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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After two births I can say with full certainty – it takes a special person to be a labor and delivery nurse!
Delivering a child means putting your and your baby’s life into the hands of the labor and delivery team.
And I felt it even more so during the pandemic.
My baby girl was born on June 14th, 2020 – at the peak of COVID.
The more my due date was approaching, the more scared, uncertain, and frustrated I felt.
Restrictions were very tight then.
So till the last minute, we didn’t even know if my husband could be present or if I had to go to the labor room alone.
Looking back, I feel huge gratitude for the nurses that took care of me at my most vulnerable and uncertain times.
I fully relied on their professionalism, humanity, and great care.
And while I knew no words or acts of appreciation would’ve been enough to express my gratitude for their relentless work, I wanted to do my best to brighten their day and long night shifts with a small token of attention.
Thus I researched the best gifts for l&d nurses.
And put together a thank you basket which is a great way to commend their selfless dedication.
Showing how much you care doesn’t have to be complicated.
I’ll help you with great ideas for little treats.
After reading this article, all you’ll need to do is choose what suits your time and budget!
Do You Have to Get Gifts for Labor and 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 favorite gifts for nurses then read on.
Related: Top List Of Amazing Pregnancy Freebies For Expecting Moms
Are Thank You Gifts for Nurses Allowed In Your Healthcare Facilities?
Now that we are gradually out of the pandemic and most COVID restrictions are being lifted, the vast majority of hospitals have started to allow the expectant mother to bring in appreciation gifts for delivery staff.
It’s still a good idea to check your hospital’s policies on this though to avoid any surprises.
Normally you should receive a booklet with information on your upcoming delivery.
Look for details on what you can and cannot bring along with a hospital bag for the mom and the baby.
This is something that’ll most likely be mentioned during your hospital tour too.
But if you’re nearing your due date and still not clear on whether thank you gifts for nurses are allowed, call your birth center to find out.
Why Show Appreciation to Labor and Delivery Nurses
I had the most amazing experience during both of my deliveries – and all due to the care I received from the hospital staff, especially the nurses.
I hadn’t realized l&d nurses 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 I’ll always have a new respect and appreciation for them!!
How Many Nurses Will Take Care of You
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 usually 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 a long time due to other reasons, you’ll get to know every nurse in the unit and will make close relationships with them.
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 the 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 and healthcare workers.
How Do You Give The Gifts?
You can bring a cute basket of small individual gifts to your delivery room and put it on 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, and 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 at the nurse’s station.
Gifts To Avoid
There are certain gifts that may not be appropriate or allowed in the hospital setting.
Here are some gifts to avoid for labor and delivery nurses:
- Homemade treats or perishable food: While it may seem like a thoughtful gesture to bring in homemade cookies or other treats, we are hardly out of the pandemic so these won’t be seen as appropriate. Although popular options, I’d not recommend bringing any of these – homemade cookies, a box of donuts or bagels, a basket of fruit and chocolate arrangements, pizza, etc.
- Cash: Most hospitals have strict policies against employees accepting cash, as it can be perceived as a bribe or influence on the nurse’s care.
- Expensive or lavish gifts: Similarly, giving an overly expensive gift may make the nurse feel uncomfortable or obligated to reciprocate in some way.
Your best options will be pre-packaged food items, and small but useful gifts.
Here is a list of some delivery nurse gift ideas.
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.
After a huge dose of oxytocin – my baby was late so I had to get induced – I couldn’t bear another minute of pain.
So I finally decided to go for an 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.
She was hugging me the whole time while the anesthesiologist was inserting the giant needle into my back.
She whispered 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 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. For her, it’s a privilege to be with families during such a vulnerable time.
I later learned that labor and delivery nurses appreciate a little note of gratitude 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 that a lot of tough days are worth it.
Of course, handwritten notes are great but not very realistic for most new moms.
You’ll be in too much pain, exhaustion, and overwhelmed after delivery – especially if it’s your first time – to write an individual note to each nurse that takes care of you.
That’s why I went ahead and designed a thank you card you can use instead.
I put exactly what I felt when I had my babies in a rhyming thank you note.
All you’ll need to do is head to my Etsy shop to purchase the card.
You can then print as many copies as you need at home or a printing shop (Staples, Walgreens, Walmart). Use cardstock paper for the best results.
You can also use the same thank you note on individually wrapped gift bags as a tag – if you decide to go that route instead.
Both versions (the thank you card and thank you gift tags) will come with your purchase.
While nothing beats a handwritten note, this is another excellent way to thank different nurses for their hard work and dedication.
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 after you return home.
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 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 or individual gift bag.
As mentioned earlier, my thank you card also comes in the form of tags for delivery nurse gift bags.
You wouldn’t believe how much it makes their shift 100% better – just the feeling of being appreciated.
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 all nurses love hot drinks – with a thank you note.
And then a higher amount for a specific nurse 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 the gift basket ideas into categories.
You can choose gifts from one category or mix and match depending on your budget.
Nurses always appreciate food!
When you have a long busy day and a long shift, nice treats come in handy.
Keep in mind though that the common struggle is too many tempting sweet treats… that are too difficult to resist.
Middle of the night chocolate bars are exciting at the moment but then regretful for the night shift nurse.
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
- Chewing gum
- Fruit snacks
- Cold-brew coffee
- Starbucks ready to drink coffee
- Pack of frappuccinos
- Electrolyte-rich Gatorade water bottles
With all the hand-washing and using hand sanitizer, gloves constantly coming on and off, and dry hospital air, small individual items of self-care that can be carried in a pocket are always a big hit as delivery nurse gifts.
- Individual little hand lotion
- Individual bath Epsom salt packets
- Hair ties
- Lip balm
- Artisan soap
- Facial spray
- Essential oil roll-ons
One Last Thing
Whether you decide to bring gifts or just give them your heartfelt thanks, your labor and delivery nurses will appreciate the 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 this is not the time to be gracious 😄? Please share with me in the comments.
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