In situations like these, where two life events intersect, how do you know which one to choose? For example, if you have a pregnant friend, family member, or coworker with a birthday coming up, do you get them pregnancy gifts or regular birthday gifts?
In our opinion, either option works. However, there are pregnancy items that can make being pregnant a little easier, which could be much appreciated. On the other hand, being pregnant doesn't mean you stop being you, so regular birthday gifts are always a good fit (figuratively speaking, that is!). And if you can afford it, you can do both. Below we answer some common questions about this topic and give you some good ideas when it comes to gifts for the pregnant women in your life.
Food will always be a great gift idea since there are so many ways you can spin it. Gift baskets, boxes of chocolate, going out for brunch, buying a gift card for a delivery service, sending a pregnancy care package from Spoonful of Comfort, and gifting a month-long subscription to a meal service are all variations of giving the gift of food. But still, when you throw pregnancy into the mix, some food gifts may be best taken off the table of possibility. The next two sections will discuss some important food and pregnancy-related information.
What do pregnant women crave?
Giving the gift of food to someone who is pregnant can be tricky. Why? The Cravings and Aversions. Due to nutritional deficiencies, hormones, and the heightened sense of smell and taste that come with pregnancy, it's impossible to make a blanket statement about things that pregnant women do or do not crave. So choosing to give food as a gift could be a bit risky if you don't know the particulars of their cravings or aversions. With that being said, some more common cravings and aversions will at least get you pointed in the right direction. Note that cravings typically happen at the end of the first trimester and peak in the middle of the second trimester.
- Chocolate and other sweets
- Red Meat
- Spicy Food
- Dairy Products (like ice cream and yogurt)
- Dairy products
- Spicy foods
- Fish and other seafood
If you still want to give a gift that (hopefully) errs on the side of a delicious craving, try giving chocolates, a unique hot sauce to try, premium ice cream that she'd never buy for herself, or offer to take her out for a meal that she won't have to make herself. Now that is definitely something every woman craves.
What is the most important food for pregnant women?
Regardless of the specific cravings or aversions a pregnant woman may have, nutrition is very important during pregnancy because it also affects the baby. Trying to keep to a well-rounded diet rather than skewing too often toward unhealthy cravings is difficult, but your gift doesn't have to add to that struggle. If you want to give food as part of your gift, but want to give something nutritious, consider giving her a fruit bouquet, a box of different nut varieties to snack on, or opt for chocolate-covered strawberries instead of chocolate bars. Taking her out for a meal rather than a dessert will also provide healthier options.
What things do pregnant women need?
Sometimes birthdays are a great excuse to give needed things, not just wanted. If your pregnant friend or family member has a pregnancy wishlist, or if she won't likely have a baby shower, then some of the following items might be considered a thoughtful gift by itself or in addition to something else.
- Easy, nutritious snacks: especially if in the first two trimesters when nausea, cravings, and aversions hit the hardest
- Pregnancy cookbook
- Cute maternity clothing
- Pampering session to help ease anxiety, aches, and pains
- Pregnancy massage
- Haircut and style
- Back, neck, or foot massager
- Items or services to help her with the baby once it's born
- Comfortable sweatshirt and sweats
- Diaper bag
- Mommy and Me outfit
- Receiving blanket(s)
- Pack n Play
- Wishlist items
- Newborn photo session gift certificate
- Gift certificate for a cleaning service
- Help with moderate exercise
- Yoga ball
- Yoga mat
- Supportive sports bra
How do you pamper a pregnant woman?
Another necessity that pregnant women need is self-care. Pregnancy changes many things, and a pregnant mom take care of her physical and emotional well-being. Since there are as many types of pregnancies as there are women, getting something for her that's very specific to her needs might be difficult unless you straight up ask her. However, there are some common tropes for pregnancy, like morning sickness, food cravings and aversions, weight gain, swollen feet, difficulty sleeping, being too hot, general discomfort, and not being able to do some 'basic' things (tying shoes for example) that can get the gears turning. Helping to alleviate these difficulties can be a good birthday gift for a first time mom.
