What should I bring when visiting a friend in the maternity ward?

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For the record, Oreos are TOTALLY acceptable to me. Photo by mihoda, used under Creative Commons license.
I am at the stage of my life where friends are becoming parents, and I want to be a supportive friend. Last weekend, when I got a text that it was go time and mom was being induced, I found myself excitedly asking, “What do I bring to the hospital?” I ended up taking Oreos for waiting family members and a tiny bouquet for mom — figuring they could throw it away instead of taking it home if hands were full of new child paraphernalia.

So I was wondering: for those who deliver in a hospital, what did you appreciate guests bringing — or NOT bringing — when they visited? — Alissa

Comments on What should I bring when visiting a friend in the maternity ward?

  1. Why do people HAVE to visit just after someone gives birth? I made it clear to everyone that visitors were not welcome. It sounds mean, but I had a difficult delivery and my son was having a hard time nursing. We needed that bonding time. I think visits should wait until after everyone is settled at home.

  2. Wait till they come home to visit unless specifically asked, in that case food is a good idea. So many of DH’s relatives visited right after DD was born, it was tiring. I wanted to spend the time with my daughter not DH’s relatives. When you visit later, do something helpful so the new Mom doesn’t feel like she has to entertain you. It was when DD was a few weeks old that I really wanted visitors. DH was at work, and I was lonely and couldn’t keep up with chores.

  3. To address the problem of people posting pictures and announcements on Facebook before the new parents have a chance, my friend set her FB page so nobody could post comments or add/tag pictures starting the week or two before she went into labor. (She also did this when she told a few people that she was pregnant but hadn’t told everyone yet.) It doesn’t stop people from posting it on their own FB page, but at least you won’t come home to pictures of your new baby and congratulations from people all over YOUR page. And hopefully those people who are obnoxious enough to post your baby announcement on their own page aren’t also friends with all of your friends and family. (If they are, unfriend them NOW!)

  4. Ask! It depends so much on the person and the circumstances. But with us for example, I had my daughter at 7:30 pm and pretty much hadn’t had anything to eat that entire day (they wouldn’t let me) and by the time I was in my room the cafeteria was closed. We had some snacks and stuff, but the last thing I wanted was another granola bar or or cookie or anything, I wanted a REAL meal, like steak and a baked potato.

    We didn’t have hardly anyone around to come visit, but one friend did bring a cute baby outfit and that was nice. Another suggestion I would have if you know she will be breastfeeding is lanolin. I didn’t bring any or even try it for months, but OMG best stuff everrrr!

  5. I’m having my first baby in June and if all goes well, at home. I think what I’ll appreciate most is freezer lasagnes and casseroles. Also the advise about too many people is good to know! My five closets friends live about 2 minutes away and will want to be there ASAP. It’ll be wise to tell everyone to ask us first or make a visiting schedule or something.

  6. The last thing I anted was another gender-themed nicknack from the hospital shop.my favourite gift was a nice tin of special tea!

  7. I once brought a friend who was having baby #2 some flowers — and a baby doll for the older child, so she could have her own baby while Mommy had the new baby. My grandmother did the same thing for me when I was little, and I still remember carrying my baby doll in a backwards backpack like it was a snuggly!

  8. Hey guys, I’m a new parent and I’m trying to get my three month little one to sleep longer during night. Currently I’m fortunate to have four hours rest each night. Regards

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