What gifts can we send our pregnant friend for herself, not the baby? #I've got a parenting question!#friendships#gifts#pregnancy March 30 2012 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Offbeat Home & Life runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. All photos by Angie Tabaczynski. My best friend is pregnant. Lately the preggo hormones have been making her very depressed and I was thinking about making up a care package for her — one that's all about her and not so much focused on baby stuff. I know there are a lot of products that pregnant women can't use or even come in contact with, so I was wondering if any of you could suggest some things that would be safe and useful for a mama to be. –Naomi Here are a few of our favorite ideas: Accessories Maternity clothing can be a real bitch. Related Post My friend just had an abortion — how do I tell her I'm pregnant without re-opening fresh wounds? Last month, one of my best friends shared with our group of friends that she had an abortion. I was one of the few who... Read more Accessories If your friend is into accessories, they can be a cool way to say, "Hey! Here's something you can wear and love whether or not you're pregnant, because it turns out you're still YOU." Zoya nail polish (lower toxicity than most nail products) Modcloth always has an awesome scarf collection. Scarves are an awesome option — they're fun and you can wear them whether or not a small human is about to burst out of your body. Non-baby books, OMG Sure, a lot of parents-to-be want ALL THE BABY INFO RIGHT NOW… but they also like reading non-baby stuff, too. We have a massive archive of books to choose from — these are especially loved: Sex, Sin, and Zen, A People's History of the United States, American Gods, Mrs. Dalloway. If you're looking for even more adult-friendly written works, check out the discussion over here. Comfort items Superman fuzzy socks, $13; UGG Women's Ansley Bling Slipper, $130; Plush Multi Color Fun Striped Socks, $20. Pregnancy can be rough on the body, and anything soft and nice can help. Warm slippers, robes that make you feel snuggly, you name it — if your friend is feeling distinctly uncomfortable, chances are she'll appreciate any efforts to help her feel differently. Local ideas If you want to stick to gifts from your neck of the woods, here are a few ideas you could try out: A voucher or gift card to a local cleaning service (check Groupon!) A gift certificate to a spa for a manicure/pedicure or a massage (we always see tons of deals on Amazon local) Movie tickets, because it may be tough to go to see a flick after the baby comes. Craft supplies, if she's into that kind of thing (crafts can get out some of those crazy nesting impulses that hit even the non-crafty during their last weeks of pregnancy) Yummy, non-chemically skincare stuff like this. Pregnant mama, what gifts for yourself have you most enjoyed? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Not another one: dealing with gifts you get again & again NEXT The year I spent turning a trash house into a cozy wagon home Show/Hide comments [ 63 ] When I was pregnant, someone sent my mother a bunch of vanilla-scented bath products because they had read that vanilla is appealing to babies. I don't know if that's true, but I thought it was a sweet impulse. 1 agrees Reply A nice idea indeed! But i HATE when people buy me scented things. I am very particular about my bath soaps and perfumes. I absolutely cannot stand some scents like coconut and vanilla, or even brown sugar. I know people can't possibly know this, so i prefer they don't even try. And some pregnant women (like me) have even harder time with scents. Some 1 agrees Reply I agree with you Dahlia, I have always had trouble with scents giving me migraines (complete with headache, dizziness, nausea)and while pregnant it became worse. Most people don't know this about me. They do however know about my asthma attacks caused by deodorant. Scents aren't for everyone but some people do love them… never hurts to ask before making a purchase though 🙂 3 agree Reply Totally agree. During my first trimester of pregnancy, I was super sensitive to smells. Our woman's health centre asks people not to put on scented products for that reason. I also HATED the smell of garlic powder (which my husband uses often and in large quantities when he's BBQing). It was so bad I had to go outside, or I would've barfed. 1 agrees Reply I'm pregnant right now and I'd love to get some nice accessories like scarves, earrings, handbags, etc. Buying clothes is just depressing now, but something to make me feel a bit prettier would be nice. Also, Maybe a voucher for a manicure/pedicure or a massage, as long as it's for a place who works regularly with pregnant women and is aware of their needs. I'd also LOVE to receive a voucher for a cleaning service to come clean my house so I can have a day off to sit with my feet up and read a book non-parenting related. Ahhh I remember those… Maybe something related to her hobbies… is she into crafts? Whatever makes her spend some time like her "old" self can remind her that life doesn't end here. 4 agree Reply I'm pregnant too and I can't think of anythign better than a mani/pedi, house cleaning or craft supplies! brilliant! 