The holidays are upon us, and many are doing their last-minute shopping. It can be hard to know how best to support a loved one who is pregnant or parenting after loss during the holidays or what to gift them that honors their journey. These parents find the holidays so bittersweet and will appreciate you acknowledging their babies who should be here to celebrate the holidays.
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Here are five of our favorite last-minute holiday gifts for pregnant and parenting after loss parents:
1. Send a card or write a letter.
Some of the most precious cards loss parents receive at Christmas are those that include the name of their baby who died. You can address the card to each member of their family, including their baby who died. Or, you could add a note letting them know you’re remembering their baby who died. Something as simple as, “We’re remembering Patrick and wishing he was here,” will fill their heart.
You could also send a card directly to the baby who died. Some loss parents collect these and put them in their baby who died’s stocking so it’s not empty on Christmas morning. You could even write a letter to the baby. My parents write a letter to our son each year, letting them know how much they miss him and where they made donations in his name this holiday season. It’s such a precious gift.
2. Send a gift card for food delivery (e-gift cards work too!)
The holidays are extra exhausting when you’re grieving. Add in pregnancy or parenting littles, it’s a lot to manage. A gift card for food delivery, from their favorite restaurant or a delivery service like DoorDash and GrubHub will allow them to take a little breather from cooking dinner one night over the holidays.
3. Give a little rainbow-themed gift for the baby.
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For a parent who is currently pregnant or just recently gave birth, a little rainbow-themed gift acknowledges their journey. You may still have time to get this precious rainbow swaddle set from our friends at Miaoberry Designs. Target often has cute baby gifts that are rainbow-themed, like this teether and rattle, this teething pal, or these bibs. See if they’re available in your local store. And, if you’re completely out of time, give a gift card to Primary.com, our favorite online retailer to get adorable and quality baby and children’s clothes with rainbows.
Let a pregnant after loss mom know you are thinking about her and acknowledge what a unique and challenging time pregnancy after loss is with this faith-based book from Jenny Albers which releases on January 11, 2022. Using Scripture and personal narrative, Courageously Expecting empathizes with and empowers women to face a pregnancy after loss with faith and courage, despite inevitable feelings of grief and fear that accompany life after losing a baby.
Print out (or save it and email) this quote graphic from the book and write a note on the back to let them know they’ll receive the book when it releases. For those courageous mamas who lean heavily on their faith during pregnancy after loss, this book will bring them much comfort and encouragement.
5. Give a children’s book that they can read to their baby born after loss.
Reading helps parents bond with their children and is one of our favorite gifts for loss families. See some of our favorite books to read children born after loss for ideas. Here are a few suggestions you may have good luck finding in a local bookstore. We’re loving the brand new book from Loryn Brantz, It Had to Be You, which is a love poem she wrote to her baby born after loss. We also recommend Wish by Matthew Cordel and the Nancy Tillman books, You’re Here for a Reason and I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love. And many loss parents really love and connect with Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever.
Bonus: Make a donation to Pregnancy After Loss Support in memory of their baby who died or in honor of their baby born after loss.
Many parents love to acknowledge their babies with a donation to a favorite organization at the holidays. This year, we at PALS launched our Pregnancy After Loss App and would be honored to receive donations in these precious babies’ names to help us continue to support families after devastating loss. When you make your donation, write “For Christmas” in the form’s additional info, along with anything else you’d like us to include in an acknowledgment (a special note, her children’s names, etc.). Then, we’ll send the parents a card via email to let them know that a donation was made in their family’s honor to recognize their parenthood to all of their babies.