If someone is struggling with morning sickness, common home 'cures' include eating small meals often, mint or peppermint-flavored food or drink, and ginger. Some nice gifts to combat this might be crackers, trail mix, protein bars, or other easily accessible fast food. Peppermint gum or candy may be welcome. Ginger is supposed to be good for nausea in general, but if you are going to get ginger-themed food for a newly pregnant friend, you might check labels to see if the "ginger" item contains real ginger or just flavoring. Ginger beer (the soda, not beer with alcohol), ginger snaps, and ginger candy are some of the better-known ginger-flavored items. Acupressure, and nausea relief bracelets, have also helped some expecting mothers. Gifters at Spoonful of Comfort often add a box of Queasy Drops to a pregnancy gift box or a new mom's care package.
If an expecting mother is craving something, chances are good that you will hear about it. If you want to give her the best birthday gift, go get the peanut butter and cole slaw or whatever craving strikes. If you aren't the person that she would usually ask to go to the grocery store in the middle of the night, send her a text saying that if she craves something, you would be happy to bring it to her. You can also refer to our list of commonly-craved items above.
Gaining weight, like it or not, is a part of a healthy pregnancy. Not only is the mom-to-be building and carrying a human, but she is also carrying around the weight of the expanded systems that build and keep the baby alive. It's amazing and beautiful, but expectant moms don't always feel that way when they have to step on the scale at every OB-GYN appointment and when they can see their bodies literally expanding. Remind her that she is beautiful! Admire her new curves! Tell her that what she is doing is extraordinary! Sometimes words are the best gifts, but if you want something more tangible, try things to help her feel good about herself and her changing body. Here are a few ideas.
- A cute and flattering maternity outfit (or a gift card so she can get one herself)
- Jewelry (like this snuggle necklace or this sonogram necklace)
- Maternity photoshoot
- Loving notes
- Cute, but comfortable, shoes that can easily slip on and off
- Prenatal massage
- Self-Care basket (lotion, Belly Butter, bath tea, Epsom salt, etc.)
Carrying extra weight and hormones that make tendons and ligaments expand can combine to make an expectant woman's feet hurt. Things that can help are a foot massage, elevating her feet, soaking her feet, and good shoes. Good gifts might be a foot bath, scented Epsom salts to use while soaking, an ottoman, a visit to someone who does prenatal massage or foot zoning, comfortable shoes (they may need to be larger than her normal size), or frequent foot rubs.
Babies tend to be more active at night, which can keep a new mom up at night, but so can general pregnancy discomfort. So pillows may become her favorite thing. Many pregnancy books recommend sleeping with a thin pillow between her knees and another one under her baby bump. Pregnancy pillows are made for this specific purpose, but if you aren't interested in buying one of those, a body pillow is also an amazing gift, and you can often find cute covers for them. Other things that can help with sleep are scents. Lavender is supposed to be amazing for rest and is available in pillow spray, lotions, diffusers, and essential oils. A noise machine can also be soothing. They usually have different sounds, like rain, ocean waves, or forest noises. This could also be used for the baby after it is born.
Pregnancy is a special time, but it can also be stressful. Gifting your friend or family member something fun that alleviates the stress and burden that pregnancy can bring is a great gift idea. It'll be even better if your gift reveals the fun things about pregnancy or pertains to the person's interests. Below are some ideas to consider.
- Maternity photoshoot
- Hire a baby nursery decorator
- First-time pregnancy activity book
- Baby countdown calendar
- Mocktail cookbook
What are the best gifts for a pregnant wife from her husband?
