Gift for my pregnant wife
May 14, 2021 9:58 AM   Subscribe

My wife is pregnant! It's early days, but her birthday is coming up soon. I'd like to get her something to make her pregnant life better.

It's our first, and we're still in the first trimester. I'm not looking for the necessities, or anything that we'll need once the baby is born.

During a normal summer, we'd spend a lot of time at the beach (picnicking, reading, tossing a frisbee), going on day hikes and overnight hikes, car camping, and biking around town. Pre-pandemic she would be playing on her soccer team, but that's probably not happening regardless of pregnancy. She also enjoys swimming lengths at an outdoor pool.

I know she would like to continue doing as many of these things as possible through her pregnancy. Can you think of anything (either related to the above or not) that would help make pregnancy more enjoyable through the summer?
posted by no regrets, coyote to Shopping (14 answers total)
A big floppy hat will make activities in the sun just a bit more enjoyable. Scale the size of the hat to suit her taste. Something like this or this would look good on most people. (I own something like this and wear it a lot more than I expected to, and even my husband will grab it sometimes when he's working in the yard.)
posted by hydra77 at 10:15 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Special lotion for post swim. Many people experience skin weirdness and dryness during pregnancy, so it might be nice to be pampered a bit.

Compression socks for later on.

Pre-natal massage if that's safe where you are.

Insulated beverage containers. The thirst gets very intense.

Safe sunscreen or a sun shirt, pregnant skin is much more easily burned!
posted by Temeraria at 10:18 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Seconding all of Temeraria's suggestions, especially a beverage container - during the second and third trimesters I was constantly refilling my small water bottle, I have never been so thirsty in my entire life.

Another suggestion is new shoes - it becomes almost impossible to tie your shoes once the belly gets very big. Slip-ons are best, or short of that, velcro or other easy-closures.
posted by epanalepsis at 10:23 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]

Since you'd normally do camping, how about some scheduled glamping trips over the summer - something with a better bed than the ground, for cranky ligaments and achy backs - near some good but not too fall/injury risk hiking options.

And if you live somewhere that tends to be hot in the summer but have relatively close access to mountains that will likely be significantly cooler - aim there.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:50 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]

This is probably over budget for a birthday present and I don't know what your yard situation is but we got a shaded porch swing at the start of spring and I've been deeply appreciating it as I head into third trimester and get increasingly blob-like.

I'd be a little cautious about going too directly practical/baby-oriented for a birthday gift, unless it's only part of the gift or it's something luxurious like a prenatal massage, just because it can get annoying having everyone behave like pregnancy/motherhood is your entire personality from now on (even though I'm sure that's not your intention).
posted by randomnity at 11:01 AM on May 14 [8 favorites]

A lot of people find a body pillow to be super helpful to reduce joint pain in pregnancy to let them stay active.
posted by metasarah at 11:15 AM on May 14 [4 favorites]

My husband got me a Bump Box (just because) and it was a nice surprise! It came with belly butter (I also got this Burt's Bees and quite liked it) and an adorable "nappy for 2" sleep mask that I brought with me to L&D.

But to speak to your list... I have some stretchy slide sandals that were all I could wear at the end of my pregnancy as my feet swelled, so those would be useful.
posted by DoubleLune at 11:18 AM on May 14

Does she like to read? A Kindle made my life so much better when I was pregnant and feeding infants.
posted by dpx.mfx at 11:44 AM on May 14 [3 favorites]

I agree with randomnity about being cautious on this. It probably depends on her personality and how excited she is about motherhood, but I was also pretty annoyed at birthday presents that were mom-focused when I was pregnant the first time. (I wanted to have kids, but I was not wrapped up in the idea of motherhood, and I was very invested in maintaining my sense of self.) I do think that sticking to theme of enabling her interests while pregnant will help mitigate that feeling though! (As well as your stated goal of sticking to things for her, NOW, not for the baby, when it comes.)

