So, you’re the best friend. You’ve been there. You have had your first child, perhaps even your second and now you consider yourself something of an expert. However, you really don’t want to be that Mom/best friend offering unsolicited advice because you don’t want to come across as a Miss know-it-all considering that you really don’t know it all! Every pregnancy is different even for someone that has given birth before, so while you’re newly pregnant friend might share some similar experiences, it might not be exactly the same as yours. What your friend needs most of all is your support. How do you support your pregnant friend without annoying them your unsolicited advice? Here are some suggestions on how to support your pregnant friend without getting yourself into hot water.
Reach out to your friend even if she hasn’t reached out to you yet. You may find that your friend is not ready to give you details about her pregnancy experience. Do not take it personally because this is a very sensitive time (remember your own experience). Reach out gently and take your cues from her. Eventually as the pregnancy progresses and her confidence builds, she might open up and let you in. Just don’t push. Remember even a best friend might not be welcome when hormones are all over the place.
Be available for your friend if and when she does reach out to you. Although you can’t always be physically available, try to be there for her emotionally. We all lead busy lives so sometimes it’s just not physically possible to be available every moment but communication is critical. Pick up the phone give her a call. If all you can do at a particular moment is to send a text then follow it up with a quick phone call at the first opportunity. By speaking directly to her you’ll be telling her without words that you actually care and that she does matter.
Listen to your friend with a non-judgmental ear. There would be times when she will be at times equally excited and frustrated. She might want to vent over seemingly insignificant things but remember what might seem insignificant to others is a very real situation for her. Hormones will be going haywire and she will be depending on you as the one friend who knows for sure that she’s not crazy. As someone who might have gone through similar experiences, your support and input will be invaluable. As a newly expectant mom, things can sometimes get weird and can be quite challenging and a supporting friend will make a very positive impact during these most trying times.
Make time for her. Take her out and spoil her sometimes. Perhaps offering a simple pleasure as a foot rub. The truth is that being pregnant is not always a beautiful experience. There will be times of euphoria, feeling that first kick, knowing there’s a real person growing inside you; then there are the times of utter frustration when you’re trying to get a comfortable night’s sleep and it’s just impossible. Work with her to create a list of things that she or both of you enjoy doing, that is compatible with her new status. A little girl-time at a mutually pleasurable activity could be the key to putting her in a good mood.
There are various other ways to provide your pregnant friend with the support she needs during this critical time. Use these ideas to trigger your own imagination on how to support your friend and set the stage for a lifetime of solid friendship long after maternity.