Nurse Gift Basket Ideas for Birth and Other Ways to Show Your Appreciation

Last Updated: June 17, 2024
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

By Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

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Something I commonly get asked about is what to put into a gift basket for your labor and delivery nurse and/or delivery team.

While nurse gift baskets are very much appreciated, they absolutely aren’t expected and certainly don’t have any impact on the care you receive during your birth.

But since I do get asked about this topic a lot, I wanted to take a moment to share some potential nurse gift basket ideas with you.

Below you can find more information about ways to show your appreciation for your labor and delivery nurse and team.

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The low down on gift baskets for your L&D nurse(s)

So let me say it again, just to make sure it registered…nurse gift baskets are never something that we expect. Trust me, we weren’t lured into the profession of nursing for the gift baskets…shocker, right? 

While they are never expected, they can be a pleasant little treat that is very much appreciated. To be totally honest, the gifts that mean the most to me, personally, are little notes from patients.

There is nothing I love more than reading a note from a mama about how I cared for her and her partner during their delivery. I’ve held onto every note I’ve ever received and absolutely love getting to relive those memories as I read her kind words.

So, if you find yourself wondering what in the world you could do for your nurse, you can never go wrong with a simple note. 

But if you aren’t a words person or had something else in mind, below I’ll dive more into items you can put in a gift basket for your nurse.

Nurse gift basket ideas

You definitely don’t have to overthink this or use a lot of brain power here. We, as nurses, are not picky when it comes to gifts and treats, especially considering it’s not something we are expecting to receive in the first place!

I definitely recommend that you put your own personal touch on whatever you decide to put together, but here are some items to help get those creative juices flowing.

1. Candy, candy, candy

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want candy? I’m not sure I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t like at least one type of candy…unless maybe they are allergic – in which case, my condolences. 

But for real, you really can’t go wrong with candy or some kind of sweet treat. And if you want to cover all the bases, throw in a combination of chocolate and fruity candy so everyone has something they are happy with.

Homemade sweet treats are always nice but some people are still a little weary of homemade items thanks to Covid and well, just germs in general. I would seriously hate for all your hard work to go to waste so I would recommend sticking to pre-packaged items if you are going down the edible route.

2. Snacks

Snacks are always a good option. Those 12-hour shifts can be pretty long so it’s nice to have a little “pick-me-up” in the afternoon. Again, when it comes to free snacks, it’s pretty safe to say that we aren’t too picky so go with whatever items you want. 

Target, Costco, Walmart, and Amazon all sell individually packaged snacks like popcorn, pretzels, trail mix, etc. At my hospital, we usually put the basket at the nurse’s station to share with the other nurses working that day so the smaller, individual bags are usually a better option than the big, single bags.

3. Cute socks

Cute socks are always a win. It’s the kind of thing that is fun to receive as a gift but just not quite as much fun to buy for yourself, you know what I mean? The internet is full of all kinds of fun socks. You can even find some cute ones with nurse patterns, but really any fun colors or patterns would work just fine!

Here is an example of a pair with some nursing decor and here is a link for other fun patterned socks! Again, these are just a couple of recommendations – don’t feel obligated to go with either of these options if you find something else that tickles your fancy!

4. Scrunchies

I think it’s a safe assumption that most women enjoy receiving any kind of “pampering” gift, right? I might be going out on a limb to consider a scrunchie a pampering item, but hey, nurses can be pretty easy people to please.

Scrunchies are something easy to purchase in bulk and add to a gift basket. They don’t take up much space, they come in all kinds of colors and patterns, and they can be clutch for those days that we forget to put a hair tie on our wrists!

Nothing makes a 12-hour shift longer than not being able to get your hair out of your face…maybe that’s a tad of an exaggeration, but you catch my drift!

5. Hand sanitizer

As a healthcare provider, you can just go ahead and assume we are all germ freaks. You can never have enough hand sanitizer on hand (ha-ha) if you ask me!

We really love the mini hand sanitizer bottles, which can be purchased in bulk off Amazon and are a great addition to a gift basket. 

If you are looking for some options, you could go with this Purell pack of 6 or this pack of 3 Wet Ones lavender sanitizer spray.