2 agree Reply When it got down to the last few weeks and I was waiting and waiting, I really enjoyed scrapbooking and making wreaths for my friends. I needed to do something to get my mind off feeling so uncomfortable. 1 agrees Reply When I was on bedrest in the hospital my friends would deliver me a care package every few days. My favorites included fancy chocolates/ treats and home mani/ pedi/ facial kits. Indulgent stuff I wouldn't normally eat or buy. 1 agrees Reply I second anything "spa" related — mani/pedi stuff (DIY or otherwise), a massage (again, either a gift certificate or something she or a partner can use for her). Also, maybe a fun movie or book, some magazines, some fancy decaf coffee, hot cocoa, or tea (but not herbal tea, which can be shady for pregnant ladies). And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. 1 agrees Reply I agree with things that make her feel pretty – Zoya is a great brand of nail polish that doesn't have the yucky chemicals in it. It's safe for pregnant mamas (and little ones). So maybe put together a gift basket with some nail polish, some nice lotion, some fun jewelry, a book? 2 agree Reply If she's feeling low, a funny movie would probably be great. Other ideas- Belly is a line of skincare products that is specifically for pregnant and nursing mothers, and it's a great line. These are nice gifts, and of course a prenatal massage gift certificate would be extra nice also. 1 agrees Reply When I'm feeling low, I'm not really in the mood for a funny movie. Oftentimes they just highlight how depressed I am, rather than cheering me up. I've actually found that finding intense movies with funny lines is better than comedies, and often when life if throwing lots of curve balls a movie or TV show that focuses on non-real-life problems can be very relaxing. I have about 6 weeks of Glee to catch up on because Real Life has been dramatic enough for me, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer is totally Out There enough to be relaxing even if it's not any less "drama." 1 agrees Reply It doesn't matter how shitty my day is, there are certain things I can watch that will make me giddy like a 4 year old girl. Mostly nostalgic stuff. Like Lois & Clark <3 1 agrees Reply -A good book, or a few magazines. -Lotion or body care products,but be careful with strong scents, in case of nausea or allergy -Fuzzy socks, they are always nice for swollen hurting feet and great to take to the hospital too. -Snacks, sweet and salty were my thing. -Gift voucher's I love the idea of a cleaning service. I would avoid a Target gift card because that will likely go to the baby, and what woman in late pregnant wants to go on a shopping spree? One other thing- When Our Daughter was born we were given a small potted Rose plant that had not bloomed yet. We were able to plant it at home, so it is a constant reminder, ans something that will be with us for a while. 1 agrees Reply If she's having trouble sleeping (like I did my entire God Damn pregnancy) get her lavender scented things. Definitely try to make her feel pretty. Buy maternity clothes can be horribly depressing so it would be nice if you could buy her some. If she doesn't already have it I'd reccomend getting her the Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy. It certainly made me feel better when I was preggers and there are some laughs. I hope your friend feels better! 2 agree Reply Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy is, however, distinctly negative on the subject of unmedicated birth (it has one line on it, and it's something to the effect of, "you'd have to be crazy!"), so I don't recommend it as a gift to anyone who is strongly against getting an epidural, because, as we all know, that is how wars start. 2 agree Reply Massage, massage, massage. Pregnant women have all sorts of aches and pains and a free 30 mins or hour to get those addressed will help so much. I agree with a good book or movie too, but here's the tricky thing with that. Without being cliche' the hormones are raging and can quickly turn on her so choose carefully. For example, my husband and I decided to watch Up one night in my 3rd trimester. We were both a wibbling pool of goo and to this day, while we can acknowledge the greatness of the animation and story, we can't stand the movie because of the emotional turmoil it had on us at that time. Sadly, it's hard to predict what book or movie will do that to you. I will say that Away We Go is an awesome and funny movie with Maya Rudolph about a