To Gift or not to Gift

Another question I am frequently asked is about gifts for bereaved parents, and as with what to say, gifts are another aspect of grief that are so personal. Many parents ask for donations to a chosen charity in their child’s name, so it is always good to follow their lead with regard to this. However, often people want to buy something additional as a way of acknowledging their baby.

This list is in no way exhaustive and is very much based on my experiences and style, but I hope it may be a helpful guide if you are looking for something to buy a loved one who has lost a baby (and just to note that absolutely none of these are affiliate links):

Personalised ornaments
We have so many personalised ornaments and decorations for Orla, that she now has to have her own tree at Christmas in order to accommodate them. There are many beautiful ones out there, but here are two of my favourites:

Naming a Star
I know many parents think of stars in relation to their baby, so naming a star for them is a beautiful gift:

Likewise, these personalised pictures of the night sky are also a unique and precious tribute:

I was kindly given some beautiful pieces of jewellery when Orla died, which included her initial, her birthstone and special words and quotes that were meaningful to us. Whilst there are many places to buy such things, Selina at Murray and Me creates stunning pieces and also donates money to Tommy’s The Baby Charity from every sale she makes in memory of her own daughter Lexi

Remembering to eat regularly was incredibly hard in the early days, so having friends bring home made meals that we could just heat and eat was priceless. It is important to remember that the person you are buying for may have just given birth (if they lost their baby before, during or shortly after birth), so their body needs lots of nurturance and energy to recover. For this reason, snacks such as these would be really helpful:

Self-care packages
Looking after myself was very much at the bottom of my agenda when Orla died. However, receiving a bespoke package of things to encourage me to do this (created by all the women in my pregnancy yoga class) was incredibly nurturing. It included things like crystals, sleep spray, rescue remedy, candles, bath oils and seeds and was curated with so much love.

The lovely women at The Mother Box have recently curated a range of beautiful self care boxes in collaboration with mums who have lost babies, including myself. They include a booklet with words of reassurance and support as well as products to help nurture and heal the postnatal body. It is important to remember that your body goes through a tremendous amount and deserves the same recognition as those who get to take their baby home.

Whilst I appreciated all the cards we received, I did feel sad that there wasn’t one that acknowledged that I had become a mother. I appreciate that many cards wouldn’t feel appropriate, so in some way recognising that I had become a mother in the message inside made a huge difference and helped me to feel that my status as a mother mattered.