The postpartum period is incredibly vulnerable. We’re healing physically, mentally, and emotionally while navigating a major shift in our identity and facing the overwhelming task of keeping our new baby safe and healthy. Often new parents are showered with baby blankets and clothing but our experience was that new babies need so little. New mamas on the other hand often get a bit forgotten at the time when they most need extra support, encouragement, nourishment, love, and practical help. In that vein, I’ve put together a little round up of my favourite gifts for new mamas.
Food is the most special and needed gift postpartum. Organise a meal train or offer to go over before the baby is born to cook and stock up their freezer. I’m also of the opinion that a large supply of chocolate is necessary and I love sending a box of treats from A Kind Mama Bakery to friends who live a bit further away.
If you’re attending a baby shower or mother blessing, The First 40 Days is a beautiful gift – especially when accompanied by a few of the herbs mentioned in the book or an offer to cook some of the recipes. So often mothers are wholly focused on pregnancy and birth; helping them plan to nourish themselves postpartum is incredibly important.
Mama, Bare is such a special collection of “moments that made us mother.” In it I found such comforting “me too” moments and nourishing wisdom from mamas who are further along on their journeys than me. Reading and rereading the well-thumbed pages have been such an important part of navigating this new identity, and its short segments are easy to absorb even while sleep-deprived. I try to give a copy to every new mother I know.
While technically a gift for baby, Etta Loves sensory muslins are specifically designed to support a baby’s developing eyesight so they are often so fascinated by the patterns that mama can drink a hot cup of tea.
While mothers don’t need any special foods to produce perfect milk for their babies, I think that whenever we can lean on plant allies to support our bodies, that the benefits are truly magical, especially at a time when our bodies need so much extra nourishment. Homemade Mother’s Milk Tea is a beautiful gift (but of course every woman should do her own research and fiercely trust her intuition when it comes to herbal medicine, especially when nursing.”
Held in Love is a beautifully illustrated, rhythmic children’s book that tells of the blessings a new mother wishes for her baby.
You Belong Here is another favourite book for new mamas and their sweet babes. “The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong.” Warning: it consistently brings a tear to my eye.
Most of all I think new mamas need our unwavering love and support. Check in via text. Let her know how amazing you think she’s doing. Offer to stop by to do the washing up or vacuuming. Visit without expectation of conversation or hospitality. Leave flowers and food and chocolate on her doorstep. However you think she needs it, wrap her up in love (and if in doubt, ask).