OTHER GIFT GUIDES:
- For Her – Under $100 (2013)
- For Him – Under $100 (2013)
- For the Traveler (2013)
- For the Foodie / Host / Hostess (2013)
As an expecting mother, and someone who is a bit on the green/eco-friendly/practical/minimalist side, I hesitate to recommend anything I either haven’t tried, or think is superfluous and wouldn’t really go over well with every pregnant woman.
I do not want to encourage anyone to give useless baby trinkets or gifts that they might not find useful in the slightest, and each mother will expect and want different things, so here are my personal recommendations that I consider quite practical for expecting mothers (most of which, I have purchased):
1. Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting – $16 — An excellent book. I’d recommend this as a parenting book over any others. It’s easy, and fun to read.
I do not agree 100% with everything she says, but it is helpful to read some common sense in a sea of parenting books that are designed to make you feel as though you should turn into a slave to your children to give them a good start in life.
2. Oemi Baby’s The Giving Blanket (Swaddling Blankets) – $40 for 2 — I bought these, so I can personally recommend them. Organic cotton, made and designed in Canada, and they’re extremely soft, stretchy and look perfect to swaddle any child, or to use as a blanket as they get older.
They can also use it a their doudou which is a security blanket of sorts to comfort the child.
You need at least 2. One to swaddle the baby while the other is in the wash.
3. Wilfred Free Aritizia Bruni Dress – $60 — I don’t know if you have Aritizia worldwide, but if you are in Canada you are in luck. ANY dress of this kind of material is a godsend for a pregnant woman.
I personally hate maxi dresses because it hampers my legs, and I feel like I can’t walk comfortably without feeling the fabric wrap around my legs each time (I take long strides). This dress is a midi dress, is well covered (crew neck), and stretches. Plus it really shows off the baby bump.
Ever since buying this dress, I have seen plenty of pregnant women toting the same style. It’s chic maternity wear.
Their other styles? Klum, Upton, Lisiere, Yasmin, Dannau, Kruse, Harlow.
I loved the material so much, I bought 2 Bruni dresses, 1 Lisere and 1 Upton (the latter two have long-sleeves, and a v-neck and crewneck).
4. Maternity Leggings – $24 — Even if she doesn’t wear tights, something that covers the belly and fits comfortably like a legging is a godsend. She will find a use for them, trust me.
5. Maiga Cocoa and Shea Butter – $15 — Great for stretch marks. Don’t be fooled by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and the other things they sell in store like Bio-Oil. What you need is a good, moisturizing natural nut butter to spread all over your belly and back so that the stretch marks are limited.
This stuff spreads on easily (well, easier) than pure cocoa butter (which I have to melt in the microwave).
6. Longchamp Le Pliage Medium – $145 or so — When you’re pregnant, the last thing you want to do is carry a heavy bag. I’ve been relying more and more on my Longchamp Pliage as of late, because it carries a bottle of water, and all the stuff I need without being overly heavy (from having too much thick, supple leather on it or the hardware).
Bonus points for the bag if it also ends up being a purse she can use as a mother, and if you REALLY want to buy a double-duty item, get a crossbody Longchamp Sac Reporter Le Pliage Tote.
The Medium is a good size for me, so that’s the size I’d recommend.
7. A Spa Gift Certificate — Your back aches, your knees hurt, you feel like you’re carrying a growing watermelon in front and it throws your balance totally off.
Giving a pregnant woman a chance to be massaged and relieved of all her aches and pains is the way to her heart (especially if she is not the type to buy spa certificates to begin with).
8. Baby Photography Package — Give her a certificate to see a professional photographer who will document and capture the best of the pregnancy. I see plenty of my friends doing this with their babies (before they arrive of course), and the photos are just beautiful and precious.
9. Maternity Pillow – $60 — I didn’t buy a specific maternity pillow, but I commandeered two king-size natural rubber pillows to place on either side of me when I sleep (kind of like a sleeping fort of sorts), so that I can choose to roll over to the left or the right when I start to get sore from sleeping on one side.
They tell you in the pregnancy books to avoid sleeping on your back or front, and to try and sleep on your LEFT side, so that the oxygen has the best flow to get to the baby.
You can also go with something fancier, like a pillow meant for expecting mothers, so that it supports the growing bump (and its weight!) as she sleeps on her side.
10. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask – $55 — This organic beauty line is on my list to try.
If I didn’t already have a cleanser, moisturizer, skin tonics, I’d try out this Tata Harper line for the products.
It’s pretty pricey, and is a luxurious indulgence to be sure, but even pregnant women want to feel and look pretty. She may also be fighting baby hormones breaking out all over her face (as I am), and this would help soothe and clear up her skin.
If you want more beauty product ideas, I am still loving and using the Holistic Vanity Line by Pure and Simple for my cleanser, moisturizer and skin tonics.
I’ve also discovered Marie Veronique’s Face Oil and their SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen as well.
My face has become super soft after using all of the above product lines, and of course, cleaning with my trusty Clarisonic Mia Brush once every 3 or so days (my skin has become rather sensitive to daily exfoliating / brushing, I can only use it 2-3 times a week now).