couple who is expecting. The best thing to help cheer her up though is hang out with her. Being pregnant can throw you into such a lonely spot especially if you haven't been around a pregnant person really or don't know any parent types. Hang out with her and try to steer conversations to things you'd talk about before she got pregnant so she can feel a bit normal. I got bad at initiating contact with my friends during pregnancy, but if they contacted me, I'd always answer or return their calls. It wasn't that I was trying or wanted to ignore them but it seemed if something didn't smack me in the face to pay attention to it I just had no awareness of it at all. If that makes sense at all. 1 agrees Reply Definitely. Visits. I dropped off the face of the planet while pregnant. Then everyone dropped off the face of the planet after the baby was born. God I miss seeing another adult besides my husband… 2 agree Reply Oh goodness yes to the massage! I got a prenatal massage and it was amazing!! Going swimming made me feel surprisingly awesome too 1 agrees Reply When I was pregnant, the freaking grocery store had a TV that was playing Cars, of all things, and watching the scene where Lightning goes back and pushes the other car over the finish line made me break down in tears right there! So I guess my point is: NO PIXAR FOR PREGGOES. 1 agrees Reply Oh! I have that problem with Up, too. I saw it when my daughter was A Wee Babe, and I have had limited faculties for explaining why I hate that movie so much. 1 agrees Reply I watched that movie totally not pregnant or a parent. It made me cry from the fear that I'll wind up like them – never traveling to all the wonderful places I dream of visiting with my husband. 1 agrees Reply I totally agree about the movie Up. I suggested it should be called Down, Way, Way Down. I watched it when I was about 19 weeks pregnant AND my beloved cat was dying of cancer AND it was just before Christmas AND my partner's sister had called drunk to b**** me out about not coming to their place for Christmas because of the dying cat. The movie just about put me over the edge. 1 agrees Reply If you're buying a gift certificate for massage, shop around and make sure the massage therapist you're purchasing it from is A.) properly licensed and B.) trained in prenatal massage. Some who aren't trained in working with pregnant women won't do so (because of liability issues) and it would be such a bummer if you friend weren't able to use her gift until postpartum! (Although I think postpartum massage is a PERFECT and frequently overlooked gift as well!) 1 agrees Reply Movie tickets! In the months after my daughter was born, going to the movies was one of things I missed the most. 1 agrees Reply I was really lucky when I was pregnant and a lot of people gave me some great stuff for me to enjoy. A pregnancy massage (especially in the third trimester) is a godsend. Everything aches all the time. I was given pregnancy massages a few times (my husband is an RMT), and I loved those more than anything else. I totally agree with mani/pedi as well, it was always a nice way to relax and just enjoy some time alone with someone else pampering you. 1 agrees Reply When I was pregnant, I wanted to still feel feminine and beautiful (which sometimes felt impossible). I wanted pretty smelling soaps and lotions and I would have LOVED if someone would have paid for a trip to the hair salon! Also, my mom used to make us (my husband and I) dinners (which was a lifesaver because I didn't feel like cooking in the 100 degree heat and my husband's speciality in cooking is black toast). Movie tickets would also be nice, maybe a gift certificate to a good place to eat too. 1 agrees Reply What would be awesome right now (@ 7 1/2 months and crazy with dissertation proposal): – Pedicure, because I of course haven't had a chance to find a good place. – Take me out to dinner, because the hubby and I are watching our budget and dinners out are fairly rare. – Some type of planned activity. I'm not taking time for myself right now, and I know I need to. If someone gave me craft supplies, they'd go in the craft closet. If someone would set up a craft afternoon, I'd be in hog heaven. 1 agrees Reply If you could either send food or a gift card for a place that delivers, that would be awesome! I'm 7 months pregnant and in NO MOOD to prepare a meal. If you live nearby, bring food and see if there's anything you can do for her around the house (if she lets you). I wouldn't want my best friend doing my laundry or cleaning my bathroom, but walk my dog please! Amazon.com gift cards are also fairly awesome because you can buy ANYTHING with those. And, you know, flowers would be nice (as long as she's not allergic). 1 agrees Reply This! I am in the same position as Julie (7 months – don't want to cook and the dog needs walking) and all of her suggestions sound lovely. 