Monday, December 22, 2014

Top Ten Gifts for an Expectant Mother (Who Plans to Nurse)

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
Best Chairs Story Time Series chairs
are ideal for new moms!

Recently a friend asked me if I had a list of gift ideas for expectant mothers. I told her I would come up with one! So I immediately asked our ANM mamas for their suggestions. This list is based on their input combined with my own thoughts of what an Expectant mama really needs. Of course, the assumption here is that mom will be breastfeeding!

10. A comfy chair to rock and nurse baby. Some moms prefer a glider and some a recliner. Either is good, but it needs to be wide enough for mom to comfortably hold a nursing baby. Since this is a real investment, you need to make sure you get a quality piece of furniture that will last. Mom will spend many hours feeding baby in her chair, so she needs to LOVE it!

9. A place for baby to sleep right next to Mom and Dad's bed. A bassinet or Rock and Play will work. But our personal favorite is the Arm's Reach Co-sleeper. This unique co-sleeper adjusts to the height of the parents' bed and attaches securely to the bed via a strap that is secured between the mattress and boxspring. It allows baby to sleep in the separate but proximate environment recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, while keeping baby close enough to easily bring into bed for middle-of-the-night nursing.

The Arm's Reach Co-sleeper is great for new parents!
8. Comfortable nursing clothes, especially loungewear. One of my favorite lines is Baby Be Mine. The soft fabric and innovative styling makes their maternity and nursing sets a favorite of our moms! Any new mom will love the versatility of loungewear that works well for going out or staying home!

7. Motherlove Nipple Cream - this is the most soothing nipple cream I have ever seen. It goes on very easily and does not have to be washed off before feeding baby. Actually the very best thing for mom's nipples is a little bit of her breast milk expressed and allowed to air dry on her nipple. But if she has any soreness or dryness, the Motherlove Nipple Cream is amazing!

6. Gift certificate for a home visit from a lactation consultant. Any new breastfeeding mother will have some questions during those early days when she's home from the hospital. Having a lactation consultant come to her home will allow her to relax in her own environment and get those questions answered. The consultant can actually work with her in the chair she normally nurses in and with the pillow that she has. This is a huge peace-of-mind gift!

5. A massage for mom. A prenatal massage done by a massage therapist certified in prenatal massage is a safe, wonderful way for mom to relax. Some massage therapists are even able to do a massage that will help prepare mom's body for labor.
The best nipple cream ever!

4.  A Baby Carrier. Being able to wear her baby makes a mother's life so much easier. Ring slings and Baby K'tans are the easiest for nursing a newborn. Soft Structured carriers like Tula, Boba or Beco are nice as baby gets older.

3.  A good book. There are several great books that are terrific for new mamas. The Baby Book by William Sears is a classic read for every new mama. Another terrific book is Attached at the Heart by local author Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson, the founders of Attachment Parenting International. Finally, the La Leche League classic, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a great read for every expectant mom who is planning to nurse.

2.  Create a Meal Plan. This great site will allow you to set up a schedule for the new mom and invite friends, family, co-workers, neighbors etc. to be involved by bringing her meals during the first few weeks postpartum. This is a terrific idea because the last thing she needs to think about for at least 6 weeks is cooking. This was one of the top gift ideas suggested by our ANM moms!

1. Housecleaning Service. The other top recommendation from our mamas was the gift of a housecleaning service. Mom's job is to take care of the baby and to get breastfeeding established. Giving her several months of housecleaning by a professional is one of the gifts that she will probably cherish the most!

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