6. Pens

Let me let you in on a little secret…nurses LOVE a good pen! And not only that, but we can get very, very possessive over them too! The options for pens are limitless. There are pens that write in multiple colors, mini pens that we can clip to our badge, and pens that write just perfectly

These Bic multicolor pens are a hit with nurses. They come as a single or multi-pack, and there is even a “fashion mode” collection with fun colors.

These little pens are great because they can clip onto our badge! And lastly, these ballpoint pens have a super soft grip and write as smooth as butter. 

7. Mini lotions

Mini lotions are a great little bonus item to put in a nurse’s gift basket! All the handwashing and sanitizing we do at work really dries out the hands, so having a lotion that we can keep in our work bag is clutch!

Birth Plan

8. Chapstick

It’s important to keep those lips hydrated too! Chapstick is another one of those fun pampering items that are exciting to receive as a gift but just not quite as exciting to purchase for yourself.

Burt’s Bees has a few different multi-pack chapstick sets that make a really great addition to a gift basket!

I’m also fond of Eos lip balm. I like how this set comes with a chapstick tube and a little sphere of chapstick too. Not to mention they come in lots of different yummy flavors.

And if you’re really wanting to spice things up, you can include some of these chapstick holder sleeves so it can be clipped to a badge or keychain!

9. Face mask

Are you noticing a theme here? Self-care, pampering, relaxation? Those long shifts call for some pampering and self-care, for sure! 

Maybe it’s just me, but when I throw on a face mask and prop up my feet, I almost feel like I’ve escaped to the spa.

All of that to say that sticking a few individually wrapped face masks, like these, in the basket would be greatly appreciated! 

10. Coffee gift card (did someone say Starbucks?)

Last but certainly not least, coffee. I said a coffee gift card but those individual, small bottles or cans of coffee are great to put in a nurse gift basket too! 

Starbucks, among other brands, has a variety of different combinations of coffee, espresso, and cold brew options that you can purchase in smaller, individual cans and bottles.

And of course, you can never go wrong with a gift card to Starbucks or any local coffee shop! 

Other ways to show your appreciation

If the gift basket route isn’t speaking to you, there are other ways you can show your appreciation!

1. Order lunch

I’ve had some patients deliver lunch to the unit. In a situation like this, pizza is probably the easiest route. 

First off, who doesn’t like pizza? Second, it’s easy to order for a large group of people. And last, you can easily order several different toppings to make sure everyone’s taste buds are covered!

2. Bring bagels or donuts

On a similar note as above, you could always bring bagels or donuts in for the staff. This would probably work best if you have an induction or C-section scheduled, in which you are coming in first thing in the morning. 

It might be a little more challenging to coordinate this one if you arrive in active labor or even presenting to the hospital as a labor check.

3. Thank you note

I know I talked about this one earlier but I just want to mention it again because it’s just that important! A handwritten thank you note goes a long way when it comes to expressing gratitude. 

In my personal opinion, there’s really not much that can beat the thoughtfulness, time, effort, and emotion that goes into a handwritten note. 

It’s more than just the time and effort it takes to write the thank you note. For me, it’s about knowing exactly how my actions positively impacted you on one of the most important and memorable days of your entire life! 

And if we’re being honest, the reason most of us became nurses in the first place was to help and positively impact the lives of others! 

A final word

If you take anything from this article please remember that nurse gift baskets are absolutely not something that your delivery team expects and not something that impacts your care in any way, shape, or form!

You are by no means obligated to bring in anything for your nurses and to be honest, most patients don’t…and it’s totally fine! 

Just in case I haven’t made it sufficiently clear, you can never go wrong with writing a little note to your labor nurse. And this doesn’t have to be done while you are sitting in postpartum with an 8-hour-old baby either.

If you aren’t sure how to get a note to a nurse that cared for you, you can always call the operator at the hospital or the labor and delivery unit and ask how to go about doing that. 

And finally, this is not something that should bring you any amount of stress. If you find that the idea of getting something together for your labor team is overwhelming and stressing you out, stop right there! 

You have enough on your plate as a pregnant, soon-to-be mama and if adding one more thing might send you over the edge, absolutely skip it altogether!

Cheers to an even better birth, mama! 

Other MLN resources to help you prepare for the big day:

Birth Plan
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

As a labor and delivery nurse, I’ve spent countless hours with women who felt anxious — even fearful — about giving birth. I want you to know it doesn’t have to be that way for you!

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