What do new moms really need? What new mom gift can I give that actually helps?

As a mother-baby nurse for over a decade, I can’t count how many times I had a new mom look at me as she was packing to go home and ask, “What am I going to do with all of these???” She was referring to all of the balloons and flowers she had received. So, what do new moms need after giving birth?

She would wrestle with feeling ungrateful for not taking them but still not have a clue what to do with them. Yes, flowers and balloons are beautiful, but they aren’t all that practical for a new mom. She already has so much to take home with her from the hospital that it can be a hassle to transport flowers and balloons.

So, how can we really help? Here are some great gift ideas for you! I asked numerous mothers and friends what would have made life easier, and the answers are below. There are food-related and non-food related items so you have options.

Need a gift for your pregnant friend? Scroll to the bottom of the page.

I will say that as a brand new mom with my first, it was exhausting to even think about cooking a meal. I was completely sleep-deprived and my body ached from birth and breastfeeding. Friends brought me dinners for the first two weeks. I would drag myself to the kitchen table, and stare down at the food completely grateful that I hadn’t cooked it. So, if you feel food isn’t a big deal, please reconsider. Between exhaustion and a nursing mother needing 500 extra calories a day, food is huge!

What do new moms need after giving birth?

Food Gifts for New Moms

  • A GIFT CARD from Door Dash, or the like, is very helpful! A meal service, such as Hello Fresh works well too. These are prepacked, easy-to-make meals that show up right at her door. It’s dinner without the hassle. A gift card can be purchased for these services, or you can purchase the amount of meals you want to gift.
  • A grocery service membership, like SHIPT. Oh how lovely that would have been when my kids were babies! Instead, I loaded them up and took them to the store where other people wanted to touch my baby. Eek! Help a new mama avoid these situations. (Bonus Tip: membership services may be more than you wish to pay, but it’s a great gift idea for several family members or hostesses to go in on together.)
  • The BEST meal that you make delivered to her door. Don’t try to hang around unless she asks you too. It isn’t anything personal. She is in survival mode, exhausted, and may not have showered today.
  • A gift basket full of protein bars, healthy snacks, and mom things, like lip balm, nursing pads, and coconut oil for sore nipples. Each time that one of my best friends had a baby, I did this for her. I stuffed it with things I knew she loved, like beef jerky. She appreciated it so much!
  • Meal prep a week of lunches for them. From tossed salad with dressing on the side, grilled chicken nuggets, sandwich wraps, chicken salad plates, etc, a refrigerated grab-and-go lunch is so helpful! These divided containers work great! There are a full weeks worth and mom doesn’t have to worry with returning them. It’s a win win for her!

Non-Food Gifts for New Moms

  • A Nap. Offer to watch her baby for a couple of hours so she can rest. Don’t bring your own children with you. New mom’s are doing their best to not worry, and the more people there are, the more they will think about germs. (Do wash your hands often to help her feel comfortable)
  • Nice body wash or bubble bath so when she actually is able to take five minutes to bathe, she gets to use some happy with it.
  • Your Compassion. Please put away the advice (unless it’s requested). She really doesn’t need to hear how your friend’s baby slept all through the night at one month old, or how she should be doing laundry instead of taking a nap. These things are hurtful to a new mom who is trying to transition in this new mama world. Yes, dote on the baby, but also pay attention to the mom. A kind and gentle, “How are you?” or “How could I help you?” goes a long way.
  • Items to go in her suitcase that she packs for the hospital.

Trust me, any of these things would be much appreciated! Offer new moms lots of patience. Put any judgment to the side. Don’t be hurt if they tell you it’s not a good time to visit or turn down your advice, because at the end of the day she alone is the mother of this new little one, and she needs to be comfortable with the decisions she is making.

A Present for a Pregnant Friend, Not for Baby

Any of the gift ideas listed above would be great for a pregnant friend.

Other great gift ideas would be things that she won’t be easily able to do once she gives birth.

  • A manicure or pedicure (or both!)
  • A gift basket with belly balm, calming essential oils, ginger tea, and soothing under-eye patches.
  • A girl’s night out: Think mocktails and a place she has always wanted to try for dinner.
  • A weekend girl’s trip: Hold off on the winery until she can drink again. The beach or a beautiful place like the Biltmore is lovely.
  • A maternity photo package to celebrate her baby bump, or an offer to take some gorgeous photos for her if you are creative like that.
  • A prenatal yoga class gift certificate: this is one of those things you only get to do a few times in your life. Gifting the opportunity is perfect!
  • A pregnancy pillow for sleeping. Being in a comfortable position to sleep can be difficult and pregnancy pillows help so much!
  • A gift certificate for a prenatal massage. Prenatal massage is a game-changer for women who experience discomfort during pregnancy.
  • The Hiccapop Pregnancy Wedge, This is a great little pillow for her to stick under her belly while napping, or to put behind her back while sitting. Sitting on top of it also helps her stay in proper alignment.
  • A fitness ball. The fitness ball is wonderful to sit on while working at a computer or watching tv. There are many techniques she can use on a fitness ball to prepare for labor, and it also is a wonderful tool to have for early labor.
  • A Pregnancy Journal. If she loves to journal and write, the pregnancy journal makes a great gift. It records all the important milestones of pregnancy and allows her to record keepsakes so she will never forget them.

Don’t miss the 11 Best Sleep Sacks for Baby! Sleep sacks are the safest way for a baby to sleep and make a great gift for a baby shower.

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Rachel is a Postpartum Nurse of 15+ years. She is also a Spinning Babies® CPE, Childbirth Educator, Published Author, and Recipe Creator. Rachel's passion is to encourage and empower women in all things related to motherhood.


  1. YES!! I wish I had this list to share with others when I had my daughter. Every new mom needs others to hear this.

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