“How can I support you?” “What do you need?” “What can I do to help?”
If these questions leave you looking for words, unsure of how to respond, you’re not alone. Expressing your needs during the recovery from breast surgery can be a challenging task, especially since you might not be certain of what exactly you will need.
At times like these, a helping hand and thoughtful gestures can make all the difference. To ease the burden and offer practical support, we’ve compiled a list of considerate gifts tailored for those navigating post breast surgery healing, post-mastectomy recovery, and preventative double-mastectomies. Whether you’re the one in need or looking to support a friend or family member, these thoughtful ideas aim to provide comfort, encouragement, and assistance throughout the healing process.
Feel free to share these suggestions with those asking how they can help or simply forward them this post! Together, we can create a network of care and understanding for those facing the challenges of breast cancer recovery.
1. Post Mastectomy Surgical Bra
Consider gifting a high-quality surgical bra like our Elizabeth Pink Surgical Bra® or the Judy Long-Line Surgical Bra. These bras are specifically designed to provide support and comfort during the recovery period.
2. Cozy Loungewear and Comfort Items
Look for loose fitting, front-closure loungewear and pajamas. To accommodate the extra bulk from drains, stock up on loose-fitting button-down tops. Opt for soft fabrics that are gentle on your skin. Many women find it helpful to go up 1-2 sizes in tops during this period. Given the limited range of motion, prioritize clothing that you can either step into or effortlessly pull over your head, or tops that button or zip in front. If you really want to splurge on your bestie, here’s our favorite button-front pajamas. Gisele TENCEL™ Modal Long PJ Set by Eberjey.
3. Pillows – Seat Belt Protection
After a mastectomy and other breast surgeries, doctor follow-ups are plentiful. There will be many trips in and out of the car and the seat belt can be uncomfortable against the chest. Our Axillapilla® is a great companion to place between you and the seatbelt, plus its heart-shaped design is made to provide your axillary, or underarm, area with comfort and support.
4. Affirmation Cards
Gift the power of positivity with affirmation cards by MyCancerChic—a beacon of encouragement for those challenging days. While you may not be able to relate to this experience as a loved one, acknowledging this struggle and showing your support can be life-changing. Each card has an individual affirmation of self-compassion and empowerment as well as a phrase explaining how to put it into action.
5. Shower Lanyard for Post-Mastectomy Bathing
Make post-mastectomy hygiene easier with a shower lanyard. This unique solution keeps drains held and out of the way during bathing.
6. Food and Grocery Delivery
Ease the daily challenges with practical gifts such as food delivery gift cards (Uber Eats, DoorDash) and grocery delivery services. These conveniences can make life a bit easier during recovery.
7. Entertainment and Relaxation
Help ease into the necessary downtime with streaming subscriptions and digital gifts like Kindle or Audible books. These gifts transform recovery time into a welcome distraction. Amazon gift cards are great, too. This way they can choose how to use it.
8. Self-Care Essentials
Spoil your loved one with a self-care package—unflavored lip balm, fragrance free quality moisturizer, shower wipes, and dry shampoo. Because feeling refreshed and pampered is the ultimate pick-me-up.
9. Salon Gift Card
Treat your loved one to a professional wash and dry with a gift certificate to a local salon. Not everyone has a caregiver at home, and when you can’t raise your arms above your head, washing hair is surprisingly complicated. A trip to the salon might feel like a huge relief, especially with the added bonus of a hair treatment or scalp massage.
10. Thoughtful Gestures
Embrace the power of the personal touch:
- offer assistance with pets (whether it’s pet-sitting for a few days or stopping by to walk the dog or clean the litter box)
- share heartfelt handwritten notes, like those from Five Dot Post
- lend a compassionate ear – bring over coffee and donuts, if they don’t feel like a visit, just drop them off
- provide help with childcare or engaging them in small outings to break the routine
- extend support with household chores, or consider hiring a cleaning service