Being pregnant after loss is hard enough on its own, but add a pandemic filled with social distancing and quarantine, and it’s excruciatingly challenging. Some of the ways mamas have hoped to celebrate their pregnancies have had to be put on hold, like maternity photos and baby showers. This is incredibly disappointing and feels unfair after all that you’ve been through. We want you to still be able to celebrate your pregnancies, your precious babies. And we’re sure your families and friends want to celebrate with you also.
We put together three options for baby shower alternatives to help you celebrate while social distancing.
1. Virtual Baby Shower
A virtual baby shower is a great baby shower alternative. I actually had a virtual baby shower when pregnant with my rainbow baby. We have family and friends spread throughout the country, and they wanted to celebrate with us. So, my cousin organized a virtual baby shower. Then, last year I hosted a virtual baby shower for my brother and sister-in-law, who were expecting their first child and similarly had family and friends spread throughout the country. I recommend you have a family member or friend host.
Here are some tips and things to consider while planning a virtual baby shower:
- Choose a video platform to host the baby shower. Some options are Zoom, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime. Zoom has a time limit of 40 minutes for the free account, so you’d probably want the pro account ($14.99) if you choose that. Zoom allows you to have the most participants, though, with up to 100. You can always subscribe for one month, then cancel. Google Hangouts can accommodate up to 25 people on video. And FaceTime allows up to 32 people on a group FaceTime, but it is only available for iPhone, iPad and Mac.
- Create your baby registry. Some great options for baby registries for a virtual shower are Target, Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, and Babylist. Be sure to add things like diapers, wipes, and formula if you’ll be using that. It will be helpful to have these on hand so you don’t have to make lots of trips out to the store with a new baby. You may also want to consider setting up a baby registry and postpartum support page at Give InKind. See option #3 for more details.
- Choose a date and time and send an invitation. Since this is a virtual shower, you have so many options for invitations. You could mail real invitations, you could send an evite, you could email an electronic invitation, or even create a Facebook event and invite people through Facebook. Make sure you include your baby registry.
- Have guests send gifts to your home for you to open at the virtual shower.
- On the day of the shower, find a good spot to put your phone, tablet, or computer so guests will be able to see you open your gifts. Try to do a test before the shower start time to make sure everything is set up where it needs to be. Then sit back, relax, and spend some time with your loved ones while being showered with love and gifts for your baby.
Some ways to make it extra special:
- Choose a theme
- Include that theme on the invitation. Evite has quite a few themes available for their baby shower invitations. If you wanted something even more personalized, check out Etsy. They have many instant downloads available that you can then attach to the email invitation.
- Order a few decorations for mom to put up in her home for the baby shower, then to have as keepsakes.
- Order a cake, cupcakes, or cookies for the mom-to-be to be delivered for the shower.
- You could check to see if a local bakery was open and could make and deliver treats.
- You could also order from a gourmet shop online. Some options: cake, cupcakes, or cake pops from Wolferman’s Bakery, cookies from Cheryl’s Cookies. Wolferman’s even has a rainbow cake (you could pull off the happy birthday message) and unicorn cake pops if you were doing either of those themes.
- Plan some games or conversation prompts.
- Have guests guess what baby’s birth length and weight will be
- Have guests guess when baby will be born
- Have guests send their best advice or the best advice they received
- Have guests send a baby photo of themselves and have everyone guess who is who
- Play Baby Shower Bingo. Download a bingo card template (like this) and send a different one to each guest to play while mom opens her gifts. You may be able to get a set that matches your invitations if you order from an Etsy seller. Sometimes they have whole themes that include invitations, games, and decorations.
- Do a Baby Shower Mad Libs with the guests (like this), going around to the guests having them fill in the blanks, then read it to the group.
2. Drive-By Baby Shower
Drive-by celebrations have become incredibly popular during stay-at-home orders. They are a way to celebrate birthdays, graduations, new babies and other big milestones. A drive-by baby shower can be a nice compromise right now. Your loved ones can stop by and drop off gifts and celebrate you and baby.
Take a look at these two baby showers that have been shared online for inspiration, including one hosted for one of our courageous mamas, Courtney Reavis.
Another virtual drive-by shower, photographed by Stefanie McGuffey Photo.
3. Baby Registry and Postpartum Support Wishlist
Another great option and baby shower alternative is to create a baby registry and postpartum support wishlist at Give InKind. Give InKind was founded by loss mom (and former PALS bump day blogger) Laura Malcolm, and the platform combines a care calendar, wish list, and fundraising on one page. It’s the perfect option to have friends and family purchase from your baby registry as well as sign up for meals and other care for you postpartum.
Through a Give InKind page, loved ones can:
- Purchase from an Amazon Baby Registry
- Purchase from your Give InKind Wishlist
- Claim a meal delivery on your care calendar
- Claim childcare or pet care on your calendar
- Claim grocery or diaper runs
You can even schedule girls nights or family video calls for family and friends to claim to help the new parents feel less isolated.
Then, once baby arrives, you can post updates right through the page, with photos and video, to be sent to those who are supporting the family. This keeps them updated on the family’s needs and wishes as they get settled during this time of social distancing
Combine your Give InKind page with either a virtual or drive-by shower, or even a virtual sip-and-see after your baby is born. Let your loved ones know what you need, and get the support you need during pregnancy and after birth. Because, even if social distancing is necessary, so is caring for mamas who are pregnant and parenting a new baby after loss.