1 agrees Reply Weleda is a skincare company from Germany that is all natural and safe for pregnancy. I got a few of their products as a gift when I was newly pregnant and LOVE their stuff! Careful when buying scented products as some preggers can't stand certain smells. Weleda has a line for sensitive skin that is fragrance free (it says Almond on the packaging) and so awesome! You're so sweet to do this for your friend, she'll really appreciate it. 1 agrees Reply Earth Mama Angel Baby also has lotions and teas that are safe for pregnancy. I practically lived on their heartburn tea during third trimester. Ditto all the mani/pedi/massage suggestions, although do doublecheck that they work with pregnancy women–I got a gift certificate for a hot stone massage, which sounded fantastic but I couldn't do it while pregnant. Light essential oils are PROBABLY okay, especially lavender and citrus. When my sense of smell was the worst, I sprayed down my entire house with lavender every day. I also love the suggestion of pretty accessories like necklaces, scarves, hats etc. 1 agrees Reply I highly second this company and comment. Earth Mama Angel Baby makes amazing pregnant mamma stuff including their teas for third trimester etc etc. Also- Try really fun drinks. We are a social couple and always have people over for drinks and I am stuck with tea or juice. My friend brought over sparkling grape juice to the last party we had (I am 7 months pregnant) and I just about cried I was so happy to have something fancy in a wine glass (My husband felt really bad that he hadn't though of it). So- fancy hot chocolates (instant!), sparking juices, virgin mojito etc. mixes so she can switch it up a little. 1 agrees Reply OMG this. I can't even imagine how sad I'm going to be when I have to stop drinking when the IUD comes out. I love cocktails, but actually I love a lot of virgin cocktails too. Something to make a former cocktail lover not feel left out would be awesome. 1 agrees Reply Bedroom slippers are always nice. Comfy before baby and especially nice for the hospital visit. Bringing over lunch and eating at home with her is always awesome- I was so swollen that walking far was a hardship and someone bringing me home a meal from my favorite restaurant was the best present I got (good food and great company). 1 agrees Reply Lots of great ideas already! I second beauty stuff (especially the kind of indulgent things one typically doesn't buy for oneself, like scrubs or bath salts or something fancy) and snacky foods. I got obsessed with Pad Thai noodles in my last month of pregnancy, so I might also recommending finding out if there is one magical food that the lady in question craves, and get it to her! I was so grateful to the friend who showed up out of the blue one night with a bag of take-out Thai. 1 agrees Reply if I had to pick one thing I have recieved as a gift that I would give to pregnant women everywhere it is a glamourmom nursing tank. I loved that it was long enough to fit while I was pregnant but I LIVE in them now that she is here. They are about 40$ which is a lot of cash for me right now but if I could, I would buy 10 more. I also recieved a bunch of amazon gift cards which may seem like a cop out of a gift but let me tell you, at 2am when I was awake and miserable with swelling and peeing and hugeness I could shop for baby things and that made me happy. Ok, I will put together my ideal care package for you… 1.Glamourmom nursing tank 2.Large yummy scented candle 3.Bag of epsomsalts for the bath tub 4.Pretty earrings (I always feel better with some ear bling) 5.Bottle of http://ananeoskincare.com/Skin_Body_Apothecary.php the winter balancing oil was the only thing I didn't develop an allergy to in my 3rd trimester INCLUDING my Wedding ring 🙁 6.Bar of really great chocolate 7.Letter of support/admiration The letters I got from a few friends really meant a lot. Sometimes being pregnant and feeling sad and tired made me feel very isolated. You're a good friend. Good luck and have fun! 1 agrees Reply Lots of good ideas here i wish I'd had a belly band earlier in pregnancy, but I didn't know about it. They let you wear your regular pants longer and help with the transition into and out of maternity pants. I found it really frustrating to have to replace all my clothes. Definitely keep on touch with your friend. I had nausea for a long time, and rarely felt well enough to go out. I really missed my friends. Old fashioned letters might be nice. 1 agrees Reply What GREAT ideas! I have been serching for a perfect gift for my pregnant best friend and your ideas are by far the best Ive found, I think a personalised letter to her would totaly make her happy! Thanks for sharing! 