Gift / Thank you for L&D and Maternity Nurses - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-10-2006, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope this doesn't seem like a frivolous question for this forum. Could I have some feedback on what sort of "Thank You" the L&D and Maternity Nurses and Lactation Consultants might appreciate the most? I am guessing that since you interact with these professionals you may have a good idea of what they like.

The first time around I put together a gift basket of gourmet chocolates for each Maternity shift, as well as individual gifts of chocolate for the L&D Nurses and Lactation Consultants. Unfortunately due to the stresses and time constraints of taking care of a newborn I wasn't able to drop them off until my six week follow up.

If possible I'd like to prepare something in advance, preferably something a little different. I thought some individual containers of "high end" hand cream would be nice (my sister is a nurse and I know her hands take a beating) but I couldn't find that at the right price. I was able to find a large number of jars of "body butter" in a variety of fragrances and a much smaller number of hand cream and shower gel containers (in the same brand). I was thinking of bundling the hand creams and shower gels together for the L&D Nurses and the Lactation Consultants, and putting one large gift basket of the "body butter" containers for the maternity nurses.

I know that food is generally well received but I wanted to be original and I wanted to do something somewhat upscale (I happened to find these products on clearance but even on "sale" they are pretty expensive). I suppose I could hedge my bets and include some chocolates for anyone with skin sensitivities.

Thanks for the input.
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#2 of 8 Old 05-10-2006, 07:18 PM
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Food IS always a good choice, just be thoughtful to the laboring women...think about how it'll smell on the nurses breath (there's a nurse in L&D at one of the hospitals I work at who constantly eats doritos. Ick. I have had three women in labor throw up because of that dorito breath...). I'd say the same about the heavy duty hand cream. Find some that is unscented. Some women really can't handle scent while laboring. I know this stuff is for the nurses but the laboring women are going to be affected! There are actually two really great not fancy brands of hand lotion that I've taken to using. Gold Bond makes an Ultra Healing Lotion that rocks and Curel has a new Ultra Dry or some such lotion. They are both available in larger sizes, aren't scented, and are SO NICE to use when you're washing your hands in the antimicrobal sandpaper they call soap! Not pretty or fancy, but really, really thoughtful.

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#3 of 8 Old 05-10-2006, 09:56 PM
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I always bring a candy jar with a mixed variety of candy(mainly chocolates)~ Then while we are there we constantly fill it up~ I tell them I bring them "Sweets to keep them sweet"~ Didn't really work this past time though~ My Doula jokingly referred to them as Steel Magniolias~ They were super sweet but refused to listen to us/her when we told them I was in transition~ Finally got the help I needed but it was on their time schedule~

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#4 of 8 Old 05-11-2006, 12:36 AM
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I always just send thank you notes, very personalized, super sweet, telling them what a wonderful nurse they were and how lucky my client was to have them. Blech. Sometimes it's the truth, sometimes... ya know .
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#5 of 8 Old 05-11-2006, 02:49 AM
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do not give them scented lotion. One of my nurses came in with cucumber melon lotion. i love the scent, its my favorite. but it just about killed me, made me nausiated and it offended me that she would wear something so strong around my brand new baby who was probably very sensitive to such things.

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#6 of 8 Old 05-11-2006, 03:27 AM
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Hand written notes, pics of the baby and you are what we like most.

And unscented hand lotion would be awesome!! (we wash our hands *so* much, dozens and dozens of times each can be very drying, to the point of discomfort).

IMO, food is a cliche. Its great to feel appreciated, but food is gone in a few hours (no matter how much you give--everyone takes some, from the nurses to housekeeping to the DON when he/she visits, etc).


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#7 of 8 Old 05-11-2006, 08:53 AM
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I think you are awesome for thinking about gifts for the staff.

I love the unscented lotion idea, but I just wanted to throw this out there, too -- as a nurse, the best "thing" I ever received was a letter to my managers telling them what a great job I did in such-and-such situation. The patient sent it to my managers and to the director of my department, and it was really a big deal when it came to my yearly evaluation, etc., and gave me huge points with the management, who are humungously concerned with the ever-elusive "patient satisfaction scores"...

Plus, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy that I had made such a difference that someone would sit down and write a letter about it. I keep a copy of it to this day. I have received a few notes about "Emily was a kind and caring nurse..", etc., but this letter was very specific about what I had done for this patient during his MI, and why he benefited because of -me-.

I did it for my L&D staff when my son was born - I had a notebook in my drawer at the hospital, and with every staff member I encountered, I would jot down a note about why they were wonderful - i.e., helped me bf, great with my baby, etc., and I cited specific examples for each nurse in my letter, naming each by name. I received a really neat letter back from the nurse manager, as a copy of my letter was given to each nurse & put in their unit personnel file.

Just a thought. It was special and helpful for me, and perhaps it might work in your situation, too.

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#8 of 8 Old 05-11-2006, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. Each of the scents is very subtle. I know because I tried some of them on my hands and couldn't really smell anything unless my hand was within half a foot or so of my face, and even then it was pretty light. Also, I went online and found some product reviews for these lotions and they received 4 out of 5 stars or better. The only real complaint was that the fragrance faded too fast.

Nevertheless, I'm surprised I didn't think of the fragrance issue. I was hospitalized with asthmatic bronchitis once and one of the respiratory therapists (who certainly should have known better) seemed to have soaked herself in a very strong scent. I remember thinking at the time how ironic it was because it actually did bother my breathing. If that were to happen to me today I think I would find the nerve to say something.

Maybe I'll go the unscented hand lotion route (Gold Bond Ultra or Curel, thanks for the suggestion Courtenay_e) for the L&D nurses as a courtesy to my fellow laboring Moms, just in case; and do the gift basket of lightly scented lotions for the Maternity nurses. But before I decide I might do some more thorough product testing, in consideration of the babies that can't speak up for themselves. Perhaps I'll try the scent that supposedly lasts the longest in the "body butter". I was thinking of this as a personal luxury item they would probably use at home but that's probably a bad assumption.

I will also certainly keep the odor issue in mind if I decide on food (no Doritos). Again, I know that's the safe route but as Lilyka points out, it doesn't last long and I'm sure some of the nurses wind up not getting any.

Hopefulfaith and Doula-and-Mom make an excellent point about the power of the written Thank You. I especially agree with Hopefulfaith that a specific Thank You is better than a vague one. I have been known to send Thank Yous to someone who provided me with great service while carbon copying their supervisor with the request that the supervisor make sure a copy be placed in their personnel folder. I received a note like that myself once and it actually did go in my personnel folder; that made a real impression on me.

Thanks again for the feedback,
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