People share the most practical ways to support new parents after giving birth
Sometimes the best gift is practicality.
There's a lot of preparation that goes into having a child well before they're even born. First there are the physical changes your body makes to clear up some space for a tiny human roughly the size of a watermelon. Then there's preparing the nursery, buying lots of extremely small clothes, diapers and an expected understanding that while sleep may be your friend, you won't be getting any of it for about a year.
Lots of people give plenty of advice to help you cope in the early days but after the baby arrives, the focus shifts to solely the baby. It's obviously not a deliberate shift. Babies are just more shiny and new that the parents. But not everyone forgets about the parents once baby makes their grand entrance–some go out of their way to make sure the parents feel supported.
Upworthy asked its audience, "what was the best non-baby related gift you received as a new parent," and the answers were a masterclass on how to care for new parents.
Usually when people think of new babies, they often stop short of thinking of the person that just gave birth. All of the gifts that come in are typically for the new infant, which is helpful but in the early days it can feel like you're invisible. This means that the small gestures to focus on the parent or parents can really make a big impact and it looks like the Upworthy audience is acutely aware of this fact. Here are some of the most meaningful and practical gifts:
1. Everyone has to eat, especially when you've just birthed a human
"My best friend came by a day or two after I’d given birth with fresh washed and precut fruits and veggies and this is the only thing I remember being given. I was so thirsty and depleted and that gesture was everything," Emmanuelle Hertel writes.
"My grandma brought me groceries. Right to my third floor apartment. She was way old and it was probably a big hassle for her but incredibly helpful and thoughtful. She knew it was hard to leave the house and that I was a single mom of a baby," Kristina Scott remembers.
"A basket of easy to grab finger foods, cheeses, sparkling cider. It was a godsend," Peggy Auerbacher says.
2. Cleaning is a gift of love
"A house keeping crew for a month from my sister-in-laws," Evelyn Strimel Durkin says.
"My mother had someone come in and deep clean my house right before I delivered. It stayed clean with little effort right through the first couple of weeks. And those last couple of weeks of pregnancy, I was definitely not able to clean the way that I would have liked to. It was a blessing. And a fabulous gift," Patrice Powers King writes.
"My mom came and cleaned my house top to bottom, let me shower, kept our crockpot full of healthy food, and helped me learn how to breastfeed. Best gift I’ve ever received," Casi Dixon Hitchens admits.
3. Giving parents a much needed break from their littles to do wild things like nap.
"When my sister in law came & took our two little ones & said “do what you want but I’m taking your kids for a few hours “ These kids are now in their 50 ‘s and I still think about that. Best gift ever," Esther Keber says.
"A friend picked up my kids and took them to her house for dinner and play when she delivered dinner for husband and me," Mara Capuano writes.
"After a C-section w my first, my Mom came to help. I needed groceries AND I just needed to get out. She said “ take your time, no rush, I’m here”. She knew, I just needed a minute to myself, even if it was just getting groceries. She’s long gone, but she saw ME," Sandy Corr reminisces.
Of course people were happily taking notes of the thoughtful gifts other's received so they could pass along the practical joy. Is there a gift you received that simply made your life a little easier with a newborn? Tell us about it but most importantly, remember these ideas when you find yourself curious what to gift your expecting friend or relative.