Looking back at my pregnancy there were key times when I really needed a friend or when I wished I could have voiced what I actually needed from the friends that were trying to support me. For that very reason and because so many of you ask me this exact question whenever I do a Q&A on Instagram, I wanted to write this post all about how to support a pregnant friend or family member.
Pregnancy is a funny thing and absolutely nothing like the movies portray. I had days where I was my regular normal self and then days where I was the devil. Hormones are a bitch and they go into hyperdrive when you’re pregnant, leaving you to feel overly sensitive, hyper, bitchy, critical or simply depressed. I’m pretty in tune with my body and had a lovely pregnancy with zero complications but even I found myself feeling incredibly low on certain days so I can only imagine how others must feel if the pregnancy isn’t going as smoothly as expected.
Friendships aren’t always easy sailing and life events will always put relationships to the test. For me, I found that being pregnant seemed to make those around me think I no longer wanted to go out or do anything fun and it was so irritating! I wanted to treat my pregnancy as my last nine months to be purely selfish yet people around me presumed I was just at home having baths and buying baby bits online.
Support comes in many shapes and sizes, and for me, all I wanted was my friends to treat me like the person I’d always been, with perhaps a couple of extra graces if hormones turned me into a mega cow. I wanted to go out for non-alcoholic drinks and chat like we used to but I also wanted friends to come with me to classes or simply pop round and just have dinner and watch trashy TV. Even if you don’t want kids or having children is a million miles away, here are the best ways I feel you can support your friends:
- Download a baby app and laugh with them at the size of fruit in their tummy, it’ll help you feel more connected to what’s actually going on and will make them feel like you care.
- Invite them on nights out like you used to, don’t just presume that being pregnant means they won’t want to. Even if they can’t, they’ll feel like you still care because you asked.
- Find a pre or postnatal class to take them to as a surprise.
- Organise a girls night in and help decorate, make a mobile or make something for the baby together.
- As the due date gets closer offer to go food shopping and then bring round some pre-cooked meals to pop in the freezer.
- If they have a dog or animal that needs walking, offer to take it out for a walk.
- Offer to have the baby while they have a nap, shower or work.
- Pop over with some nappies or something for the baby, her favourite treat and a book or something to read when she’s up in the night as a gesture to show you’re thinking of them.
- Organise a postnatal check-up or appointment with women health physio for when they’re feeling up to it.
- Once they’ve had their check-up offer to go to a workout or class with them to aid confidence or offer to look after the little one so that they can do a workout.