1 agrees Reply I'm still miserable 7 months into my pregnancy- thanks to hyperemesis- I'd LOVE to get some none baby related things! Nice chocolates, a gift card to my favourite place for a treat ( a local bakery, or a smoothie/ice cream shop), movie tickets, anything to get out for a day. I hate being confined at home because I'm always sickly. It makes the depression worse. If you live close by, could you maybe take her out for the day? Fresh air and a great friend really go a long way! 1 agrees Reply I agree on the massage. In fact generally I give a gift certificate for a prenatal massage as a baby shower gift…it doesn't have to be ALL about the baby! I would do as was suggested above and research a place that is well-versed in working with pregnant women and has great reviews. I will also say that the pedicure that I gifted myself two weeks before delivery was a GREAT idea. Looking at my pretty toes actually made me feel much better! I would stay *far* away from anything scented since you may not know what she is sensitive to these days–hell SHE may not know until she smells it that she can't stand it. Soft slipper socks are always great. I bought some of my favorite prego clothes at Target…I think it was the Be Maternity stuff that I really liked. Otherwise…anything to make her feel non-frumpy and comfortable. Watch a movie with her or make her some dinner. It's really nice how thoughtful you are too…the friends who "get it" are priceless! 1 agrees Reply I'm not sure if this will help but all I wanted for myself when I was pregnant was a back massage and a cute pair of shoes that was comfortable and that would actually fit my huge feet. When I'm not pregnant I'm a size US womens 11 so I really had a hard time with this. 1 agrees Reply I might be one of the few, but I HATE receiving bath/body products as gifts… I'm really picky with what I use, so I'd rather buy them myself. But a mani/pedi/massage would be wonderful. Also love the idea of food/gift cards for delivery places. Frozen meals that only need to be thrown into the oven/microwave are AWESOME – not just when I'm too pregnant to stand for long, but also when the baby comes and I'm dead tired. Gift cards for grocery delivery sites are also awesome – especially for fresh fruits and veggies. 1 agrees Reply definitely – I've lost count of the number of well-meaning "indulge yourself" gifts I've had to give to someone else or throw away because I have super sensitive skin. 1 agrees Reply I'm 9 months pregnant. I would like: Food, a pedicure, massage (I have finally started to swell and it's TERRIBLE), a trip to a swimming pool (pregnant swimming is the BEST, I only wish I didn't have to go to the public pool), gift cards for clothes(for after), more food, a cleaning service voucher (I DON'T want to clean my house and i know I need to), chocolate. I would hate getting bath products and scented things unless they were things I already like/had. So if you go that route, try to see what she already has/likes. 1 agrees Reply If you're close enough to her, find out what's actually making her depressed and try to address it. A lot gets blamed on hormones, but there is generally a very valid explanation (or trigger) for depression during pregnancy. Does she feel isolated from her pre-pregnancy friends? Is being pregnant messing with her self image? Is she having trouble dealing with the transition to motherhood (which can completely suck, and I don't just mean in a physical, crazy hormone kind of way)? There's really not a good blanket answer to this. Find her need and fill it. 1 agrees Reply I totally agree. All preggos are not created equal! There are a lot of great suggestions here but it really depends on your friend's individual situation and needs. I would add general fatigue, physical complaints or pregnancy/impending parenting-related struggles at work or with her partner or family to the list to things that could be part of what's bringing her down. For example, in my case I got really bummed out by failing to make healthy eating choices, so indulgent sweet treats would have just been another temptation but a fancy fruit/nut basket would have been nice. Some mamas might be isolated and stir-crazy and want to get out, but my back pain was so bad I didn't enjoy anything in a chair for a couple months, so restaurant gift cards or movie tickets wouldn't have helped. I'd just call and say, "Hey, pregnancy is hard/ How is it going for you?/ I'd like to do something nice for you / What do you think of these ideas or is there anything else you'd like?" 1 agrees Reply a footspa!!! with lightly scented oil. i used mine soooooo much after a friend bought one for me during my first pregnancy. i worked at starbucks at the time and i was on my feet all day. i filled the foot spa with cold water and soaked/vibrated my feet to help ease swelling in the foot/ankle area. it felt really great! i have never had a mani or pedi, but i suppose those thing would be awesome as well (except the fumes about kill me when i walk by a nail salon even NOT pregnant). 