If she doesn't already have one, a pee funnel (Shee Wee, P Style, Pibrella, etc) -- between the hormones, the thirst, and the bladder squishing, she's going to have to pee a lot more than she used to, and as the pregnancy progresses, squatting in the woods is going to get a LOT harder. Bonus -- this is a great gift for an outdoorsy person without a penis, regardless of pregnancy status! Along the same lines, some kind of camp toilet (a toilet seat on a 5 gallon bucket filled with kitty litter or a comode seat or something) so she doesn't have to go as far in the middle of the night when y'all are camping.

A belly band. So far (currently halfway through my second pregnancy), I've preferred the stretchy half-a-compression-shirt style to the more medical brace style with velcro. She may not need this for a while yet, but it's been a real necessity for me when I'm chasing the toddler down the street or on the trails.

If car camping currently involves sleeping on the ground or with minimal bedding, something to improve her sleeping situation -- a cot, or a higher air mattress, or plans to rent a trailer/RV. And make sure there's enough space for the inevitable body/pregnancy pillow.

If your beach chairs are low, a higher one (again, probably more necessary later in pregnancy) so she can get in and out easily. A bigger/cushionier camp chair -- maybe one that reclines? (I love the Nemo star gazer chairs). A camp foot stool. A backpacking chair for your overnight trips if you don't already have one.

During my first pregnancy, I did an easy overnight backpacking trip around 24 weeks. I was SO GLAD I did it (like I said, I was very invested in not losing my hobbies to motherhood). Maybe plan an easy trip for early-mid second trimester. I will say, I have NEVER hurt so much on a backpacking trip as I did on the last 3 miles of that trip -- my hips felt like they were going to fall apart and I wanted to tear my boobs off. I was literally walking down the trail with my arms crossed over my chest. I would say start by splitting your gear like you normally do (don't patronize her), but make sure you can take weight from her as she asks/needs.
posted by natabat at 11:48 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]

The best thing I got when I was pregnant was a book about a scholarly issue in my professional field -- the person sending it was saying, "Hey, you're still you. I still see you and respect you as a professional person and a scholar. Pregnancy and becoming a parent won't change that." So maybe think about wonderful and luxurious presents that celebrate the things she is hoping will stay the same, not so much the inevitable changes. Is there anything she's worried she won't be able to do once the baby arrives? Maybe a gift certificate for that. (I went hang-gliding 5 months pregnant. Probably not medically recommended, but was comforting to me at the time.)

Her body will change in predictable and unpredictable ways over the next few months, so whatever you do, be prepared to adjust, support, and pamper her physically. But she's still herself, so maybe give birthday gifts that celebrate her, not the pregnancy, unless she's specifically asked for that. (Prenatal massage is probably an exception!)
posted by shadygrove at 11:53 AM on May 14 [4 favorites]

A pitcher and iced tea bags
Salty snacks - will really come in handy when the nausea hits
posted by entropyiswinning at 11:53 AM on May 14

Ooh, thought of a couple more things that are good gifts for outdoorsy people in the summer, and even more so for overheating pregnant people -- cooling sun shirts and cooling neck towels. I bought a sun shirt many years ago for a Grand Canyon trip, and it just happened to have ruched sides that have made it a perfect active wear pregnancy shirt and a great swim coverup.
posted by natabat at 12:09 PM on May 14

A really nice spot in the yard to take a snooze (hammock, chaise lounge) with a table for water, snacks, and books.
posted by CMcG at 2:37 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I was first trimester in the winter, and all I remember is feeling like I had indigestion all the time and sometimes being tired. However, I wasn't either of those when we took a vacation to a small snowy town and easy-hiked (I did not have a backpack; we were mostly in the cross-country trails of some resort) 7 hours a day.

So maybe a series of trips, starting moderate, bigger in the second trimester, and tapering to small as bodies get large? Take photos on each one and make a photobook or something.
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:13 PM on May 14

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