The Best Practical Gifts for Your Pregnant Wife

There's nothing that makes the wife happier than when you spoil her with gifts and surprises. What's even better? If the gifts you give will be useful during and after her pregnancy. While you may think that being pregnant and having a baby is a money-draining affair - it is to some extent - not all options should break the bank. Here's a quick and dirty guide on the perfect presents for all kinds of budgets:

Budget-Meal (no more than P1,000):
The Essentials:
I. Nursing Top
It's going to be a hassle to feed your baby anytime, anywhere. For the first few months, your baby will feed every 2 hours and that's no exaggeration. A nursing top should at least make that hassle a little bit easier.

II. Nipple Cream
Yup, you read that right. The wife's body needs to adjust to your baby's demanding needs and it will lead to that particular area being sore and wounded eventually. A nipple cream will help soothe and heal those wounds faster. This is most useful in the first month or so after giving birth.

III. Silicon Breast Pump
Any breastmilk that leaks will feel like a waste. Having this ingenious and affordable pump will ensure that you help your wife minimize any leakages. Not only are you saving precious food for your baby, but your wife will also be happier overall.

The Outlier:
Food. During and after pregnancy, food is going to rule your wife's needs. While the cravings may change from her usual favorites, the love and need to eat won't. Be sure to always give her the due treats she needs. During pregnancy, always buy the food that she craves for (my wife was addicted to rib-eye steak and banana pudding) and give her anything cocoa-based or lactation treats during her breastfeeding days (a Milo Dinosaur drink from your favorite tea shop should do) to help in her milk production.

Mid-range (P1,000 to P5,000):
The Essentials:
I. Freezer Bag
Does your wife work and doing full-time breastfeeding? If yes, then this is really essential to keep her precious breastmilk from spoiling on your way home - especially with the horrendous traffic situation in the Philippines.

II. Nursing Pillow
As your baby grows and gets heavier, the pain in carrying him/her around while feeding will be really hard to do. If you really do not want your wife to have a "free" weights session everytime baby needs to feed then get her a nursing pillow. Just be careful of its size. We got one that's pretty popular but it was really big and bulky. We ended up not using it as it was too big for our bed.

III. Post-Partum Binder
The wife will want to slim down in a jiffy after your baby comes out. One popular way is a post-partum binder. Be prepared to buy multiple sizes though because as she slims down, the binder size also needs to be adjusted to smaller ones. The tighter the binder is the better results apparently. It's a pretty nifty business model if you ask me!

The Outlier

Prenatal Massage. Carrying a baby for months is no easy task. It's an experience we dads are probably aloof on. While we won't be able to get that "load" off the backs of our wives even if we wanted to, why not give her a prenatal massage to soothe her aching body and bones. That's the least that you can do. 

Splurge (P5,000 above):
The Essentials:
I. Chest Freezer
Breastmilk is a sensitive beast or else it will spoil. It will also easily eat up your freezer space. If you want to be serious about keeping a steady supply for your baby, then a chest freezer is the best option to go. It will help in making sure your baby's milk supply will be kept cool and safer from contamination. This is one of the best gifts you can give your wife par none. A smaller refrigerator can also be a substitute if space is an issue.

II. Breast Pump
Do I need to say more about this? If she's going full-time breastfeeding then she will need a breast pump.

III. UV Sterilizer
Baby's things need to be sterilized non-stop. This is one case where I recommend to get the latest technology even if it costs more. I'm talking about UV sterilizers. While steam sterilizers can do the same basic thing, all of baby's stuff will be wet with condensation and that is not good. If you are willing to spend additional time in drying up bottles and toys first before your baby can use them, then go ahead. UV sterilizers are also more versatile. You can sterilize even your gadgets in some cases - and that is awesome.

The Outlier:
Staycation. Having a baby is a life-changing experience and it means that you and your wife's priority will change in an instant. No longer is it only the two of you against the world - the baby will rule your world. Just before that happens, it's a great idea to bond as a couple in a final staycation to reminisce the twosome days you'll soon put behind.