9 Ways to Help a Pregnant Friendby Sabrina Hackett-Saikul
We all get to that age where we all know of someone who is pregnant. Sometimes several friends will be pregnant together and lean on one another for support. If you’ve been there or been through pregnancy and birth it’s very easy to put our opinions across, and they won’t always be welcome. So try to avoid offending and start by helping with these 9 tips of mine, how you can be a better friend and really help that pregnant pal!
1. Be honest about the birth and what she can expect about the feelings of the experience, it can be overwhelming but positively tell her about the first time you held a baby. Certainly don’t rub it in if you had an easy time in labour, just include the facts. Remind your friend about the miracle of life and encourage her to be positive and listen to the health professionals when the time comes.
2. Don’t be honest about everything, steer clear of horror stories so as not to frighten or make her anxious. Don’t go into a negative story either, if you had a traumatic time you can be honest about what went wrong, but perhaps outline to her the reasons why it happened. You could be completely different people, as in medically, plus every baby, mother and birth is different.
3. Give her a maternity bag list to help, there is nothing worse than when baby brain kicks in and you forget something vitally important on the run-up to the big event! So help a pregnant friend out by giving her a list of what you took, and even add on anything that you wished you had had when it was you! All hospitals vary so tell her to find out what her local one allows.
4. Take her shopping for things that her other half might not understand about, Breast Pads, Maternity Pads and even Maternity Pants! These are all things expectant women think about even if they don’t say so out loud! Opinions matter as well! If you have a brand that you loved then show her. Unless her mum or another woman of the family is going to take her to get the nitty-gritty reality part of birthing then her friends should step up and help for sure!
5. Tell her to go somewhere or treat herself to something before her baby comes, it may be to have a haircut or to get her nails done. Go together if you can! Or throw her a baby shower or a Mummy-Moon (a day out for just mums-to-be!). Something to de-stress and give her a day out of her house because soon she’ll be in there a lot!
6. Give her a list of the baby essentials that you found most useful… this is tricky and depends on the person, but I know I was grateful for friends input on what they bought and used versus never needed. For example, we bought a baby bath and our son loved it. Other parents don’t bother with them. Each to their own but it’s good to hear people’s opinions.
7. Be a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to all her concerns, you don’t always need to have an opinion, she may just want to vent, so don’t make it about you and yours, listen and respond only if she asks you. Hormones can spin your head around sometimes.
8. Don’t be condescending about this new chapter of her life. It’s a hard transition even for the best prepared of people. For example, avoid saying clichés like “Oh you think you’re tired now wait until...” and instead give her positives about those first few (albeit) difficult weeks! You can start with the sweet and funny things like “Think of all those cuddles” and “Is it wind or their first smile?” things like that.
9. Buy her some creams! One for her baby bump for essential moisturising to minimise stretchmarks. One for her face that is kind to her hormonal and changing skin. And one for her feet that are no doubt swollen and kindly request that her other half give her a massage because it’s the least she deserves while growing a small human.