Today we celebrate moms and mother figures, and this year specifically, I have lots of friends who are new moms or soon-to-be moms.
It’s so beautiful to watch some of the friends I’ve had in my life for over 10 years become mothers to perfect babies that Cioci Gia can’t wait to spoil.
These mamas definitely need some pampering of their own, though, and I’ve been giving this little beauty-centric gift to my friends and family for the past few years. It’s a little pouch she can throw in her hospital bag that holds all the (travel-sized) skin, hair and body care essentials to freshen up before and after the baby arrives. Maybe mom already has these, but I like to think it’s giving her one less thing to worry about as she prepares to give birth to another human being. Also, throwing on some moisturizer after giving birth isn’t necessary, but every new mom should have the chance to feel good.
All the examples below can be found at Target or target.com unless otherwise noted. This is just a guide to what I do, but you can mix and match products based on the mom’s preferences and your budget. Just remember: a new mom’s skin usually is sensitive, so you’ll want to make sure whatever you get her is super gentle.
You want a decent-sized clear bag. Clear bags are better because she may not be able to get up and root around for the bag herself. This way, she can say, “Grab the pink lip balm,” and someone will be able to find it for her.
The hospital is SO. DRY. I’m talking desert-level dryness that will suck all the moisture from your skin and lips. Make sure mom has a gentle face wash that won’t strip her skin, such as CocoKind Oil to Milk Mini Cleanser, and a nice, thick moisturizer, like e.l.f. Happy Hydration Cream. If a full-on facial cleanse isn’t in the cards, this is one of the only times makeup wipes are OK in my opinion. Grab Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes.
Also, throw in a tiny jar of regular Vaseline. It always comes in handy.
Teeth and lip care
Sure, she probably has a toothbrush, but packing up her existing one takes up time and space. Grab a little travel toothbrush in a case so it’s as hygienic as possible. Many places carry little toothbrush and toothpaste sets that fit neatly together. This way, she can just throw it away before leaving the hospital.
Also, do not forget the lip balm (re: dryness). Buy a multi-pack and keep one on the table, one in a pocket, one in the bag, etc., so it’s never far from reach.
From what my mom friends have told me, even though showering in a hospital is difficult, they felt so much better afterward. A creamy body wash (I love Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash) and body lotion (Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion) help keep skin clean and hydrated. You also can throw in a nourishing hand cream (Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Hand Cream) to soften her hands amid all the handwashing.
Shampoo and conditioner are a must, as most hospitals only provide hand soap. You also don’t want her to have to decant her regular shampoo and conditioner into a travel container before going there, so travel-sized versions of favorites such as OGX Coconut Milk Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner are always a good choice. (If she has curly hair, the prestige brand Pattern Beauty offers travel-sized products on its website.) For the in-between, a dry shampoo such as Dove Refresh + Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo is a must. Don’t forget a small hair brush, too, and, if she has long hair, grab a pack of hair ties to move her hair up and away.
Now this is the fun stuff, but you have to really know the mother. If she’s a glam girl, definitely throw in a nice, nourishing face mask. Something like Burt’s Bees Hydrating Overnight Face Mask is great because there’s no need to wash it off, so it will soak into the skin. A hydrating face mist also combats hospital dryness, too, such as Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist.
Sometimes, the hospital photographer comes knocking for newborn photos. A multi-use stick, such as C’est Moi Flushed Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm, helps get mom photo-ready in seconds.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT