Why read: This is a detailed guide on how to put together a thank you basket of thoughtful gifts for labor and delivery nurses.
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The COVID-19 has hit so many people’s lives around the world. But it’s been especially hard for the health care workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic.
Doctors and nurses around the country are doing all they can to keep us all safe, working overtime and putting themselves at risk.
So many got sick themselves, had to isolate from their families and kids, but kept doing their job day in and day out. No wonder, doctors and nurses are deservedly seen as heroes now.
Delivering a child means putting your and your baby’s life into the hands of the labor and delivery staff.
And it is more so now, during this pandemic.
The more my due date is approaching – which is in June – the more scared, uncertain and frustrated I feel. I know I might need to go to the delivery room alone without any support from my husband.
So now than ever I feel a huge appreciation for the nurses that will be taking care of me at my most vulnerable and uncertain times.
I rely on their professionalism, humanity, care.
And while I know no words or acts of appreciation would be enough to express my gratitude for their care, I want to do my best to brighten their day and long night shifts with a small token of attention.
Do You Have to Get Gifts for Delivery Nurses?
Of course, not! You don’t have to!
If you cannot afford to purchase any gifts, or if you’re just too stressed out with so many things to do that you can’t wrap up your head around another thing to worry about – then just don’t!
Don’t feel obligated or bad in any way if you don’t do anything.
Your main job is to stay sane and deliver a healthy baby.
The nurses will be there for you and will take good care of you no matter what.
So does even thinking about getting gifts for labor and delivery nurses feel like too much?
Then just close this article and forget about it!
Concentrate on other important things you need to do before going into labor.
However, if your baby nursery is all set up, your freezer is full of pre-made meals, and you’ve stocked up on all baby essentials, and now you have time, energy and finances left to think about great gifts for nurses then read on.
Are Thank You Gifts for Nurses Allowed During Pandemic?
With everything going on now you might be wondering if labor and delivery nurse gifts are still appropriate.
I was wondering myself so I asked in my local Facebook mom group what was the experience of the expectant moms that had already had their babies during these couple of months.
The answer is – it depends on the hospital.
Some have very strict policies. They won’t allow anyone and anything into the delivery room except for the expectant mom herself.
That’s right – you might not be allowed to even bring in your stuff – like the hospital bag of essentials for yourself and your baby.
Other hospitals are more lenient and allow the partner to be present. You might also be able to bring in a hospital bag and your appreciation gifts for nurses.
Hence it’s a good idea to call the hospital as soon as your contractions start to find out their policy on this. Things change every day so don’t skip this.
Why Show Appreciation to Labor and Delivery Nurses
I had the most amazing experience during my first delivery – and all due to the care I received from the nurses.
I didn’t realize they would be with me every minute. That it would be a nurse teaching me how to push, tirelessly adjusting everything to make me comfortable.
That a nurse would hold my hand and hug me at the time of me getting an epidural.
They work so hard and are responsible for everything, except catching the baby – that’s when the doctor comes in.
I had no idea but will always have a new respect and appreciation for them!!
How Many Nurses Will Take Care of You
It depends… If the hospital has separate labor and postpartum floors you’ll have more.
If it’s all on one floor, you’ll have fewer because your labor nurse will turn into your postpartum nurse. That’s usually for smaller hospitals though.
Plus it depends on how long your labor is.
For vaginal delivery, you’ll stay in the hospital for 1-2 nights. So normally it’s 1-3 labor nurses and then maybe 3-4 postpartum nurses. C-sections are 2-3 nights – if momma and baby remain stable.
Of course, if you have your baby prematurely or have to stay much longer due to other reasons, you’ll get to know every nurse in the unit and will make close relationships with them.
Due to COVID-19, the healthcare workers will do everything to get you out as early as possible. They get that no one wants to be at the hospital right now.
In short, it’s better to go with something small, cute and useful so that everyone who takes care of you gets something.
You can prepare one big nurse gift basket or two smaller ones – one for labor and delivery and one for postpartum nurses.
I made a mistake of bringing bigger and fewer items during my first birth.
So to the end of my labor, I felt extremely bad that I couldn’t show my appreciation to all the nurses.
How Do You Give The Gifts?
You can bring a cute basket full of small individual gifts to your delivery room and put it on the display.
This way not only the nurses but everyone who comes to take care of you can grab what they’d like.
Your doctor, lactation consultant, even the lady who cleans the room and empties your trash will know you’re thanking them too.
