This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 1 Natural Way, a TRICARE breast pump provider. All opinions are entirely my own.
Military families spend a lot of time apart. A lot. And that doesn’t change when a pregnancy happens. After all, the needs of the military always– and I mean always– trump everything else.
That can make it hard on expecting military parents, no matter if it’s the first or fourth pregnancy. Whether there’s deployment or TAD/TDY, a PCS, or the loneliness that comes from not being close to a support system, there are almost always military life obstacles to overcome. These couples just need a little extra care and attention, and that’s where you come in.
If you’ve been thinking about unique and interesting gifts for your favorite expecting military parents-to-be, I’ve got a bunch of options that are celebratory and remind them that they’re not alone through this exciting life change–no matter where they live.
Here’s one thing that’s already taken care of
A breast pump and breast pump supplies! While that’s often on the baby shower registry for expecting moms, those who are military-connected, don’t have to worry for a minute about paying out of pocket for those supplies. That’s because TRICARE provides for breast pumps and supplies . And 1 Natural Way, a TRICARE breast pump provider, works to make sure you are able to take advantage of your TRICARE benefits as easily and painlessly as possible and all at no (or very, very little) cost to you. 1 Natural Way stocks high-quality products like Kiinde, Medela, and Spectra. Moms-to-be and new moms just need to fill out the insurance information form, choose the breast pump model they like (they’re all TRICARE-covered), enroll in 1 Natural Way’s Resupply program to get supplies and products sent to you monthly, and upload their prescription. Everything ships directly to their door.
1. Tactical Gear
Oh yes, there’s tactical gear for new parents. From baby carriers that look like they belong in a full kit to every kind of camo for every iteration of baby clothes you can think of, there are tons of choices for military parents who don’t leave work at work.
Start filling the little one’s library early with a gift of books. There are plenty of books for military children out there that feature moms and dads from all branches of the military. There are even military kids’ books that can be personalized, which is a lovely touch. There are even board books for the tiniest military kids, like this Marines-themed counting book. If one half of the expecting couple is deployed during pregnancy and/or birth, this deployment journal makes a great gift for the spouse at home–which in turn becomes a post-deployment gift for the other.
If you’re able to visit, make the trip. Just make sure that you’ve alerted them and cleared it with them and, unless you’re a family member or close friend, don’t arrive right before or right after the birth. If you can’t show up in person, regular phone calls, cards, or texts can help to let them know you’re there. Need help thinking of what to say? Try these 51 open when letters for new moms.
Whether dealing with deployment or not, military life can be hard. Often military families are far away from their families and hometown friends… which means they’re far away from support systems that other folks take for granted. And that means that they can often be forgotten in the hubbub of a military town where people are coming and going all the time. If you live close by, make a few easy freezer meals. Label the bags with directions. If you’re further away, consider gifting a crock pot (if they don’t have one), an easy meal subscription kit like Gobble, or a gift card to a grocery delivery service like Peapod. If you live in the area, do the grocery shopping for them (with their knowledge and okay, of course).
If you’re looking for something a bit more cuddly, there are a ton of different personalized options for military babies and their parents… and many of the producers are military spouses over veterans. Options like Daddy Doll keep parents close by, even when they’re not. Some companies, like Hugs to Go, offer recordable options. If you’re looking for a keepsake, many shops on Etsy can turn uniforms (or uniform material) into stuffed bears and quilts.
6. A night away
A gift card to a bed and breakfast and a favorite restaurant can help a couple preparing for a really big milestone in their life spend some one-on-one time away from it all. It doesn’t have to be far away–sometimes staying in the same town or one town over can feel like a vacation, even if it’s just for one night. Not sure where the couple would like to go? Bed and breakfast associations or the town’s visitor’s bureau often offer gift cards that can be used with any of their members, so you can let the expecting couple pick.