Some of the best gifts from a husband to his pregnant wife are service-based; things like taking care of meals or giving a foot massage are truly appreciated (these are also great Mother's Day ideas). Gifts that show her you're as invested in the pregnancy and birth of your child as she is are also a good idea. Some of these might include the following:
- A book about pregnancy
- A doula deck
- Baby name books
- Baby clothing or blankets
- A pregnancy journal
- Attending a prenatal class together
- Jewelry (like this Mama to Be Necklace)
Another option is to plan a "babymoon" or a vacation you and your wife take together before the baby is born. If you can get it to work over her birthday, try incorporating activities that cater to her interests, but don't get so carried away that she's exhausted by the end. A babymoon should be fun, but also allow plenty of time for rest and relaxation since your life will be anything but once the baby is born.
What is the most underrated pregnancy gift for a friend?
If you have a newly pregnant friend, you might immediately jump to some adorable baby things that your friend just has to have. (You're probably also the person who gets the most creative Mother's Day gift every year, but that's for another day.) While baby things (clothes in particular) are so much fun to shop for, don't overlook the self-care items and acts of service that are among the best gifts for new moms—they'll make a world of difference to your friend. Acquaintances will probably get her baby items for her birthday or baby shower, but they most likely won't head over to help make some freezer meals or clean up the house when your friend feels nauseous all day and just needs to sleep.
Other underrated gifts for a new mom are diapers and diaper supplies. Did you know disposable diapers for a single baby for a year cost about $1,000? This does not include wipes. So any amount of diapers or diaper supplies you would like to give will offset some of that cost and can also make new parents' lives easier. It's not the most glamorous gift, but it's one that will go a long way and will be appreciated.
If you choose to gift diapers, remember that newborn diapers are awesome, but most newborns are only in that size for a couple of weeks. Newborn diapers are for babies that weigh 5-8 pounds. Size-one diapers are for babies 8-14 pounds. If you want more information, you can find size guides here, but diapers of all sizes can help. Suppose you don't want to consider sizing or are worried that your intended recipient might get more diapers of one size than they can use. In that case, you could consider a gift card or other diaper-related supplies listed below.
- A changing table, mat, or pad
- Wipes are universally sized and useful for all sorts of things, including diaper changes. Get unscented ones if you are uncertain about skin sensitivities or allergies.
- Diaper rash ointment can also be helpful. Aquifor, A&D, and Butt Paste are all popular brands. These off-brands usually have the same ingredients and are a bit cheaper. Alternatives to diaper rash ointment are Vasoline and Bag Balm.
How can you celebrate your pregnant wife's birthday?
New mothers often experience a loss of self—they give so much of themselves to their baby that their needs and desires are pushed onto the back burner. Sometimes it is easy to give a pregnant mother gifts for the baby on any and all occasions. This can happen after the baby is born, too. While your wife or good friend is pregnant and will probably love all things baby, consider the importance of separating the gifts for the baby from the gifts for her. Instead of buying her the baby things she might need, remember that it is her birthday, not the baby's, and she needs to be celebrated, too.
On the actual special day, the most important thing is to make your wife feel loved, cherished, and taken care of. Mix relaxing with fun. Make her breakfast in bed, or have a slow morning and go out for brunch. Let her nap while you clean the house, or have a professional service come in and do it while she's out to lunch with her best girlfriends. Book a couple's massage or get her in for a foot massage and pedicure at her favorite spa. Take her to dinner at a special restaurant that typically doesn't show up on regular date nights. Go see a movie that she seemed interested in, or stay in the comfort of your home and watch whatever she wants to while you both snuggle on the couch.
If you think she'll enjoy it, plan a surprise party and invite friends and family with whom she'd love to catch up, especially since time with others will be limited right after the baby is born and as she recovers.
How can Spoonful of Comfort help me?
If you just want someone to make an incredible gift for you, and all you have to do is pay for it, then Spoonful of Comfort is a great gift option. You can choose from a huge and thoughtful variety of five-star gift baskets for different occasions (including two birthday boxes and a pregnancy care package!). Whatever the occasion, the unboxing experience and the food inside are something every mom-to-be will adore.