Going to a baby shower, but don’t want to give the same old thing? Want to give a gift that is thoughtful as well as useful? Make a gift basket! Here’s the complete guide to building the perfect breastfeeding gift basket, with what things to include and what things to avoid.
– A tube of lanolin. Wonderful for healing sore nipples.
– Nursing pads. There are a variety of brands out there, so choose wisely. Lansinoh makes a popular disposable nursing pad, as does Gerber. Or for the “earth mama,” look for some cloth nursing pads that she can throw in the wash and reuse. You can also make your own reusable nursing pads by layering and stitching together some soft flannel.
– A good breastfeeding book. I recommend “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding,” but there are many other good ones out there. This is especially good for the woman who has never nursed before and is full of questions.
– A gift card to her favorite maternity store. She is going to need at least one or two good nursing bras… put enough money on there that she can get something of good quality.
Other great items:
– A Boppy nursing pillow (or equivalent). These things are great for all kinds of things, not just nursing. Every mother should have one.
– A soft, removable, washable cover for the Boppy. Babies spit up frequently, and it’s gross — she’ll want to wash that out ASAP. Better yet, get two or three covers so she can use one while the others are in the laundry.
– A good hand pump. When shopping for a hand pump, don’t skimp on the price – you want to get a good quality one by a trusted brand. If she already has an electric pump, you could go with a hand pump by the same brand – the parts are often interchangeable. Medela and Avent are the most popular brands, and their breastpumps are top of the line. If, however, she’s expressed a desire to avoid pumping and bottles altogether, respect that. Not all moms need or want to pump.
– Button-top pajamas. So comfy for those nighttime feedings.
– Reusable hot/cold packs. Excellent for relieving engorgement pain, and in the event that she ever has a clogged milk duct or mastitis, these will help her clear it up.
– A nursing cover or shawl. Some mothers, especially first-time mothers, are a bit nervous about nursing in public. These covers can help ease her discomfort.
– A water bottle (for mom, not for baby). A nursing mother needs to stay well-hydrated, but it’s easy to forget to drink enough. It helps to have a bottle or jug that she can leave near her favorite nursing seat, so she can drink every time baby nurses.
– Oatmeal or oatmeal cookies. It sounds strange, but oatmeal is a lactogenic food, which means that it helps the body produce milk. Oatmeal and cookies are also fantastic comfort foods – and what new mom doesn’t need a little extra comfort?
– Contact information for her local La Leche League group, and local lactation consultants. She will likely need a lot of support, especially if there are problems early on, and these people are perfect for the job.
Things to avoid:
– Formula or formula coupons. A lot of well-meaning folks will give an expectant mother cans of formula “just in case.” But it’s not a good idea. At best, the mother may feel irritated and the formula will go to waste in the pantry. At worst, the mother may be tempted to use it during a rough period, and sabotage her milk supply.
– Pacifiers. Unless the mother specifically asks for them, don’t buy them for her baby. Pacifiers can cause nipple confusion, which can undermine milk supply and the breastfeeding relationship. The same goes for bottles – buy them only if specifically requested by the mother.
– Nipple shields. Again, they can cause nipple confusion, and should never be used unless absolutely necessary. A lactation consultant will be able to tell her if she needs to use one – don’t give it to her right off the bat.
Follow these guidelines, and you can create the perfect gift basket that any nursing mother will enjoy. Happy gifting!