Everyone wants to be there for their friends during hard times and pregnancy can be as hard as it gets. In order to be the best friend possible you need to try to be supportive but without overstepping bounds. Here are some common faux pas to avoid and some tips on how to be helpful, supportive and carrying during your friend’s pregnancy:
Don’t hang out in bars. Alcohol and pregnant women don’t mix and not being able to partake in all the revelry that alcohol brings can be a major downer to some women. Instead, go to a juice bar or have a small party at your home.
Try your hardest to avoid losing your temper with your friend. Pregnancy does some very strange things to a woman’s mind and one of the most difficult to deal with are the mood swings. These can range from light to all-out blowups. Try to be as patient as possible, and if she really is acting strangely excuse yourself.
Keep her included in your friends’ outings. Being pregnant can actually be a very lonely period of life. A pregnant woman needs support and friends who are willing to show her that she’s going to be a super-cool mom.
One of the most common complaints and insecurities that women who are pregnant mention is the weight gain. Chances are that your friend might feel insecure, scared, or downright bewildered by her body’s rapid changes. A truly supportive friend will realize that the expecting mom needs reassurance during this time. Tell her that she looks great and compliment that healthy pregnancy glow.
Pregnant women have cravings that they shouldn’t ignore. Let her choose where to eat. In later stages of pregnancy this becomes even more important since nausea (and in bad cases vomiting) can occur if a pregnant woman smells something that isn’t to her tastes.
Offer her some help with chores, work, or even financial help for baby supplies. It’s a very common thing for pregnant women to feel overwhelmed with work in their condition. Sometimes a simple gesture like putting dishes in the dryer can be enough to make a mom-to-be feel a lot better.
If your friend’s pregnancy was an unexpected surprise, do not be judgmental. In fact, it’s best to avoid negative comments about the mom-to-be’s decision to keep the baby in general. Don’t offer any criticism in the realms of pregnancy, parenting, or motherhood, unless your friend has specifically asked for a brutally honest opinion. Pregnant women need support and encouragement. A disparaging remark can easily make your friend feel terrible for an entire week. Even if your friend is typically thick-skinned when it comes to such comments, commenting on anything pregnancy- or motherhood- related is not a wise idea.
Keep an eye on what your friend is eating. This tip isn’t for your friend as much as it is for your friend’s unborn child. If you see your friend drinking energy drinks, eating lots of mercury-rich tuna, or drinking alcohol, stop her immediately. These are foods that can be extremely dangerous to a child. Remind her of her condition and that too much of a bad thing can cause serious injury to her baby. Her child’s safety is at stake and a real friend will realize that.
Lastly, be a listener. Every mom-to-be is scared, upset, worried, or just needs to rant once in a while. This kindhearted gesture is much appreciated when a mom-to-be is overwhelmed with all the changes happening to her.
To sum it up – be vigilant but diplomatic, tone down your criticism and double up your tolerance; in nine months your friend will thank you for that!