Pregnancy is something that no one can truly understand until they experience this themselves. Of course, that in no way means that a childless midwife has absolutely no right to tell an expectant mother what to do, quite the opposite in fact. But the physical sensations, the emotional chaos and the bodily changes a pregnant woman goes through can be quite intense, and though someone can relate to them and give their assistance, they may never truly understand what this is like until they experience it themselves.
As a friend hoping to care for your pregnant friend, you may accept that you do not fully understand what they are going through. But at the same time, your love can overcome that, and you can achieve a very worthwhile job of being a friend and helping them through this process. Who knows? Perhaps one day they will extend the same courtesy to you. But first, you have to know exactly what to do.
The following guide will offer comfortable advice to help you become the best friend possible as your friend goes through this stressful but worthwhile process. It can feel great to be the rock for somebody. Let’s explore this in two separate categories – during the pregnancy, and after the child has been born. We are also going to discuss tips relating to a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Simply being there can be enough for most people. It takes love, attachment, effort and presence to be friends with someone, and so showing all of these qualities can show where your heart truly lies. It might be a simple good morning text, or discussing with them at length about their anxieties going into this process, which can be thoroughly restorative for your friend to speak about.
Of course, it’s important to remember that being a friend to a pregnant person is not all about being an emotional dump for them. But understanding that pregnant women have a few more needs, perhaps somewhat unstable emotions or very real fears and worries can help you stay motivated to be there for them, to listen with a genuine ear, and to go through this story together. Sometimes, being there is the most important thing you could do, despite all of the other issues.
Offering assistance in the little ways that count can be appreciated deeply. Perhaps your friend is having twins and may need help driving to the scans, or even grocery shopping from time to time. Perhaps they are struggling with their mental health and need a supportive shoulder to enter a therapist’s office. Maybe they are tired and somewhat down due to a lack of support from their spouse, and you can help them gain that support.
You must ensure that you take care of yourself, because you cannot care for your pregnant friend well unless you do, but it’s also important to measure yourself when caring for someone who is struggling. Even someone who is enjoying a healthy pregnancy may need a little bit of assistance from time time to time. This may also come through:
Encouragement & Confidence-Boosting
You needn’t always bend over backwards to try and help your friend with every single challenge they have to face. Sometimes, simply boosting their confidence is more than enough. They will absolutely appreciate you doing this, even if they do not thank you as expressly as you might imagine.
While most women understand their body changes during pregnancy, they may feel a little insecure about it. Perhaps they feel they are showing too little or too much compared to how far into the pregnancy they are, perhaps they know they have put excess weight on (which is completely normal), or they simply do not feel as attractive as they once had. Of course, pregnancy does not make women look worse, it can give them a glow and true beauty, even if it’s a different ‘beautiful’ to how they might identify themselves.
It’s important to remind them of this. Encourage them. Show them how brave they are for attending the scans, or how well they are doing, or how beautiful they look. Of course, their spouse will often provide most of the caring commitment, but a kind word from a friend can be much more effective and wonderful than we know. Confidence-boosting is an important thing to consider, and it truly does make a difference in how they view themselves. We all need a little kindness from time to time, and it costs you nothing as a friend to give.
It might be that you throw a baby shower to help equip your friend with the belongings they need to care for their child. Additionally, you may throw a simple birthday party for them, curated for their pregnant ability, such as going out for a nice meal during the day time, taking them to a movie night, or simply cooking for them in their home. These things bond you, and help you connect.
A New Mother
Searching for the best newborn gifts can help you set up your friend with the implements they need to enjoy a much better, much more comfortable first few months with their child. You may purchase a large implement such as a cot, or little conveniences such as a feeding kit or baby-grow clothing. It’s these little investments that can not only help your friend enjoy this process without worry, but they can have a direct impact for the better regarding the little bundle of joy that you are both now in love with.
A little time to help her set up may help the nerves and exhaustion of becoming a new mother remain a little more enjoyable, and can help you ensure the health of both of these important people in your life.
A little loving appreciation can go a long way. This might involve the ability to relax with your friend or to go on walks with them as they introduce their baby to the outside world. Another thing that many young mothers can feel is a sense of loneliness, as many of their friends will not be able to relate to the challenges and wonders of being a parent just yet. Of course, you will be the most important friend, and so taking them out for a coffee, relaxing with a movie late at night, or perhaps heading to a local spa as a treat might help you bond together and help both of you reduce the stress you may be experiencing. It’s measures like this that can have a deep positive impact as the days pass on.
Gauging Your Distance
So far, we have found many tips to help you become more involved in the lives of your friend, their spouse, and their newborn child. Of course, due to this exciting time we may forget that actually, we also have our own lives to live. Additionally, being the best friend you can is not about being there all of the time. Giving your friend space to decompress and spend some time alone with their baby and spouse will help them feel more comforted. It will also prevent them from relying on you for absolutely everything, or calling on you to solve everything for them.
As a friend, gauging the correct distance to stand but being there for them can all be worthwhile and encouraging measures to take. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should just withdraw after they have had the child. Far from it. But being more considerate to their needs can be important, because you have likely already done enough. Additionally, do not think that you need to prostrate yourself before your friend with any little request they have. If you are not being appreciated for that, talk to them about it. This can help the relationship stay healthy, because everyone is under stress during this important time. Without that self-awareness and mutual respect, things can get a little tense.
Babysitting duty truly matters. It can be an astonishingly fun thing to take care of, and may even allow your friend to connect with their partner, allow you to bond with your new somewhat-nephew or niece in spirit, and can be appreciated more than you know. Of course, you may not be able to take care of this often, but once in a while can be a tremendously nice thing to do for someone. Then, as you potentially start your own family, having this personable and considerate effort reciprocated can be a very useful thing to have happen. After all, this entire process is about this little bundle of joy, and so spending more time with them could be just what the doctor ordered.
With this advice, you are sure to thoroughly help your friend with their pregnancy and childbirth process. They are certain to love you for it.