My answer to this question: "what is my top recommended gift for new moms" has changed significantly over the past number of years.
Back before I was a mom myself, my gifts focused on things for the baby.
I’d hand crochet a cute little stuffy, sew a baby blanket, buy some cute outfits, onsies or baby books.
Then when I became a mom, in the early years when I had actual experience in parenting…I’d focus on things a family would actually find useful.
Waterproof mattress protectors, a ring sling, nipple cream, things like that.
Now that I have two babies, have unpacked my parenting journey in therapy, have done a ton of training on how to support young families…how I answer this question is completely different.
My top recommended gift for a new mom is to contribute to a postpartum professional or other support services.
What I have found though my own experience and my work in supporting other women is that we need services and support over stuff.
Yes, of course we need the basics for our baby like a safe car seat, diapers, something to keep them warm. But beyond that – their needs in the early months are pretty simple. They need a warm body to snuggle, milk in their bellies and a clean diaper.
Parents are doing a FANTASTIC job caring for their baby. What is often overlooked is the needs of the person that is caring FOR the baby…the mother.
Don’t fully believe me? Let’s look at some statistics.
- 1:5 women experience postpartum depression
- 1:3 women don’t reach their own breastfeeding goals
- 80% of couples experience a moderate-to-severe crisis in the transition to parenthood
- The leading cause of maternal death is suicide
Struggle in postpartum is such a common experience and sometimes as a society, we therefore just accept it as fact or think it’s normal.
Struggle in postpartum not normal.
Suffering through constant exhaustion, burn out and overwhelm in the early weeks with our babies is not normal.
In many, many traditional cultures around the world, women rest for 40 days after birth. This is facilitated by the support of the community.
In our culture now we CAN recreate this tradition and culture of support but it often takes effort, intention, creativity and often replacing part of the traditional village with professional services, including doulas or other support people.
Postpartum professionals and caregivers provide companionship and emotional support, as well as information based on scientific evidence and referrals to other professionals when necessary.
So if you’re expecting a baby – I encourage you to think about how to ask for supports and to consider setting things up for your family in advance.
Some support gift ideas to ask for:
- Highly nutritious meals - for example pulled pork, beef stew or chunky chicken soup with vegetables and bone broth
- Gifts of service - people can come help with practical things around the home like cleaning the kitchen, cooking, laundry, vacuuming or picking up groceries
- In home support - ask for people to contribute financially to support people such as a postpartum doula, massage therapist or a lactation counsellor.
With light, love and warmth,
P.S. - Want to know more about how I can help?
1. If you are pregnant and want to prepare ahead of time so you don't get sucked into that postpartum stress spiral - reply back and we can book a free postpartum clarity call to chat.
2. If you're already postpartum and feel like you're constantly battling your hormones, your mood feels off and you are looking for help to get out of that rut - book a free postpartum consult with me. Or book a virtual session with me.
3. If you don't know what you need - send me an email and tell me what you're struggling with. I'd love to see if I can help.