Being pregnant during the holidays is hard. You are tired, travel may be difficult and — depending on how far along you are — dressing for all those parties may uncomfortable… at best. But you know what else is hard? Shopping for the mom-to-be in your life. Wine is out. Even food-based gifts are risky thanks to morning sickness and food aversions. And due to physical changes, shoes and clothing are pretty much a no-go.
So what does that leave? Many assume there are only three options: lotions, candles and bath bombs. Ugh.
Make no mistake — these gifts are sweet. They encourage the pregnant person in your life to indulge in some much-needed self-care and pampering. However, expectant parents need a lot more. So, before you hand your favorite preggo all the scented creams, lotions, potions and oils you come across, check out a few of the gift options ahead to ensure the most pleasant of surprises — that they’ll actually use.
Oh, and bonus: Some are totally free.
A version of this article was originally published in December 2015.