Holiday gift ideas for moms-to-be

As a pregnant woman, I break the rules a lot. I wish I could say it’s for purely romantic reasons like, “because I’m a rebel, baby.” But the reasons why I fly in the face of authority are purely accidental. I simply forgot I couldn’t do it. Case in point: I was woken up at 1 a.m. the other night by a mean craving for some blue cheese on crackers. Instead of trying to deny my baser urges, I gave in and devoured the block of fancy blue cheese in my fridge and then passed out like a drunk at a frat party. It wasn’t until the next morning that I remembered the third rule of Pregnant Lady Fight Club: You will NOT eat soft cheeses while pregnant. And I subsequently felt like a monster.

A few days later, I was invited to a sushi lunch by friends, to which I replied “Hell yeah, I LOVE sushi, yo.” I thoroughly enjoyed my shrimp tempura roll, having forgotten all about the fourth rule of Pregnant Lady Fight Club: You will NOT even be in the same room with a sushi platter. It didn’t dawn on me that I had violated yet another rule until days later. “I’m too reckless to be trusted with children!” I clenched my fists and yelled while my startled son gave me a bewildered look.

The level of stress and guilt pregnant women (and society at large) inflict upon themselves on a daily basis should induce high levels of sympathy from those who are closest to her. Spouses, friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers should all do their part in contributing to the betterment of her sanity. That’s why I’m proposing this list of items the pregnant woman in your life should be provided with as Christmas gifts. If money is no object, you should consider getting her everything. It’s just better that way.

Prenatal massage

This one might seem a bit decadent or out of your budget, but do it anyway. There are deals all over Groupon for as much as 80 percent off prenatal massage services around the city. Just look at any number of studies about the physical and emotional benefits of massage for the beleaguered person (pregnant women totally fall into that category!) and how some health insurance companies have even included prenatal massage in their lists of procedures they’ll cover. That’s because they know the more relaxed and pampered a pregnant woman is, the less likely she is to be driven mad from the sheer relentlessness of the pain.

Check out Urban Oasis (multiple Chicago locations) for the prenatal treatments they offer or my personal favorite spot for relaxing body treatments: Ruby Room, located at 1743 W. Division Ave.

Pregnancy body pillow

Did you know that your hips are composed of two separate bones that are fused together at your pubic region? This fusion forms the very foundation that your torso rests upon. Did you also know that these two bones actually separate themselves from one another during the late stage of pregnancy, causing the pregnant woman to experience searing bone pain when she’s doing something as benign as laying down? That’s right, she can’t even get a break from chronic discomfort when she’s laying down. But a pregnancy pillow will bring her some (just some) sweet relief from the agony of her skeleton actively trying to flee her body.

Check out buybuy Baby or Babies”R”Us.

Chewable antacids

There’s an old wives tale that claims if a woman experiences chronic heartburn throughout her pregnancy, it means she’ll have a hairy baby. In that case, I must be about to birth a werewolf with jazz hair, because the heartburn I’m experiencing is unreal. And I know I’m not alone. So, if you care about the pregnant woman in your life, even marginally, supply her with several rolls of antacids so she can stash them all over her house/car/workplace. Those displaced stomach acids are burning holes into her esophagus as we speak, and she’s just emotionlessly enduring the pain like a seasoned Navy Seal for whom pain is just weakness leaving the body.

There are a slew of other items to add to this list such as maternity shirts (lots of them), ready-made meals and infinity cases of newborn-sized diapers, but those things are all covered with a gift card loaded with a generous sum of money. In fact, forget the list. Just give her money.

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