1 agrees Reply Burts bees rosemary mint leg cream is magic esp in third trimester. Their belly cream is nixe too if you dont want ro smell like cocoa butter. Queen helene makes a 100% cocoa butter stick. first trimester requires reeds ginger products for nausea… They kept me alive. Smut magazines. Key lime cheesecake. Stuffed grape leaves. 1 agrees Reply If you really want to go all out, a gift certificate for house cleaning. Personally, I had gestational diabetes, and was really low on money, so any time anyone splurged on expensive sugar-free candy or ice cream or any kind of treat for me, I appreciated it so, so much. Especially because I lived in a rural area and that kind of thing was really hard to find in an actual brick and mortar store. A massage is also a great idea. 1 agrees Reply LaVanila Laboratories is a great all-natural skincare line, as is 100% Pure, but be very careful buying a pregnant woman anything scented. The only "scent" I could stand during my whole pregnancy was LaVanila "Pure Vanilla" perfume. I would spray it on the inside of my wrists and inhale the scent while I was on my knees praying to the porcelain god at work (I was nauseous throughout my entire pregnancy). 1 agrees Reply Most of these ideas are for women later on in their pregnancy, but hormones don't always hit in the third trimester! I'm just hitting 15 weeks and the past month has been a roller coaster of irrational crying and feeling insecure about a belly that looks pudgy, not pregnant, even though my weight gain has yet to be significant. I don't need a massage. I don't need my house cleaned. What I would like is -things to make me feel pretty (earrings, cute socks, stretchy skirts or wrap skirts) -lotions and things for itchy, stretching skin -something easy to care for! i find that working in a garden and caring for my indoor potted plants is a wonderful distraction – and it improves my confidence, because at least i can raise/care for something -ditto the non-junk food! i would love nice fruit/berries and snazzy beverages without alcohol or excessive caffeine. maybe a gift basket with an all natural fizzy fruit drink, some fresh fruit, roasted nuts, etc (avocados, almonds, berries are all pregnant lady superfoods!) 1 agrees Reply I didn't go out much while I was pregnant (and I am not going out much this pregnancy either) so I would have loved certificates for museums, or riding tours, or a lunch. It would have been even better if a friend or family member was able to accompany me too. Just nothing too rough. I would love too see the Hershey's Chocolate Museum this pregnancy, and maybe an art gallery or a garden. 1 agrees Reply I am not pregnant yet, but having had a friend go through a rough pregnancy (twins), I think the first rule is VISIT, the second is ASK WHAT SHE NEEDS and the third is…think adult lady stuff, not cutesy pregnancy stuff. For instance, my friend couldn't fit in her car and just really needed someone to run errands like dry cleaning, post office, picking up birthday or thank you cards, etc. So I would drop by, make a list with her, do errands, and come back home with her dry cleaning or whatever and a healthy lunch to eat together. Then clean up, take out the trash, and make another date so she'd have something to look forward to. Massage, yes – even better if the therapist will come to her home. My sister-in-law LOVED prenatal yoga, having never done yoga before, so getting a gift card and walking or driving her to the first session or meeting up after is nice. Housecleaning – yes, if she's having a lot of nausea or pain, but ask about that gently because it could make her feel inadequate. Gently remind her partner, if she has one, to clean and to take her on a date or make a take-out night special (gift card is nice for that). Encourage her to go online and hold not-pregnancy-related books or audiobooks at the library – then you pick them up, and return them for her when due. Even children's books are nice to give her something to look forward to. My sister-in-law got her Kindle while pregnant and loved it while nursing, too. (can you tell I'm a librarian?) My friend also appreciated going places or thinking about things she could do after the babies came, because that was the part that was REALLY terrifying her -like, "yeah, I'm uncomfortable and don't feel like an individual now, but how will I feel when there are 2 helpless people around and leaving the house is a chore?" So we'd take trips to the local coffee shop, park, or library and see how new parents did it. 1 agrees Reply Nursing wear! Your friend is going to realize shortly that she has nothing to wear. You can help her. 1 agrees Reply They're uber expensive, but I've always wanted one of those edible arrangements. Fruit in flower shapes. Mmmmm …. Really hoping I get one for my labor/birth. A prenatal massage would also be awesome, or prenatal chiropractors appointments. Your back and hips and everything can get so sore during