Holiday gift giving is fun and rewarding for both the giver and receiver, but it’s not always easy to come up with the perfect present. If you have someone on your list who is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and intending to place the child for adoption, it might be even more difficult to determine what would be an appropriate gift.
First, it’s important to remember not to give her anything for the child. Since she’ll be placing the baby with an adoptive family, she won’t have a need for it. Even though she chose adoption knowing it was the right choice for her and her baby, she may have a lot of feelings about it. Giving such a gift could create an awkward or even hurtful situation.
However, she is still experiencing a pregnancy, and gifts related to that can be absolutely wonderful. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Gift Card for a Massage
For pregnant women, massage can reduce swelling and back pain, relieve sciatic nerve pain, relieve muscle aches, decrease signs of depression, improve circulation, and reduce anxiety. It can help her experience a more comfortable pregnancy and manage the stress she’s likely feeling not only because of the pregnancy and upcoming birth, but because of the adoption process – choosing an adoptive family and filling out paperwork can be taxing, too.
Be sure to choose a massage therapist who is trained and experienced in working with pregnant women.
At-Home Foot Spa
Feet do a lot of work in an average day, and for a pregnant woman, they do even more. With the extra weight she is carrying, her feet could hurt and swell. A foot spa is more than just a bucket you can fill with water if you choose one that can vibrate or has a massage attachment. She can soak her feet in warm water with salts, essential oils, or her favorite bath products at the end of every day, and it’s a gift she can continue to enjoy after the pregnancy is over.
A Weekend Getaway
If you’re close to this person, you could plan a weekend away together after the birth. This doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive; even a quick road trip to a nearby town and a night in a hotel offers a nice change of pace and an opportunity to reset and relax. Part of the fun will be in planning it together, which will help her keep her mind off the pregnancy and give her something to look forward to after the baby is placed for adoption.
A smaller gesture, but just as meaningful and helpful, might be a night out during her pregnancy. This could be as simple as dinner and a movie or a visit to a local festival or art gallery event.
Natural Self-Care Products
Help her take care of her changing body with balms, creams, and lotions made with natural products that are safe for pregnant women. You could put together a little care package with a selection of skincare and bath products, a body pillow, and maybe some candles to encourage her to take some time for herself to relax.
Mini Shopping Spree
Go with your friend to help her pick out a comfortable pair of shoes (that are forgiving when her feet start to swell) or some new clothes to accommodate her expanding belly. You may be able to skip the maternity section and find some clothes she could continue to wear after the pregnancy: long flowing dresses, for example, may have enough space for a baby bump but will still look great (and be comfortable!) after she has given birth.
This is two gifts in one: a new clothing item she needs, and quality time spent with you.
No matter what you choose to give, keep the focus on the woman rather than on the child. What does she enjoy? How can you make her pregnancy more comfortable? She will appreciate your thoughtfulness. If you have a gift in mind but are unsure if it’s appropriate for a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, feel free to contact us.
Friends like you are very important to the entire adoption process for a birth mother. Another important way that you can help her is to be a sounding board and offer support during the process. Help her get the process started by checking out our information on placing a child for adoption.