Top 10 Gift Ideas for Mommy to Be

If you are anything like me, gift shopping feels like a daunting, almost miserable task.  I like to buy thoughtful, quality gifts that I know my friends will get good use out of, but let’s be real….the process of agonizing over what to buy, and then giving the gift without ever truly knowing if your friend liked it or not is something I’d rather avoid. One way to avoid such a predicament is to just give money, but that option feels too impersonal (although I do recommend giving money as a gift for newlyweds).  Even if you did give money, you most likely still agonize over how much money is appropriate…ushering in a new stage of unnecessary mental anguish.
In the past few months, a dozen of friends and family members have either gotten pregnant or given birth.  Every time I receive a pregnancy announcement, my excitement is immediately followed by an inner dialogue of, “Oh no, wait, what do I get them??” 

For those of you in my camp, I know you feel my pain. Fear no more, my friends, because I took it upon myself to end the gift shopping dilemma and consulted a broad spectrum of my mommy friends to pick their brains on what gifts they really loved getting.  From their very honest answers, I compiled a comprehensive list of the top tried and tested gifts for both expectant and new moms that will forever change your gift shopping game! 
For Expectant Moms:

(1) Ladies Only Retreat:  Just because the husband gets to do the “Babymoon” doesn’t mean the girlfriends can’t whisk away their mommy-to-be on a ladies only weekend getaway! Pre-natalette party anyone?  In the UAE, we are in no shortage of hotels that offer a variety of memorable experiences.  When Emirati Mom was expecting her first child, a group of her closest friends took her on a ladies only trip to the fun-filled Hilton Resort & Spa in Ras Al Khaimah.  If you think your friend would be interested in something more secluded and low key, you can take her to the private warm beaches of Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach. 

(2) Pre-natal massage:  Book your expectant friend a special prenatal massage to help alleviate those aches and pains. The Westin Abu Dhabi Heavenly Spa offers a “Joy” package for 525 AED, including a rose prenatal/postnatal massage and an express facial.  The Rosewood Hotel also offers a “Mother-to-Be” pre-natal massage for 750 AED.

(3) Babysitter duty:  If your expectant friend already has children, offer to play babysitter for a day (and for you A+ friends you can book her a mani/pedi at her favorite nail salon) so that your friend can just have a day to herself to relax and unwind. 
 
(4) Books: You are probably all familiar with the What to Expect When You Are Expecting series by Heidi Murkoff, but here are some other recommendations to get you started that would be a great addition to your expectant friend’s library:
    • The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger – This book can serve as your expectant friend’s comprehensive reference book, offering accurate and thorough information from conception to birth.  
    • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother’s Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Patty Aubery – As admitted by one of our moms, this book is guaranteed tear jerker, but in a good way! It will make your expectant friend excited about what is to come and will leave her feeling good about the huge life change.
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    • Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy – One of our moms said that, although the book is “gross!”, it gives expectant mothers some insight about what is happening to their body and makes them feel better about all the changes. 
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    • The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly by Amy Krouse Rosenthal – If you found out early about your friend’s pregnancy, get them this book.  It is a pregnancy journal that allows them to document their journey through each trimester. 

(5) Pregnancy Workouts:  If your friend loves working out, try getting her monthly passes for Pre-natal Yoga, Pilates, or AquaNatal classes.  The Body Tree Studio  offers a Pre-natal Pilates/Yoga class starting at 75 AED for drop ins, and 650 AED for 10 prepaid classes. 

(6) Birthing class: Equip your friend with all the information she needs to make the birthing process a smooth and memorable experience. BrightpointRoyal Women’s Hospital offers an “extra prenatal package” that includes maternal education, yoga classes, 4D ultrasound, and a toxoplasmosis screening. 

(7) Alternative beauty treatment:  Looking for something out of the box? Book your friend a Zero Gravity Flotation Treatment, which is said to help release the extra weight of pregnancy and allow the body needed physical rest.  Check out the Point Zero Floatation Center, a HAAD registered center now open in Khalifa City A, for more details.  

(8) Clothes: Get your friend a pregnancy support belt or a comfy set of loungewear that she can wear around the house or out running errands.  You could also opt for a gift certificate to a maternity store (or two).  Maternity clothes are expensive, you can help reduce the burden. 

Peek-a-boo!

(9) Photoshoot: Some expectant mothers take at home monthly photos of their growing belly, but why not up the ante and snag your friend a prenatal photo package that documents her journey?  If she is further along in her pregnancy, get her a prenatal session that can capture her belly before baby is due!  If you think your friend would love this idea, check out the work of Sarah Siblini, who is an Abu Dhabi based children and family photographer – guaranteed to capture your most special moments from pregnancy and beyond.  For expectant mothers, she offers a “My Belly & Baby” package that comes with one prenatal and one postnatal session.

Copyright: Sarah Siblini Photography

(10) Skincare Package: Gather a variety of creams, oils, and body butters that will help take care of your expectant friend’s skin and soothe her mind with sweet aromas. Have you seen the LUSH Cosmetics “Therapy” massage bar?  It is made of 100% organic ingredients, and is said to be “ideal for massaging on your bump through pregnancy to reduce stretch marks.”  Fun Fact: The design of the bar is said to be inspired by the statistic that one in four babies is born with an “outtie.” 

How cute is the LUSH Therapy Massage Bar “outtie” depiction?

 
For New Moms:

You will have to stay tuned for Part 2 of this blogpost 😉  

 
 
 
 
 
*Title & clothes image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
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