You just found out about your friend’s pregnancy, and you want to be there to support her every step of the way. She might experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from the exhilaration of feeling her baby's first kick to the occasional anxieties and doubts that naturally come with impending motherhood. This is where your role as a pillar of emotional support truly shines.
It’s essential to offer a sympathetic ear when she needs to talk, but it’s just as important to strive to understand her feelings, validate her experiences, and offer reassurance. Your support becomes her sanctuary, a safe space to express her thoughts and concerns without judgment.
But there are also some actions to be a bit wary of. Even with the best of intentions, you may do or say things that might not be as helpful as you may think.
We’re here to talk about some of the do's and don'ts that will ensure your friend's pregnancy is a time filled with joy, support and love. These guidelines will empower you to provide the right kind of support and create an environment where she feels cherished and valued.
Do’s During Your Friend's Pregnancy
Be There to Listen
Understandably, your pregnant friend might have a lot on her mind. Pregnancy is challenging — physically, mentally, and emotionally. Actively engage in conversations with her to show you're genuinely interested and concerned. Ask open-ended questions, and let her lead the conversation. This will create a safe space for her to share her thoughts and experiences.
If you’ve been pregnant, you will understand first-hand how pregnancy comes with its share of ups and downs. Let her express her feelings, whether joyous or anxious, and offer comfort and understanding. Sometimes, all she needs is someone who'll listen without judgment. You can occasionally provide a shoulder to cry on or a bit of mom humor.
Offer Practical Help
When your friend is experiencing some of the more unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, the last thing she will probably want to do is tackle household chores. If she is okay with it, offer to lend a helping hand cleaning, grocery shopping, or running errands for her. Even just a little bit of help will alleviate her stress and allow her to focus on her well-being.
One meaningful way to support both your friend and her older children is by taking the kids on an afternoon adventure. This thoughtful gesture not only provides mom with a well-deserved break and chance for self-care, but also gives the older siblings a special outing during this time of change and transition in their family dynamics.
Preparing meals or providing ready-made dishes is a thoughtful gesture that can make a big difference. Ask your friend what she might be craving or if she is trying to incorporate any nutritional elements into her diet. Bonus points if you deliver something delicious in disposable containers, so she won’t have to worry about dishes after dinner!
As you provide nourishing meals or snacks, remember to ask about aversions. Pregnancy is a time of rapidly changing tastes and sensations. What she craved one week might become her aversion the next. So, you don't want to drop off a hearty breakfast if she can't stand the smell of eggs or bacon that morning.
This level of consideration showcases your care and thoughtfulness and ensures that every gesture you make is significant and enjoyable for her.
Plan Pregnancy-Friendly Activities
Just because your friend is growing a human, doesn’t mean she wants to miss out on some fun. Continue to spend quality time with your friend by suggesting outings and activities that cater to her pregnancy needs. A walk in the park, a movie night at home, or a visit to a spa are some great ways to support her in ways that other people in her life might not be able to do.
A fantastic way to celebrate her pregnancy and help her feel good about herself during this transformative time is going to prenatal yoga classes. You could also go shopping with her for maternity clothes and grab something cute for the baby while you’re at it.
Your support during your friend's pregnancy is invaluable, and your thoughtful gestures will create lasting memories, strengthen your friendship, and help her feel more confident in her journey to motherhood.
Don'ts During Your Friend's Pregnancy
Don't Offer Unsolicited Advice
While it's natural to want to share helpful insights, it's essential to respect your friend's autonomy. The decisions made during pregnancy are deeply personal, and she's likely already receiving advice from various sources on what to eat, how to sleep, how to raise her child and more.
Before you offer unsolicited advice, ask if she'd like your input or support in specific areas. This way, you respect her choices and empower her to make decisions that feel right for her and her baby.
Especially if you have been pregnant before, it's tempting to share stories of your own or others' experiences. However, be cautious about sharing horror stories or negative anecdotes. She probably already has her own worries, and these tales can create unnecessary anxiety and stress. Instead, focus on providing encouragement and positive stories when relevant. Consider the fine line between preparing and scaring. If there are tips or moments you want to give her a heads up on, try to share it with her in the way you would’ve wanted that information shared with you during your pregnancy.
Avoid Making Comments About Her Appearance
A woman's body goes through so many changes, and your friend may experience weight gain and physical changes. Avoid making comments about her size or weight, whether it's about how big or small she looks. Body image during pregnancy can be a sensitive topic, so it's best to steer clear of it entirely.
Instead of commenting on her physical appearance, offer compliments on other aspects of her life. Acknowledge her accomplishments, share your admiration for her resilience, or compliment her on her positive attitude. These affirmations will boost her self-esteem and focus on her inner qualities.
Don't Push Her Limits
Pregnancy comes with varying levels of fatigue and physical discomfort, and it can be challenging to explain that or say it outloud to others. Pay attention to your friend's cues and respect her need for rest. Avoid pushing her to engage in activities that might be physically demanding or exhausting, and offer alternatives that cater to her energy levels.
Don't Overwhelm Her with Baby Talk
While your friend's pregnancy is a significant part of her life, she is more than just your “pregnant friend.” It's essential to strike a balance in your conversations. Avoid overwhelming her with constant baby talk. Engage in discussions on various topics, just as you did before her pregnancy, to help her maintain a sense of normalcy and diversify her interactions.
More importantly, respect her boundaries when it comes to discussing her pregnancy. Be a willing listener if she wants to share details or discuss baby-related matters. However, always give her the space to decide how much or how little she wants to talk about her pregnancy. Your support should adapt to her preferences.
By being mindful of these "don'ts" during your friend's pregnancy, you'll create a supportive and considerate atmosphere that allows her to navigate this transformative journey comfortably and confidently. Your respect and understanding will be invaluable to her during this time.
Be the Best Mom Friend With Sunflower Motherhood
When supporting your pregnant friend or loved one, the power of thoughtful and supportive gestures cannot be underestimated. At Sunflower Motherhood, we share your belief in prioritizing the physical and emotional well-being of expectant and new mothers.
Our mission at Sunflower Motherhood is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of mothers, one mother at a time. We recognize that the path to motherhood is a wild and beautiful ride, filled with a mix of joys and challenges. That's why we've curated a collection of gifts that are designed to offer practical support for both expectant and new mothers.
By choosing gifts from Sunflower Motherhood, you are actively engaging in the journey alongside your loved one. You're ensuring that she feels cherished, heard, and supported every step of the way.
Whether it's our carefully crafted pregnancy and postpartum gift boxes or comfortable and stylish maternity apparel, our offerings are designed to celebrate her strength and resilience.
Feel free to reach out to Sunflower Motherhood for more suggestions or if you ever have any questions. Together, we can make this journey even more beautiful, memorable, and filled with love. Thank you for being a pillar of support for the mothers in your life.