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As a mama-to-be, you get a few opportunities to be celebrated and showered with gifts. Mother's Day is coming up. And since you're pregnant for nine months, give or take, chances are good you'll have a birthday sometime in there, too.
While sweet baby clothes and truckloads of diapers make wonderful, useful baby shower presents, here are a few ideas for expectant moms that never show up on registries, but which they would really, really enjoy.
1. TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller
This thing has over 2,000 reviews on Amazon and people love it. Some reviewers say it helps with plantar fasciitis. Some say it even helped with leg cramps (ohhhh -- pregnant leg cramps are the worst). If anyone needs to treat their sore, achy feet, it's those of you carrying around a whole extra person every day. Also, it's a simple old-school wooden roller, so you can plop it down anywhere to use.
2. Baby Laundry Detergent
Yes, you need lots of diapers when you have a newborn. But those diapers don't always hold everything in, if you know what I'm saying. Add to that spit-up, and the myriad astonishing ways a tiny, mostly immobile being can make a mess, and...you end up doing a lot of laundry. Baby clothes, grown-up clothes, everyone's clothes. No one ever gave me laundry soap at a baby shower, but looking back I would have appreciated it.
3. The Cozy Bump
The inflatable bed with a bump cutout that allows expecting moms to lie on their stomach and smush their face in a pillow. 'Nuff said.
4. Pinkiou Soften Silicon Gloves and Socks
It's hard to pay attention to your feet when you can't really reach them. It's especially hard to balance on one leg, reach down, and slough off the dead skin on your dry heels. These socks moisturize and help eliminate the need to do that. Maybe you can even talk someone into putting them on you?
5. The Octopus Back Massager
A very simple, basic back massager with no cords or batteries that feels heavenly when someone uses it on your aching back while you're pregnant. Even better, pop it into your bag and have them use it on your back during labor.
6. The Instant Pot
Hopefully, for the first month or so after a baby, people offer to bring the new parents meals and help out. But eventually that all fades, and you're left trying to make dinner while a fussy baby wants to be held constantly. Instant Pots are great for those nights when you forget to pull anything out of the freezer until it's almost dinner time...and the slow cooker function is wonderful when you have a little time earlier in the day to prep for dinner. Either way, you can mostly dump ingredients in quickly and end up with a decent meal.
7. A Kindle E-Reader
You're going to end up with wide swathes of time while you're sitting and feeding the baby. You can check your phone. You can watch TV. Or you can read. An e-reader is especially convenient because you don't have to continually track down books -- you can load them up and read anytime. Also, if you finish one during a 3 a.m. feeding, you can move on to the next.
8. A Netflix subscription
See above. Reading is great, but sometimes you just need to veg during midnight feedings.
9. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E
A classic. Great for healing dry skin that's been stretched over a constantly growing tummy. Also, it's great for moms to bring along to the hospital, where the dry air is murder on your hands and feet. I'd pack this and the socks from #4 to wear during and after delivery.
10.Soybu Women's Killer Caboose Performance Yoga Pants
I was late to the yoga-pant train, but now I have to make an effort to wear anything else. Yoga pants work for pregnant moms because they stretch. They're comfy postpartum. They're easy even after you've recovered. And these Soybu bootcut pants are flattering on everyone (they're not lying about giving you a killer caboose.)
11. A Haircut
Even now that my kids are older, I only remember to get a haircut about twice a year. The new moms I know almost never make time for that kind of self-care. I wish I had, though. I lost hair when each of my babies were born, and I would have felt better if I'd gotten a stylish cut by a professional. A gift card to a salon would be awesome for a new mom.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.