If you’ve been to a baby shower before, you may know what I mean here, but who needs more newborn clothes, bibs, and teddy bears? What a new mom really needs is help with some meals after baby’s arrival or something that will help her heal and recover after birth.

Here is a list of my 5 favourite gifts for any expecting Mama, and notice that none of these gifts are directly for the baby. But, are instead; practical, thoughtful and will truly help mama ease into motherhood a little more smoothly.

1. A Meal Subscription Box

Preparing a healthy and balanced meal when you have a newborn to care for is pretty much impossible. But the food and nutrients Mama takes in will directly impact her (and baby’s) health and mood. Enter – the meal subscription box. Every week, an insulated box will arrive at your doorstep with a few meals for the week with all the ingredients separated and prepped. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to create a delicious meal in 20-30 minutes. It takes the grocery shopping, prepping, planning and thinking out of the equation (which who even has time for without a newborn in their lives?!). Gift her with a couple weeks of meals, or go in on it with some others and cover her and her family for the first few months. She will be grateful for you every time she sits down to her delicious dinner. A few different companies that offer this service in Ontario: Yumm, Goodfood, Hellofresh, Missfresh.

2. Natural Postpartum Mama Products

Bottom Spray – I used and love this bottom spray for healing the perineum after a vaginal delivery. Or, if you like DIY and have a good source for quality essential oils, check out this recipe to make your own.
Nipple butter – to help heal the nipples if breastfeeding, it can get painful before mama and baby figure out their latch. Or a DIY recipe.
Mama’s milk – tea to support breastmilk production.

3. A Book to Mentally Prepare Mama for Motherhood

This is my all-time favourite resource to prepare Mama for birth and especially postpartum. Do your mama-friend a favour and give them this book! The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson (a postpartum guide to healing your body, balancing your emotions and restoring your vitality).

4. Yoga/Exercise Classes That She Can Bring Her Baby To

If you are in Peterborough, I love to recommend The Willow Studio (I am biased as I’m a teacher there as well), because the studio offers great classes for women during pregnancy and after they’ve had baby. And the best thing is, most of the classes you can bring your baby to. If you’re not local to Peterborough, most cities have a mom and baby exercise or yoga class, which are great for getting mom out of the house with other women in the same postpartum stage.
If you want to get her something that she can do from home, Willow at Home is a series of 3 classes including education on pelvic floor health and awareness which is crucial information for any pregnant or postpartum woman.

5. A Postpartum Massage

Find a registered massage therapist who is experienced in dealing with postpartum bodies. This can be the most delicious treat for a new mom who’s body is sore and achy from the never-ending holding/feeding/rocking to sleep. She will thank you! If you’re in Peterborough, Kelly Swift is who I like to recommend any pre or postnatal ladies to.

All of these items aside, I believe the most useful gift you can give your expecting Mama friend or family member is SUPPORT. Sometimes that may look like you coming over to clean her house, make her a meal, invite her and baby to a picnic in the park, or just be an ear to listen to what she is going through and the challenges she may be facing with this new role she has as a woman and a mother. Let her know that you are there for her, and check in with her often, as I know from experience how challenging it can be to keep in touch with people when you are sucked into the life with a newborn and all that that entails.