Trying to figure out the things a new mom needs for herself, from the postpartum essentials to the more meaningful gift ideas?
There are lots of options when it comes to gifts for new moms that aren’t for the baby, all of which you’ll find in this post.
These postpartum essentials are geared towards new moms, but in reality, the rest of this post is full of things that all moms need as well. And yes, even partners, too!
Things a New Mom Needs for Herself: The Postpartum Essentials
These are the basic things new moms need after birth, specifically the first couple of weeks postpartum.
Whether you’re a new mom looking to be well-prepared for life with baby, or you’re a friend wanting baby shower gift ideas and thoughtful things to do for your mom friend, these tips/recommendations are what you need!
Side note: most of the following suggestions are links to Amazon, making it really easy to save to your wishlist or baby registry. I add Amazon links because it’s one of the most widely used shopping platforms and because they have a great baby registry welcome box that these products can be added to.
Postpartum care kit
A postpartum care kit (also called a new mom care package) is a bundle of things that a new mom needs after giving birth.
Traditionally, a postpartum care kit has postpartum and breastfeeding essentials that are meant to help mom heal and rest while in the hospital and in the first few weeks of coming home.
Each one is different and should be customized, but in general, the things that a postpartum care package should have are:
The Postpartum Recovery and Breastfeeding Essentials
- Disposable or cloth maternity pads
- Mesh underwear or adult briefs
- Perennial spray (even if it wasn’t a vaginal birth, things can still get sore down there thanks to hormones and the laboring process)
- Peri bottle
- Postpartum sitz bath kit
- Cooling breast pads
- Disposable or reusable nursing pads
- Which hazel rounds
- Perineal Cooling Pads or Padsicles (easy to DIY)
- Wet wipes (for when mom can’t shower)
- C-section cream
- Nipple cream
- Healthy snacks (that also increase breastmilk supply)
- Postpartum teas and breastfeeding teas (to help balance hormones, relieve stress, and increase or decrease milk supply)
- Healthy coffee crafted specifically pregnant and breastfeeding moms
- And/or coffee and caffeine alternatives (like Your Super and Rasa)
Self-Care Gifts for New Moms (and Postpartum Moms in General)
- Healthy skincare face masks
- Comfortable hair ties
- Dry shampoo
- Eye masks
- Coffee mug
- Water bottle (especially helpful for breastfeeding moms)
- Memory book/journal (there are also apps for this from Promptly Journals!)
- Refreshing facial mist (for when she can’t shower)
- Something entertaining (audiobook subscription, book, podcast recommendations, Spotify playlist…all the things that will keep her spirits up and help her not lose her mind)
- Maternity pajamas
- Maternity Robe
- Lighthearted maternity socks/slippers
| Related Reading: How to Fit Self-Care Into Your Schedule as a Busy Mom [5 Life-Changing Tips]
Prepped meals and snacks or resturaunt gift cards
Postpartum moms don’t have time or energy to cook all the time, and most moms agree that prepared meals and snacks are some of the best gifts you can give a postpartum mom.
Not only does this relieve stress, but it also helps parents keep their health a priority because they’ll have food that’s ready to go, which makes eating a lot easier to do when you’re caring for a baby all day long.
You can prepare or buy freezer meals that are already cooked and just need to be reheated. Make sure you ask the expecting parents about their food preferences and make note of things mom may not be able to eat or drink due to breastfeeding (like dairy).
Freezer meals are also a great option, especially ones that can go straight into the crockpot.
Another option is to purchase gift cards for their favorite restaurants or cooking subscriptions, both of which are still very helpful to new and postpartum parents.
Parents will be tired and strung out the first few weeks postpartum, and not having to worry about grocery shopping is a huge relief for them.
Simply delivering groceries or gifting something like a couple of DoorDash deliveries can make a huge difference.
If you’re delivering their groceries, make it easier on yourself by having them place their order online and offering to do store pickup for them, then drop off their groceries to them.
There’s also options like store delivery and Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Pantry (all of which you can gift).
Help with home management
Having a baby obviously takes a lot out of a mom, and then there’s everything that’s involved with taking care of a newborn. It’s exhausting, to say the least.
So, one of the most useful and thoughtful things you can do for a new mom (or any mom who just had a baby) is to help with household tasks.
If helping with the home management yourself isn’t possible, paying for a cleaning service is another thoughtful purchase for parents if they’re comfortable with it.
Whether it’s her first or fifth, moms need a break! Offering to take the baby or babysit an older sibling will help relieve stress from always being in mom mode.
Even if she’s not ready to let her baby out of her sight, having someone else there to hold the baby while you and mom visit is still helpful.
Just remember that this is about what she needs and what she is comfortable with. She may want to sleep, clean, shower, or just lounge around without having a baby to tend to, which is all fine.
Wellbeing support (physical, mental, and emotional)
It takes a lot to physically and mentally recover from pregnancy and childbirth. There’s the healing, the hormonal imbalances, the breastfeeding, the lack of sleep, and transitioning into motherhood.
Providing wellbeing support for new and postpartum moms looks like giving useful things, checking in with the parents often, respecting boundaries, knowing the signs of postpartum depression, anxiety, and rage — just to name a few.
