifts for soon-to-be Moms

The Christmas lists of expectant mothers might be a bit longer than usual, and probably different than her past Christmas lists. To help you with your shopping, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ideas for the soon-to-be moms in your life.

Robot vacuum

The pregnant woman in your life needs a robot vacuum. Actually, everybody needs a robot vacuum, but especially soon-to-be moms. But vacuuming can be strenuous on a pregnant woman depending on the thickness of the carpet and the quality of the vacuum. Bending over for long periods of time and pushing a heavy machine through thick carpet can be exhausting. While she’s likely suffering from sleep loss, weight changes, aches and pains, a shifting center of gravity, and preparing for the baby, a robot vacuum can help her with one less thing she needs to worry about.

Owlet Baby Monitor

If you could wave a magic wand and give her more sleep, she would probably take that, but give her the next best thing by giving her an Owlet Smart Sock. Help her rest easier by letting the Owlet Smart Sock keep an extra watch over baby during the night. With an Owlet Smart Sock, mom can simply reach over and check her app to see her baby’s live readings. It is also designed to notify you if those levels go out of the preset range. Oh yeah, mom wants this for Christmas this year.

Diapers

It may seem too simple, it may seem too easy, but a mom can never have too many diapers. Even if she’s a cloth diaper-er, you can help her with this less-pretty part of parenthood. Getting her a variety of sizes would be super thoughtful, for it isn’t too uncommon that a middle-of-the-night blowout makes a parent realize that baby needs to move up a diaper size, but they can’t easily run to the store at 2AM. Trust me, they’ll be grateful.

Cozy blanket

Late-night feedings, early morning insomnia, or lazy-afternoon snuggles are all made better by a super comfy, soft, huge blanket. Chunky knit blankets are super trendy right now but also super soft, warm and cozy. You can’t go wrong with a plush microfleece blanket, either. Baby is going to get lots of baby blankets, but mom would be happy with a mommy blanket, too.

Restaurant gift cards

Gift cards may not seem like the most thoughtful gift, but to a pregnant woman, they are extremely thoughtful. Sometimes cooking is difficult. Various smells can trigger nausea, and when she’s already extremely busy, sometimes it just sounds good to eat some good food from a good restaurant. These will also come in handy when baby has arrived and she’s recovering.

What gifts did you love when you were pregnant?

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