Items for Pregnant Women
Thrills, fears, and nursery decor decisions aren’t quite all-consuming during pregnancy. In those long nine months, swollen ankles and back cramps require their fair share of attention too.
Whether you’re stocking up on necessities for your own pregnancy or looking to buy a gift for a mom-to-be, focus on comfort and health. With these two areas covered, an expectant mother can devote her time to dreaming about meeting her new bundle of joy.
A pregnant woman can never have too many pillows. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recommends placing pillows behind the lower back and under the legs when sitting down; they’ll help ease back pain and leg swelling.
Sleeping in pregnancy also calls for plenty of cushy pillows. One or two between the legs makes side sleeping comfy. Compression stockings might also help with ankle swelling, says Dr. Roger W. Harms of MayoClinic.com. A pair of cushy, large slippers soothe tired, swollen feet, and a maternity robe offers comfort as well. It’s common for pregnant women to feel warm, so a fan for every room and cold compresses are useful to have.
Food takes on a new role in a pregnant woman’s life as cravings, nausea and the baby’s development influence meal choices. Give a pregnant friend frozen meals filled with calcium, iron and folic acid; these are three of the most important nutrients during pregnancy, says KidsHealth.org. Leafy green vegetables, tofu and dried beans are all packed with these ingredients. A box of ginger tea is beneficial to have on hand, since many pregnant women find ginger helps ease nausea. A pregnant woman needs prenatal vitamins too; if you’re expecting, ask your doctor to advise you about which to take.
Staying active during pregnancy is important, with your doctor’s permission. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends pregnant women get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. A prenatal yoga DVD, resistance bands and maternity active wear help keep an expectant mom moving comfortably.
Baby Prep Items
Every pregnant woman should care for herself, but much of her time will naturally be spent preparing for her impending arrival. Books may help soothe fears and answer the questions every pregnant woman has. If you’re giving the gift to a friend, buy her titles that helped you during pregnancy; if you’re the one expecting, ask new moms for recommendations.
A pregnancy journal is also useful in documenting the nerves, excitement and physical changes happening. Having the hospital bag packed and ready to go long before the due date is one less thing to stress about; a pretty patterned tote bag and items like miniature toiletries, maternity underwear and a going-home outfit for baby are all must-haves.
Some skin changes typically accompany pregnancy, says the American Pregnancy Association. Moisturizing lotion helps keep itchiness at bay, and if the cream contains vitamin E or alpha hydroxy acids, it may help minimize stretch marks (or at least that’s what some people believe; as the APA says, “it never hurts to try.”)
Pregnancy should be a time to feel beautiful, but that’s sometimes hard when your body is changing. Any pregnant woman will appreciate items that will always fit and make her feel attractive, like soft scarves, new earrings and sexy lip gloss. Another item every pregnant woman needs is the gift of massage. If you’re the one expecting, pick up some massage oil for your partner to use on you; give a pregnant pal a gift certificate for a session with a certified prenatal massage therapist. According to the APA, massage can regulate hormones, ease nerve pain and reduce swelling.
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