With all the days currently blending into each other, there's a good chance you weren't aware that this coming Sunday is Mother's Day, the time when we celebrate all the mums we know and love in our lives.
But there's no doubt that this is a bit of a lonely time to be a new mum, as this Reuters report suggests. Usually the first few weeks of parenthood are filled with hands-on help and visits from friends, new grandparents and Plunket staff. Now, many new parents are having to grapple with the difficult first few weeks alone, separated from loved ones.
If you know of someone celebrating their first Mother's Day in lockdown, they deserve a little reward for getting through this crazy time.
We've put together some gift ideas tried and tested by fellow mums, all with the solid tick of approval.
Coffee capsules or voucher
If there's one thing that new parents need, it's caffeine. The shock of sleepless nights and relentlessly full-on days mean that first-morning coffee is going to be almost a religious experience. If they have a Nespresso or similar coffee machine, a delivery of coffee capsules will go down a treat. Otherwise, a voucher for a nearby cafe they can easily stroll to with the pram means they get a caffeine hit AND get out of the house. Win-win.
The Snug portable nursing sleeve
If you know a mum battling with breastfeeding for the first time, this Snug portable nursing sleeve will be a godsend. Designed to reduce reflux and gas, the sleeve is adaptable to different breastfeeding and bottle-feeding positions. Plus it's made from soft cotton and lined with luxurious fabric, meaning it just makes things more comfortable for everyone involved (ie: mum and child).
Another saviour for breastfeeding mamas, lactation cookies deliver a hit of nutrients and energy said to be helpful for milk production. Spend some of the spare lockdown hours this week baking them your self (a great recipe from Nadia Lim can be found on her website) or order online from Kiwi company The Lactation Station. These cookies come with hundreds of testimonials from new mothers sharing they've helped with milk flow. And even if you're not struggling with producing milk, you can still enjoy them anyway - they're just a yum cookie.
Many new mums might be feeling a little less than human in those first weeks or months with a newborn, especially coinciding with a standard lockdown lack of routine. If you know someone who could do with a little TLC, a delivery of some self-care treats will help restore their glow. Online beauty retailer Mecca has been operating throughout the lockdown. My recommendations:
- A sheet mask that can be thrown on with little effort to restore moisture, like the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mask or Go-to Transformazing mask
- Patchology 'Wink And A Kiss' Flashpatch 5 Minute Hydrogels to kiss goodbye to dry lips and puffy eyes
- REN Atlantic kelp and magnesium salt exfoliating body scrub to polish away dead skin cells whilst activating micro-circulation and relieving tension
A big, stylish baby bag
Most mums agree that a good baby bag is a godsend, but gone are the days when baby bags were covered in cartoons and garish colours. Many new mums now want something simple, stylish and sleek that can still hold bottles and nappy creams.
Enter Prene Bags: Beautifully designed nappy bags in muted shades, which look like handbags but with the practicality of a classic nappy bag. The Sunday Bag is my fave - it's currently sold out but can be pre-ordered online for that deserving mama in your life.
A beauty voucher
While beauty treatments like facials and massages are a no-go at this stage of the COVID-19 alert level 3 lockdown, they hopefully will reopen soon, and we're guessing after a long few weeks that new mum is going to be desperate for some pampering. Give the gift of a facial or massage voucher, and an offer to babysit for the duration of the treatment. The Facialist, Skinography and The Beauty Elixir are great Auckland studios which will all need support after lockdown ends.
NB: While it might be tempting to bag up all your children's old baby clothes and take them round as a gift, just take a moment and ask yourself whether you're doing it to be helpful or because you want the clutter out of the house. Many new parents have expressed the overwhelm they feel when fellow parents enthusiastically deposit sackfuls of second and third-hand clothes at their door. Instead of gifting bags of mashed carrot-stained T-shirts, maybe pick out two or three quality items from your horde, and give them with a voucher so new parent can choose their own baby clothes - it's all part of the fun!