It’s also about listening and being a safe space for a new mom to lean on.
Another way to offer support for new parents is to pay for counseling or outside support. There’s a lot of options these days that are both convenient and affordable, like online therapy or courses/online resources for postpartum moms.
If you don’t want to pay for these resources, sending the links to the parents is still showing some much-needed support and love!
Gifts for New Moms That Aren’t for the Baby (and are beyond the postpartum basics)
Maybe you want to go beyond the postpartum basics or the parents already have the essentials.
Here are some meaningful gift ideas for new moms that are both unique and useful that the new mom in your life will treasure.
If you want to spoil a new or postpartum mom, get her some little luxury gifts that have nothing to do with being a mom. They’re probably not going to be what everyone else is giving her but they’re useful and thoughtful.
Things like a robe, slippers, eye masks, velvet scrunchies, and so forth are things that she’ll be more than happy to receive and will help her feel better about herself.
Taking care of a baby all day is tiring and can get boring. One of the things a new mom needs for herself that people don’t usually think about is some entertainment and a way to stay awake during late-night feedings.
You can gift subscriptions to a streaming service like Hulu or Netflix, or Amazon Kindle, which includes audiobooks and more. There are also magazines and books that are always easy to gift.
Journaling can be therapeutic as well as be a way to look back on new mom and postpartum life for years to come.
Prompted journals are a great choice to gift because they make journaling easy, even when you’ve never journaled before or you have mom brain.
One of the best prompted journals for new and postpartum moms is the postpartum self-care journal from Promptly Journals. It’s a guided journal for the first twelve months postpartum and has sections with resources for postpartum moms, reminders, affirmations, and more.
Of course, blank journals are always a great gift, as well!
It’s hard to enjoy mom life when you’re always tired and just trying to survive with a baby. Having a memory book makes it easy to record moments and feelings that new parents normally forget.
There’s a lot of options when it comes to memory books for new moms, from prompted ones to digital apps and the right one depends on the parents.
The Childhood History Journal from Promptly Journals is a great option because it’s easy to use, beautiful, and can be used no matter the age of your child. There’s also a lot of baby memory books on Amazon, too.
Thoughtful Things to do for New Moms
Whether you want to show your support with acts of service or you don’t have money to buy a gift, here are some thoughtful things to do for a new mom that she’ll be thankful for.
Ask her what she needs or wants that has nothing to do with motherhood
It’s all too easy to forget who you are outside of motherhood, especially when you’re a newly postpartum mom.
It can make a huge difference to simply ask what a new or postpartum mom wants/needs that have nothing to do with motherhood.
Let her talk about life before baby if she wants to and be a safe space for her to grieve her life before becoming a mom. And of course, reminding her that she’s more than a mom is always encouraging.
Clean and cook
As mentioned already, it’s hard to keep up with cleaning and cooking when you’re taking care of a newborn and healing from childbirth.
Take some stress off mom and dad by offering to clean and cook so it’s one less thing that they worry about!
Take the baby
One of the most thoughtful things to do for a new mom is to offer to take the baby for a bit so she can get a break.
Even if you end up handing the baby back and forth in-between feedings, it’s still a really helpful thing to do and will be appreciated.
Take her out for lunch, shopping, or just a stroll
New and postpartum moms usually find themselves in a rut, especially in the Wintertime. Getting out of the house can help boost her mood and give her a break from everyday postpartum life.
Offer to take her out for lunch, to shop, or just go on a walk. Sure, she can do these things on her own, but it’s always nice to have company (especially if she’s dealing with postpartum anxiety or depression).
Take pictures of/for her
Another thoughtful thing to do for a new mom is to just take pictures of her and her baby because she’s probably not thinking about it.
Even if she takes pictures herself, having someone else do it means a lot and shows you care about capturing moments for their family to look back on. And let’s be honestâ€¦moms are usually the ones taking the pictures of/for everyone else, so it’s nice when someone does it for us!
Look for signs of Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, or Rage
By far the most thoughtful thing you can do for a postpartum mom is to be aware of the signs that she may be struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, or rage.
Most moms don’t know when they are experiencing symptoms, and many don”’t feel it’s safe to be honest about them even if they are aware. It”’s more common than people realize and can affect any mom at any point in the postpartum phase (but usually in the first year).
That’s why it’s so important to be a safe space for the new and postpartum moms in your life. By being aware of the signs and knowing how to help a mom with PPD, you can literally change or save her and her family’s life.
While you’re preparing things for the baby, whether it’s your first or fifth, you need to also be prepping for yourself. Not just the practical postpartum essentials — but the things that will make transitioning into motherhood easier on an emotional level.
The things that will remind you that you’re still more than a mom, help you keep your mental well-being a priority, and feel your best.
If you’re here looking for gift ideas for a new mom, know that being there for her is the most important and thoughtful you can do. But there’s also a lot of gift ideas, from postpartum care packages to little luxuries that you can support her with, too.
Ultimately, the things a new mom needs for herself go beyond the postpartum essentials and are unique to her, but the ideas in this post are a great starting point.