When your baby is born - even in the run-up to their arrival - nearly all of the focus is on them, but the mother is often an afterthought by others, including herself.
Baby showers are almost always gifts for the new baby; cute knitted outfits, personalised baby grows, soft teddies, and memory books, amongst a few. However nice these might be at some point in a baby's first year, they are usually fleeting and outgrown quickly which sometimes can feel like a waste especially if something is only used once.
This leads us to our next point, what about buying something that is actually going to be useful and used many times by the mother. Wouldn't you rather buy a gift she will truly love or make her life much easier in those first few months after the baby is born?
So here is our list of 6 things which we guarantee will go down a treat and always be by her side:
Hydration is key not only for your recovery, but for breastfeeding too, and when you will most likely have limited time to eat, this is the one thing you can keep on top of so you are semi-functioning.
We would 100% recommend one which keeps cool all day and also has a water/sports spout so you don't have to faff unscrewing and it's easy to reach with one hand. Personally I love the Yeti ones to keep cool all day but this style is available in a lot of retailers too.
If you are organised and buy for a baby shower, then she can also use for her labour as it is one of the most important things she will need for this also.
Lots of it, maybe an IV drip if that's available? Caffeine is a lifeline in the fourth trimester, you will be running on VERY little sleep and sometimes this is all that gets you through the day.
A thermal coffee tumbler will ensure you always drink a hot coffee since you will inevitably put it down and forget a million times, but also a coffee subscription so there is always coffee in the house. Nespresso or Pact do great subscription options.
Forget 'sleep when the baby sleeps, who even does that anyway?! All they want to do is sleep on you then when they don't, you will want to shower or eat anyway.
After being pregnant for 10 months, and then giving birth, your body will almost certainly feel like it is in bits. That's before all the rocking/swaying, hunching over breastfeeding, and walking with the pram or baby sling for hours has even kicked in.
You hold so much tension in your shoulders in general as a human, so imagine how much that increases when you are a new mum. One thing I really loved and literally felt a weight off my shoulders was a back/neck/shoulder massage.
It was one hour of pure bliss and you might even manage 10 mins sleep. Win-Win.
Since you spend so much time sitting and feeding, instead of bingeing on Netflix (this is advocated though), a Kindle and/or Readly subscription is a great way to spend this time. Read that book you've always wanted to or flick through the magazines you used to read pre-baby, you are still that woman in there too.
A mum spends on average 1,800 hours in a year breastfeeding their baby, through night feeds, illnesses and cluster feed plus the normal feeds.
It is full-on, and to compare the numbers a full-time work week is 40 hours and equals 1,960 hours a year. So no, maternity leave isn't a holiday, it's a full-time job keeping a tiny human alive.
On the topic of maternity leave, it is no hidden secret that in the UK it doesn't pay well; plus it’s only up until 39 weeks of your 52 weeks leave. However, that’s if you don't share parental leave either, because then your paid weeks reduce for every week your partner takes.
A Starbucks/Cafe Nero Gift Card goes a long way in keeping your maternity money intact as a daily coffee soon adds up.
In our opinion, you need to get out of the house every day for your sanity, even if it is to sit in a coffee shop for a feed, see adults, hear normal conversation and change up the monotony of the day - as it really can be like groundhog day of feed, sleep, repeat.
Money Can't Buy
Lastly, these are the things mums won't ask you for and through a smile proclaim "I'm fine", but really she probably is struggling and would just love for you to suggest any of the following.
Cook a meal - anything hot and which isn't a sandwich
Hold the baby - to shower, have 20 mins power nap or chill
Listen - go on a walk with her and just be a good friend/companion
So there you go, 6 really useful ideas for new mums that you can buy and will pay its worth tenfold. Especially the last idea 'money can't buy', as these are things which you could do regularly without a cost,and it might just be the difference in her postpartum well-being she needs and help with any postnatal depression.
Don't forget to checkout our latest blog on what you really need to buy for a newborn, as there are some more great ideas in there for items which will help the new mum to be ticking off her long list before birth.
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