Your daughter, niece, cousin, or friend just gave birth prematurely—now that tiny baby is struggling to survive in the NICU and mom is struggling to heal while being overwhelmed with worry for her baby's future. You want to help, but what can you do?
Gift giving helps preemie moms—who can only manage one day at a time—receive the supplies they need, the emotional support that encourages, the information that will help, and the techniques that support both baby and family.
Preemie moms will go to and from the hospital as much as they can, and that means lugging what they’ll need for that day or a longer stay. Consolidating those supplies into a small rolling bag or backpack helps a mom with too much on her mind need only one bag for the NICU.
Give her just the bag or include some helpful items for the one she already has:
- Music to help her relax—Give her links to meditation apps that will take a stressed mom through guided relaxation and help her soften her body step-by-step, or share the calming songs from your collection
- Food that sustains her—Protein gives us power; sugar gives us pleasure; carbs give us energy. Some preemie moms forget to eat, so make it easy on her by packing foods your preemie mom loves
- Water for hydration and comfort—Why not give her a bottle decorated with an uplifting, funny, or gorgeous design instead of a plastic bottle that adds to landfills
- Journal or a coloring book—A new special-for-these-times journal can help record a mom’s journey with her baby, and a coloring book helps distract from worries by focusing on some playtime
- Motivational book for distraction and peace—A small book full of uplifting, positive, or even funny messages can shift a preemie mom’s perspective and give her hope
A preemie’s first defense is their skin, which is trying to grow and thicken. Once the NICU nurses have approved scents and skincare for her baby, a preemie mom can provide aromatherapy through skincare products made from pure, plant-derived ingredients.
Our BEB Organic skincare products contain only nourishing ingredients that feed a preemie’s health from the outside in, and are designed to support strong, healthy skin development. Because hospitals often use skincare products filled with toxic chemicals that can challenge rather than promote growth, BEB Organic products are ideal gifts for preemie moms who don’t have time to seek out the best and healthiest skincare.
When baby gets the all-clear for bathing, our Bubbly Wash both conditions and cleans delicate skin. After bathtime, our Silky Cream deeply moisturizes while it helps strengthen this little one’s first defense organ. Healing Gel restores the healthy pH skin balance a preemie needs to heal irritated skin and help prevent scars from needle pricks and hospital tape. BEB Organic Diaper Balm creates a thick nourishing layer to heal diaper rash and control inflammation, redness, and pain. And when it’s time for a relaxing baby massage, our Nourishing Oil helps a loving hand glide over a tiny baby’s skin, moisturizing it while giving skin-loving aminos and other nutrients to feed tender skin and make it strong.
Clothes and Things
Especially if a preemie mom is breastfeeding, clothing becomes so much more than a fashion statement. Choosing items that support breastfeeding helps a preemie mom get through the very challenging time between pumping and storing her breastmilk, and actually being able to feed her little one.
Some gifts are more expensive than others and this list allows you to give according to your budget:
- Breast pump Whether she needs an electric one or would prefer a hand-held squeeze version because it’s so much lighter, she can use a breast pump either just at home or take it with her to the NICU
- Pumping supplies Pumped breastmilk goes into bags, bags need to be labeled, and milk needs to be kept cold, so give mom a gift of extra bags + a sharpie to label them, or a thermal carrier to keep milk safe and cool
- Lactation Lab Breastmilk Test Kit Testing the components of her breastmilk can show a preemie mom what nutrients her baby is getting, and help empower her to make necessary changes
- Nursing bras Having easy access to her breasts without taking off her shirt will go miles to help a preemie mom manage all the breastfeeding challenges
- Nursing pads These are like life support for nursing moms who want their clothes to stay clean but whose milk is abundant and lets down when any of the babies in the NICU cry
- Nursing clothing Looking good and staying fresh helps a preemie mom keep her spirits up—today’s nursing clothes come in gorgeous stretchy fabrics or styles that make pumping easier
- Breastfeeding cover Give mom a special lightweight blanket with a playful or soothing pattern she can use each time she covers her baby at the breast, to help give her a sense of familiarity and normalcy
- Nursing pillow Whether she uses it in the NICU or once baby comes home, a nursing pillow helps a preemie mom stay both healthy and relaxed as she uses it to prop baby at breast height instead of leaning over and hurting her back
- Notes and photos Sending personal wishes, drawings from your kids, or entertaining photos helps a preemie mom remember that she’s not alone on this NICU journey
- A listening gift to ease her mind Give mom a set of homemade redeemable coupons for listening sessions that free her from having to ask for your undivided attention
- Gift certificates for things she might forget A preemie mom can often forget to take care of herself (or may even feel like she shouldn’t ask for help) so gift certificates to massage, pedicures, babysitting older kids, or dinner out can surprise and uplift her
- Ask if you can put her on a registry Find out which items she needs or will need (like tiny clothes for when baby comes home) so anyone who wants to give knows what will help most
- Set up a website for updates Offer to be the webmaster who regularly tells what’s happening so family and friends are informed and don’t need to call mom, using her energy and attention for answering (emotional) questions
Gift giving is a simple yet profound way for family and friends to actively support both a preemie mom and her baby. And there are so many ways you can help!