by Julie Snyder
Whether you're looking for gift ideas for a friend who's expecting, your expectant daughter or your pregnant wife, our top picks for the momma-to-be can make your shopping a snap.
Some gifts will make her pregnancy easier. Others would please any woman, any time. We suggest that unless you're specifically asked, don't make the gift a baby item.
Her own private spa: Spoil her with a basket of bath goodies. You can find themed gift baskets or put together one filled with her favorite skin care products formulated specifically for pregnancy. Add a special gift of intimacy with coupons for free foot massage.
Microwaveable flax seed filled neck pillow: Have you heard "Oh! My aching back/neck/hip...? Give a gift that alleviates aches and pains associated with pregnancy. It will be handy later on as well.
Dinner gift certificate: Some nights it's too much work to toss together a peanut butter and Nutella® sandwich. Help out with a gift certificate for dinner to her favorite restaurant or take out. Do you enjoy cooking? Offer up a set of coupons with a meal to be delivered with 24 hours notice.
Natural fiber bathrobe: You may be thinking that a robe is such a frumpy gift. It doesn't have to be! Choose a natural fiber, from luxurious cashmere to soft silk to practical cotton. Which would she prefer?
An e-reader: Help her kill time in doctor's office now and later, enjoy a good book, while holding a sleeping babe. She's especially appreciate the convenient trip to the library via her fingers during that hectic newborn stage.
✓ Preggie pop drops
✓ Jewelry with her birthstone
✓ Dill pickle potato chips
✓ Manicure or pedicure certificate
✓ Fragrance-free lotion
✓ Chap stick
✓ Chocolate truffles
✓ The one exception to the baby things -- an absolutely adorable pair of tiny socks.
Why is it that gift ideas for pregnant women always surround their pregnancy? Just because a woman has a baby in the oven, her entire holiday season doesn't need to be centered around her womb.
Chocolate covered berries...or any chocolate: Who doesn't love chocolate. And it's healthy, too -- studies show that nibbling on chocolate lowers your risk of pregnancy complications. You didn't choose the easy path -- you thoroughly researched a thoughtful and beneficial gift.
A digital camera: In our digital world, what makes a better gift? Smartphones may be pushing simple point-and-shoot cameras out the door, but there's still a market for higher-end digital SLRs. Soon she'll have a new subject to shoot; one who changes daily!
A classic go-anywhere bag: Look to her wardrobe for tips. Does she own a lot of leather accessories? Then a leather handbag is a good choice. Does she opt for a more natural look? Consider a fashionable canvas totes instead. Or if she's planning to hit the gym soon after the baby arrives, consider a hot green or chic orange gym bag.
What about dad? Get him a gift from our top 10 holiday gifts for the expectant father-to-be.
Give us a hand. What gift do you or did you add to the top of your wish list?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.