Alternatively, you can leave the basket or just everything in a bag on the nurse station.
Gifts To Avoid Now
If before the pandemic you could get creative and bring anything to show appreciation to your labor and delivery nurses. Think homemade cookies, pastries, bagels, a basket of fruit and chocolate arrangements, pizza, etc.
Understandably, these won’t be seen as appropriate now.
Your best bet will be pre-packaged items.
To be on the safe side try purchasing or ordering everything in advance and letting sit for a couple of days without touching.
After that use gloves to transfer everything to the bag or basket you plan taking with you.
Even in these scary times, there are a lot of things that you could put together.
Here is a list of some thank you gift ideas for nurses.
What Nurses Appreciate The Most
I want to stress here again that nurses do NOT expect gifts.
One of the nurses during my first delivery was particularly caring.
When after a huge dose of oxytocin – my baby was late so I had to get induced – I couldn’t bear another minute of pain, I finally decided to go for epidural. Saying I was scared to death is an understatement.
My nurse – I wish I could remember her name – saw that I was terrified so she hugged me and was hugging me the whole time while the anesthesiologist was inserting the giant needle into my back.
She was whispering silly stories into my ear trying to distract me, patting me like a child. When I was finally injected – it took about 3 minutes but seemed to me like a lifetime – I started to cry.
Not of the pain or fear this time. But because I was so grateful to her and didn’t know how to express my feelings.
I remember I uttered something to her about how grateful I am. And what she replied made me appreciate her even more.
She said knowing she has a positive impact on people’s lives is everything. It’s a privilege to be with families during such a vulnerable time.
I later learned that labor and delivery nurses appreciate thank you notes left for them the most.
Spell out what was great about your experience. They always live to hear these things knowing that what they do makes a difference and a lot of tough days worth it.
If you want to go a mile further for the one or two special nurses who are particularly caring, fill out a patient satisfaction survey with their names.
Or even email their RN manager to praise them for the wonderful care you received. Your message will most likely be posted in the break room, read during a staff meeting or forwarded to the staff as an example of good service.
Note: Don’t make my mistake. Take a note of the names of those nurses you want to remember. Don’t assume that in the chaos of the labor you’ll be able to remember a thing. I didn’t!
Thoughtful Gifts For Labor and Delivery Nurses
All the above aside, nurses are humans too. You can’t go wrong by getting a nurse appreciation gift basket.
You wouldn’t believe how much it makes their shift 100% better – just the feeling of being appreciated, especially during a time like this.
First, let’s cover the basics.
Nurses are not allowed to accept monetary gifts. If you want to give a gift card, it has to be for the whole unit. This can be a good idea if you do a bunch of let’s say $5-10 Starbucks gift cards – because there’s a rumor coffee is loved by all nurses – with a thank you note. And then a higher amount for the ones who went above and beyond for you.
Secondly, they like things they can grab and go and stuff that won’t spoil. That way nurses on every shift can have one.
To make things easier I broke everything into categories.
You can choose gifts from one category or mix and match depending on your budget.
Nurses always appreciate food!
When you have long exhausting shifts, nice treats come handy.
Keep in mind though that common struggle is too many tempting treats and sweets around… that is too difficult to resist. 4 am chocolate bars are exciting at the moment but then regretful.
So it’s better to go with healthier choices when it comes to food. Plus you’ll be more original than everyone else who mostly brings sweets.
Some healthy small options are (click the highlighted text to shop on Amazon or you can get these in bulk from Costco):
- Selection of cereals
- Small packs of instant oatmeal
- Healthy snack packs
- Cheese snacks
- Granola bars
- Beef jerky
- Nutri-grain bars
- Fruit snacks
With all the hand-washing, gloves constantly coming on and off, dry hospital air, small individual items of self-care that can be carried in a pocket are always a big hit with nurses.
- Individual little hand lotion
- Individual bath salt packets
- Small hand sanitizers (if you can find any)
- Artisan soap
- Facial spray
- Essential oil roll-ons
- Pens – nurses love nice pens
- Cute face masks (if you’re artsy, you can sew some yourself or find cute designs on Etsy)
- Self-heating steam eye mask
One Last Thing
Whether you decide to bring gifts or just give them your heartfelt thanks, your labor and delivery nurses will appreciate kind energy and words from you during your stay.
So don’t stress and choose to go the way that brings the most joy to you.
Do you plan to do gifts for labor and delivery nurses? Or do you feel like this is not the time to be gracious 😄? Please share with us in the comments.
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