What gifts can we send our pregnant friend for herself, not the baby?

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All photos by Angie Tabaczynski.
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.


Here are a few of our favorite ideas:


Maternity clothing can be a real bitch.


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)
Zoya nail polish (lower toxicity than most nail products)
Modcloth always has an awesome scarf collection.
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?

Comments on What gifts can we send our pregnant friend for herself, not the baby?

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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!)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Nursing wear! Your friend is going to realize shortly that she has nothing to wear. You can help her.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.”

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.”

  16. Something to help mum celebrate her pregnancy, and treasure the memory of those flutters, kick and hiccups forever. #blessed I received a chiming pregnancy necklace amongst all the other practical stuff, I absolutely loved it.

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