They say it takes a village to raise a child, but the support your pregnant friend needs starts much earlier. The everyday symptoms during pregnancy include nausea, constipation, acidity, sleeplessness, headaches, aching joints, muscle cramps, swollen feet to exhaustion, and this doesn’t even begin to cover the roller coaster of emotions in the mind of a new mommy. If your friend is pregnant, and weather you know or don’t know much about the experience personally, here is what you can do to be there for your pregnant BFF.
1. See Her
With all the pregnancy symptoms she has been facing she is probably not getting out much. Visiting her now and then (without making her do too much of work to host you) is a perfect way to uplift her spirit.
2. Be available
Remember, that she is going through a roller coaster of experiences. Let her know that you are always around if she wants to talk to you.
3. Indulge her cravings!
Yes, your friend suddenly has an appetite of a teenage boy. Keep her favorite snacks handy and take her out for that ice cream she may be craving or even better, cook her her favorite meal once in a while.
4. Always check if she is comfortable
Carrying around all that weight on aching joints is not easy. Try to offer her a pillow to support her back or a stool to prop up her legs.
5. Share in her excitement, and ups and downs!
Yes you were excited about her being pregnant when she told you 3 months ago. But as she experiences different things her excitement will continue and build till the end of those 9 months. Show an interest in her and her baby by asking to be a part of the updates.
6. Treat Her Well
If you go out with her, ask others to offer space, or to let her cut the bathroom line at the mall. A mom-to-be can often be hesitant to ask for herself and it’s okay to remind people that it’s polite to help a pregnant woman out.
7. Help her out
If there is anything you can do to make life easier for her, offer it. You may not know it but your friend is probably exhausted, a lot. And her To-do list can include planning the nursery, baby shopping, a pregnancy shoot or even cleaning home. Ask her if there is anything you can do to help her out.
8. Pamper her
If you have the hands for it, try and give her a massage or take her for one every once in a while and she will love you for life! A gentle massage on her aching feet or back will make her smile through the day.
9. Don’t criticize her changing appearance
Yes, your friend looks totally different than she did 4 months ago. Get over it. And don’t call her fat. Not unless you want to open those hormonal floodgates.
10. Pregnancy Brain is NOT a myth
You may or may not have heard of this, but the overdose of hormones flooding her system makes her forget stuff. A lot. Be kind. If she forgetful, help her and be patient as she looks for her phone or keys the tenth time.
11. She is hormonal, be sensitive!
Yes you miss that she can’t drink or smoke anymore, and that she is so wrapped up in her mind, she probably forgot to notice your new hair cut. Cut her some slack. Know that underneath everything is the friend you have known all this while. Lack of sensitivity to her hormonal body may just result in her getting emotional and upset at this important time in her life.
12. She is scared, a lot.
If you haven’t had a baby yet, know that being pregnant can bring up a lot of fears. Fears about the changing body, baby’s health or of giving birth are always there lurking in the corner of her mind. Being there for her is the best gift you can give her.
13. Don’t overshare or assume
Only share positive stories with her. Don’t bring up the bloody accident you saw on your way or tell her about your neighbor’s 24 hour long labor. It’s hard to stay positive during pregnancy, and she is probably trying her best. Now is also not the best time to assume what is normal or what isn’t for a pregnant women, or offer advice, unless you have have the experience.
14. Find New Activities Together
So if hitting the club and drinking the night away was your way of enjoying a Saturday night, its time to find some other activities that you can enjoy together. Look for some creative ideas, like helping her maintain a pregnancy log with week by week pictures of her bump for memory.
If you don’t understand what she is going through don’t worry. Let her know that being pregnant doesn’t change your relationship. The best things you can do at this new and challenging phase of her life is to be loving and supportive!