pregnancy, massage and chiropractic can feel like heaven. I second suggestions for mani pedis too, but some salons use not so great chemicals. You could maybe find a local henna artist or belly caster, she could get some art done to glorify her in her pregnant state. I think sometimes we think so much about the baby and neglect the woman and the work she's doing to create the baby, maybe it would be nice to glorify her role in the pregnancy, rather than doing something that's not pregnancy related at all? I don't know, because I don't know the whole situation with your friend, but I thought it might be an idea. Maternity photography was something that really boosted my self esteem when I was pregnant, don't know how much you're looking to spend but buying her a photo shoot might be nice. 1 agrees Reply 6 months pregnant right now, and my wishlist is as follows: – Foot spa for my aching feet. – Delicious and HEALTHY treats. My SIL introduced me to date and coconut rolls the other day that honest to goodness tasted like gingerbread cookie dough. Date and coconut were the only ingredients. MORE OF THIS PLEASE! – Something natural to me to soak my sore, sensitive skin and aching muscles in the bath in. IE. Powdered milk and generic brand honey would be heavenly. – A massage!! – Someone to fold the laundry/scrub the shower/walk the dogs/clean out the fridge. My husband can only do so much! – A new book or 5. – Craft supplies. Hope that helps! 1 agrees Reply How about an "evening in" gift pack of some sort? Get some takeout gift cards, or give a casserole to eat, some sort of entertainment, like netflix or iTunes gift cards, or lend her some of your DVDs. Supply some snacks. 1 agrees Reply Never been pregnant, but I have been depressed. Reading and/or watching things was tough because my mind was going to all kinds of places where it didn't need to go. Watching Castaway with Tom Hanks caused a genuine panic attack- the plane crash! the isolation! The abandonment! Dealing with an abscessed tooth using the blade of an ice skate + losing a volleyball for a friend = WEEP and DOOM and BRAIN PFFFT ZOMG WTF HALP. However, my boyfriend gave me some Dave Barry books that quite possibly helped save my life in that dark time. They are all at once about nothing and everything and so damn funny. They are the ultimate in "light reading." 1 agrees Reply I would have loved a haircut gift certificate while I was pregnant. I had a freaking mane by midway through and it was out of control, and I couldn't afford to get it trimmed or tinted professionally. This may sound silly but a shower mirror is awesome too. Helps keep the wookie downstairs under control, if you know what I'm sayin'. When a family member got pregnant I put together a basket of homemade chapsticks and packets of homemade foot soak, as well as a bottle of unscented grapeseed oil (with a tiny bottle of teatree in case she wanted to add it) with a fancy little calligraphed card with written instructions on how to use everything, and notes on proper rubbing techniques for pregnant bellies. 1 agrees Reply Lingerie! I gave my friend a lingerie gift basket, complete with a babydoll that had a slit down the front so she could wear it with the baby belly. It included the babydoll, a short satin robe, garter, massage oil candle (a candle that melts into massage oil), and a gift card to Fredericks. It was a HIT! 1 agrees Reply I haven't read all the comments, so I don't know if this has already been suggested, but the best thing I got as a gift while I was pregnant was a massage. I had hyperemesis and by about five months, I was really worn down and depressed from being sick for so long. My friend and husband worked together to get me a gift certificate for a prenatal massage, made a surprise appointment for me and drove me to and from the masseuse. The actual massage was lovely, but it was secondary to the thought: it was just such a huge, huge emotional boost to know that people cared enough about me to go to all that trouble to take care of me. 1 agrees Reply For my friend's shower, I got her four bottles of wine (two reds, one white, one sparkling) and labeled each one by tying on pretty little tags that said "open me the first time…". You can make it specific to what your friend likes, but for mine I put: 1. Bottle of read #1: "Open me the first time you and your husband make plans to go out and the baby-sitter cancels." 2. Bottle of red #2: "Open me the first time you dare to dress in nice clothing again and the baby instantly poops or throws up on you." 3. Bottle of white: "Open me the first time you are able to have a ladies night (I also suggest you make hubby cook for you guys)." 4. Bottle of sparkling: "Open me when you finally feel like you've got a handle on this whole motherhood thing…or if the baby sleeps through the night…either one works." 2 agree Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.