Reader Julie sent us this question:
I just found out I will be an aunt in January! I was wondering if there's anything I could get for the future mama as a congratulations gift? What are some pregnancy items that made your pregnancy easier or more comfortable?
I was very eager to dive into all kinds of possible answers for this–there are SO many items I bought, or gifts I received, while pregnant that were amazing lifesavers. This list covers a fair bit, but is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to chime in with other suggestions!
I think books are HUGE during pregnancy–there's nothing quite as great as attaining a vast amount of information about what is one of the most gigantic stages of your life. The Sears books are wonderful because they really help empower you as a pregnant woman to be strong enough to make choices that are best for yourself and your unborn baby. The Birth Partner is a must-have for the partner of a pregnant woman–so many partner books are filled with inconsiderate jokes and "Babies=end of your life" language, and this book is definitely not one of those.
- The Birth Partner, Third Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions: $11.53
The Belly Band I received as a gift was AMAZING towards the end of my pregnancy, and my pregnancy didn't even go to term! I am also a huge fan of basically anything Liz Lange makes for Target, maternity-wise.
- Liz Lange for Target: Maternity Long & Lean Scoop-Neck Tank Top : $9.99 (You can also get this in black (with a tie waist), striped, and pink)
These are two films that really explore both the birthing industry and a variety of birth styles–hospital, birthing center, etc. The overall message of both? With knowledge and support, birth can be an empowering experience for every woman who experiences it.
- Orgasmic Birth: $32.49
- The Business of Being Born: $10.49
The jury is still out when it comes to whether or not products work for stretch marks, but a lot of women swear by them! The Earth Mama Angel Baby products are all toxin-free, phthalate-free, animal cruelty-free, and vegan–plus, they're natural and herbal.
I think a bit of exercise is so important to having a healthy pregnancy, and both of these DVDs would give any pregnant woman a great workout! The belly dancing one is killing me, because I would have loved to try it when I was pregnant! Also, check out the Wise Woman book–perfect for anyone curious about herbal remedies for pregnancy and lactation.
I saw these and couldn't resist–I had the best time painting my belly while pregnant.
All three of these pillows came super recommended to me, so it may just come down to price and/or what you think would be best! I loved my body pillow, and would definitely recommend one.
- Boppy Total Body Pillow: $49.99
PREGGIE POPS! A friend suggested these to me, and they totally worked. I loved every single flavor, and ate them religiously. I never tried an acupressure wrist band, but multiple people have suggested them, so I figured–why not?
- Three Lollies Preggie Pops: $5.37
- As a photographer, I cannot stress ENOUGH how wonderful it can be to have professional photos taken of you while pregnant. I'd research all the great photographers in your city , and inquire about gift certificates!
- A friend said she LOVED putting three tennis balls in an old tube sock and rolling it around on her lower back–something I totally never thought of.
- Back massages will NEVER be refused by any pregnant woman. You can find a local masseuse or training school, or just enlist family members to help!
- Another thing no one would refuse–free meals and/or laundry help! You'd be surprised at how difficult it can be to bend over for many women, even in the first or second trimester. Usually, cooking and/or cleaning are the last things any pregnant woman I've ever known wanted to do (unless she was nesting!).