The list of things you need to bring with you to the hospital should have one more item on it: gifts for the nurses!
After bringing your bundle of joy into the world, it’s a good time to think about those who helped you and your family get to that point! Often overworked and underappreciated, labor and delivery nurses, as well as postpartum care nurses, need some love too!
When you’re making your list of what to bring and packing your bag, don’t forget to tuck in a few gifts for those people who help you along the way! I mentioned this in my previous post about Hospital Essentials, but here are a few more details and ideas!
Think about who the nurses are!
If you get to tour your hospital maternity ward before you go in, don’t forget to ask if there are any male nurses in the labor and delivery group. If there are, you can keep the gift selection more neutral.
You might also want to check in on the tour as to whether or not your nurses will be allowed to accept the gifts: there are some hospitals that don’t permit it, so before you spend time and money getting these gifts ready, ask!
Gift basket for one and all?
Rather than individual gifts, you can put together one gift basket that they can share out amongst themselves. Some options include:
•Salty treats, like cheese crackers or pretzels
•Sweet treats, like granola bars or chocolates
•Premium coffee beans and teas
•Cool lip balms or small hand lotions
•Gift cards for the local coffee shop, either in or very near the hospital
Whether you wrap this up in one basket or have individual bags within a basket, you can’t go wrong with things that people actually use, eat and enjoy! Add a handwritten thank you card to complete the basket!
One cute option, instead of flowers, is an edible arrangement! It looks like flowers but everyone can jump in and enjoy some candy and fruit!
Lunch is on you!
Nurses often can’t take the time to eat properly, so this idea let’s them know that you’re thinking about their needs too! Arrange for sandwich, veggie and sweet platters to be brought in during your stay! It is a great way to say thanks, though it runs the risk of missing some people who aren’t on duty that day. Of course, you can always keep aside a cupcake or two for those who are working another day.
Baked goods are always a hit: cookies, banana bread, cupcakes or muffins. They’re shareable and thoroughly enjoyable! Hospital staff are sometimes reluctant—or outright not permitted—to eat anything homemade, as they don’t know what they contain (allergies). Store bought goodies is the good way to go, to avoid any issues.
Individual gifts for the stand out stars
If you have one or more labor and delivery nurses who stand out from the crowd, you can also have one or two reserve gift items that you give specifically to them.
•Gift card for a higher amount to a local restaurant. Nurses have busy schedules too and this might be a welcome break!
•Spa gift certificate for a local salon. Whether put to a massage, a mani or a new haircut, this is a little bit of pampering that most will enjoy.
Stand out stars should also be acknowledged in a note to the hospital administration so that that this commendation can be considered the next time that person is up for promotion or a raise!
Later is fine too!
It’s always an option to send in something after you’ve left the hospital, along with a card and picture of the new family. So if you go in early, or don’t get something arranged in advance, you still have plenty of opportunity post-delivery!
One or two gift items to avoid!
If you ask a nurse (or a teacher) what they don’t want to receive any more of, you’ll likely hear about:
•Mugs. Yes, coffee and tea are important sustenance but there are only so many mugs you need to drink it out of!
•Alcohol. Sure, a lot of people enjoy a drink at the end of the day but not everyone does so best to leave that idea off the table.
Ultimately, gifts are not required, but they sure are appreciated. Nurses are often working long shifts, with few opportunities to sit and eat something nutritious, let alone having the time to go to the bathroom, so a little treat will go a long way!