Don’t Buy Me Onesies for MY Birthday

#TheStruggleIsRealHot Mom
When you're pregnant and gift-giving occasions come around, the low-hanging fruit
for the gift givers in your life is, of course, baby things. Case in point: check out
Christmas at my in-laws' house this year:
My husband and I each received a couple of lovely personal gifts, but the bulk of
these packages were for my in-laws' very first grandchild, that little girl that is
currently baking in my belly. And as Christmas is truly more about fellowship with
family than about exchanging gifts, their decision (and that of other friends and
family members) to go baby crazy was perfectly fine with us.

My birthday is MY birthday.

Don’t Buy Me Onesies for MY Birthday!

It's not a holiday with a greater significance or a focus on the family intent, like
Christmas and Easter, nor is it a bonus baby shower. Birthdays are nothing more
than selfish, indulgent celebrations, a day when your loved ones gather to celebrate
you and only you with cake and presents. And on those grounds, I would like to
keep my upcoming birthday for myself, knowing that my baby will have her own
birthday (literally, on the day of her birth!) in May and it will undoubtedly be
acknowledged with flowers, toys, and all the pink onesies she could ever imagine.
I recognize that not all pregnant women will agree, that maybe some view a
birthday during pregnancy as an extra opportunity to rake in more baby loot before
their little one arrives. But if you suspect that the pregnant birthday girl in your
life is already knee-deep in baby paraphernalia and could use a little pampering for
herself, here are some smart swaps for classic gifts that might not be as appealing to
the mama-to-be as they once were.

Flowers Stink.

Traditionally, I LOVE flowers. Look, here's a photo of me actually hugging a bouquet
of flowers from my husband. But I don't want them for my birthday this year.
Reason: Pregnant women are sensitive to smells, even good ones. Add to that
chronic nose bleeds, recurring post nasal drip, and heightened allergies, and the gift
of flowers quickly transitions to the gift of hay fever symptoms, except I can't take
medication to counter the reaction.
Smart Swap: If flowers are your usual M.O., go for a fruit basket, a nut sampler, a set
of gourmet oils and vinegars, or a gift box of herbs and spices instead. It's likely the
pregnant birthday girl is trying to eat healthfully, so a nutritious epicurean bounty
might just tickle her fancy. Go organic if it's an option. Even if she's generally not
the crunchy type, I promise you everyone is scaring her with their unsolicited advice
on the dangers of chemical farming and the impact it will have on her unborn baby.

Bath & Body Works Doesn’t Work

Reason: See "Flowers Stink." Smells are, quite simply, smelly, plus pregnant
women are supposed to avoid various ingredients in bath products and fragrances,
including parabens, salicylic acids, Rentinol A and phthalates. Screening labels for
all those big words kind of takes the joy joy out of shopping.
Smart Swap: If your pregnant birthday girl is lamenting the loss of her fav luxury
bath products, come to her rescue with Belli Specialty Skincare Products. It's
allegedly the only skin care line out there that's teratology screened for all those
shady ingredients, so they're pregnancy safe while still maintaining a posh (as
opposed to clinical) pampering effect.

Sugar: Not So Sweet

Reason: Pregnancy means giving up a lot of culinary indulgences, including sugar.
Even if she has a sweet tooth, that two-pound box of See's is probably on her "do not
eat" list for now.
Smart Swap: The exception to the rule is high-quality, minimally processed dark
chocolate. Eaten in moderation during pregnancy, dark chocolate may reduce the
risk of preeclampsia by as much as 70%, so it's actually a gift that keeps on giving!

Wine Makes Me Whine

Reason: Well, I hope you know why you shouldn't gift booze to a pregnant lady.

Still, your pregnant birthday girl might miss it, especially in moments of celebration. Smart Swap: Props to my own mama for giving me this little stocking stuffer at Christmas: Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be. Now when celebratory occasions come around, my hubby makes sure I feel included by whipping up a tasty mocktail from this recipe book, including this Pomegranate-Blueberry Spritzer that he made us on New Year’s Day: To Spa, or Not to Spa?

That is the question. While it does have its restrictions, spa day isn't totally off
limits. In fact, with all the aches and pains she's feeling right now, the pregnant
birthday girl could probably use a good rub down. Just make sure the spa of choice
has prenatal massages or other pregnancy-friendly treatments available.

Smart Swap: If she's not the massage type but still complains of aches and pains,
consider a gift card to a yoga studio that offers prenatal classes. Not only does it
give her an opportunity to work out those creaky joints and train for the biggest
work-out of her life (labor!), but it will also give her a chance to befriend some
fellow pregnant ladies.

So what about all those onesies I already bought her?

Unless you know she's jonesing for those tiny outfits, I'd say save them for her baby
shower, or as a congratulatory gift for when baby arrives, or at the very least couple
them with a gift that's just for Mama. On her birthday, celebrate her! Trust me, she
needs it!


Jeanette Issa
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