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Mama-to-be holiday gift guide

Posted by Lara Salahi  November 30, 2012 08:55 AM

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I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be receiving more gifts for my bump than myself this season.

I’m okay with that.

In fact, on shopping trips, I find myself slipping away from my usual departments and perusing the baby section. For hours. She hasn't arrived, she doesn't even have a name, yet I want her to have everything. Perhaps that is the first sign of selflessness – or spoiling – in parenting. In either case, I’m guilty.

But mamas, at the heart of a sound pregnancy is a mother who takes care of herself. Whether your pregnancy is easy, difficult, early on, or almost done, the fact is you’re carrying a baby, which by definition puts you on Santa’s nice list this year. Take advantage and get started on your wish list. Here are a few ideas:

A spa day. Added weight and pressure during pregnancy can bring on new aches and pains. A bulk of your weight has now shifted forward, which can change your posture and the way you walk. Hormone changes can bring on headaches and the nutrients that baby is taking from you can leave you tired. Perhaps your partner has upped the back and foot rubs to combat the aches. But a specially designed prenatal spa package wouldn't hurt either.

Body pillow. With each pregnancy month has come the need for an additional pillow. Bedtime has turned into a math equation. X number of pillows plus x degree body angle equals a few good minutes of shut eye. But with every turn, I’m awake and needing to readjust to get comfortable again. That is, until I got a body pillow. It’s been one of the most useful mother-to-be gifts I received at my baby shower. Since then, I've been able to sleep through the night without having to reposition the loose pillows and play the perfect angle game.

Prenatal exercise class. With the doctor’s approval, low impact exercises can be beneficial for women at any stage of their pregnancy. Many fitness centers cater to pregnant clients by offering prenatal aerobic classes, yoga, swimming, or walking groups. Outdoor activities may get more difficult as the weather gets colder. Attending a class has become a great way to feel energized and accept that changes happening to my body. Depending on the center, classes may come in packages or have drop-in rates, so a gift certificate to a class may be a fun way to try a new exercise.

Birthing ball. I was first introduced to a birthing ball at my birthing class last week. I knew it existed, but the thought of balancing myself comfortably on a ball at 32 weeks did not sound doable. What if the ball rolled right out from under me? What if the darn thing pops? I should have trusted that there’s a reason why it’s called a birthing ball. Steady shifting and stretching positions while using the ball – typically with the help of a partner -- can help stretch the pelvic muscles and shift the baby’s weight to relieve some of the pressure and aches. One squat and I’m a believer. The ball is great to use at home leading up to the due date. Many labor wards and birthing centers provide birthing balls so you won’t have to worry about bringing yours with you. After delivery, the birthing ball can convert to an at-home exercise ball.

Homemade frozen meals. This will especially come in handy for those of us who are in our final few weeks or who have just delivered. Fatigue may be in full mode by then and it can be easy to fall off the healthy eating wagon by grabbing the first thing we see instead of taking the time and energy to prepare a cooked meal. Short on friends or family who may be willing to do the honors? No need. There are a few local companies that make home cooked meals and deliver right to your doorstep.

What’s on your wish list?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Lara Salahi is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose specialty is reporting health and medical stories. She has worked in local, network, and cable television, international print, and documentary film. She More »

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