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People share the most practical ways to support new parents after giving birth

Sometimes the best gift is practicality.

parenting; new parents; motherhood; postpartum gifts; support new parents
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

People share the most practical ways to support new parents

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.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

Brielle Asero lost her job after 2 months.

TikTokker Brielle Asero, 21, a recent college graduate, went viral on TikTok in October for her emotional reaction to the first day at a 9-to-5 job. The video, which received 3.4 million views, captured the public’s attention because it was like a cultural Rorschach test.

Some who saw the video thought that Asero came off as entitled and exemplified the younger generation’s lack of work ethic. In contrast, others sympathized with the young woman who is just beginning to understand how hard it is to find work-life balance in modern-day America.

“I’m so upset,” she says in the video. "I get on the train at 7:30 a.m., and I don't get home until 6:15 p.m. [at the] earliest. I don't have time to do anything!" Asero said in a video.

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