Ask any new mom, and they'll tell you that the transition from expecting to new mom can be a harsh reality check. It can feel like you're going from treasured pregnant woman to forgotten vessel — a jarring juxtaposition. While everyone is focused on the baby (including the mom), we want to empower mothers to also focus on themselves and demand more from their support systems. Which leads us to the question: Why do we have a baby registry and not a mommy registry?
From functional gift ideas to unique ways to make a new mom feel empowered and supported, here's what we would put on a mommy registry. Plus, we have a few great ideas for anyone planning a visit to a new mom anytime soon. After all, you shouldn't have to just suck it up — you should register for more!
Yes, you can never have too many diapers when it comes to a newborn, but what people don't talk about enough is what the mom needs. Post-birth recovery for a new mom can be painful and long, but there are a few things that can provide relief — including a frozen witch-hazel pad. The problem is that they're cumbersome to prepare, especially when you're stumbling through the newborn haze. Stockpiling a freezer stash of these DIY "padsicles" would be a total game-changer for the new mom in your life and something they'd appreciate during those first few weeks. Just partially unwrap a large pad and apply aloe vera and a teaspoon of witch hazel down the middle. Then, fold them back up, stick them in a gallon-size plastic bag, and store in the freezer. The new mom will be able to take them out as needed. For a two-week supply, start with around 60 — we weren't joking about never having enough!
Few things are as draining, time-consuming, and morally depleting for a new mom as breast pumping. That may sound like an exaggeration, but any new mom will tell you that being hooked to a breast pump every two to three hours for MONTHS eventually takes its toll. Even if pumping is only something you need to do every once in a while, it's a daunting task that can be overwhelming. That's why we will recommend the Willow Go wearable breast pump over traditional breast pumps any day of the week. Willow Go is a hands-free pump that fits in your bra and can be used anywhere — no outlets required. The easy-to-clean reusable container means you'll never be left out of the party, miss your kids' soccer game, or have to skip out on date night. For moms that are more active, the Willow 3.0 pump is a better option as it offers ultimate, spill-proof mobility. Either way, the ability to still do all the things you want is the best. Gift. Ever.
Yes, flowers, balloons, and cards are a lovely gesture, but what a new mom really needs is something — anything — being taken off her plate. If you're a new mom, and friends or family are asking what they can bring you post-baby, don't be afraid to speak up and ask for a meal! A dozen bagels is just as much as a bouquet of flowers — and it's something you'll appreciate a lot more. If you're paying a new mom a visit, come prepared with a frozen meal that you can just pop in their freezer. It doesn't have to be fancy, just something they know they can pull out in a pinch when witching hour is upon them.
New baby onesies are so precious and tempting to buy, but what would really be appreciated is a set of pajamas for a mom that isn't covered in spit-up. We're not saying you can't spoil the new baby, but just don't forget to spoil their mom a bit while you're at it.
Most importantly, as a new mom, you need support and comfort — and when friends come to visit and only ask about the baby, it can be draining and exhausting. If you're a new mom, don't be afraid to ask for what you need and to be vulnerable with the people in your life. If they ask how they can help you, be frank — "Actually, would you mind washing those dishes or folding those burp cloths for me while I feed the baby?" The people in your life want to feel useful and helpful. If you're visiting a new mom, don't expect them to host you while you get in tons of newborn snuggles. Take your cues from the new parents about how they want you interacting with the baby, and don't forget to ask the mom how they're feeling — sometimes, all they really need is a shoulder to shed some exhausted tears on and someone to keep it real with.