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Pregnancy is a very special and unique time for any parent-to-be. However, despite all the excitement, pregnancy can also be filled with anxiety in discomfort in lots of expected and unexpected different ways, especially for first-time Mums. Pregnancy can be tough as well as happy, thanks to body changes, hormonal fluctuations, dropping energy levels, and nerves about a new baby.
These tougher sides of being pregnant are true for women under normal circumstances, but thanks to Covid-19, pregnant women are facing a lot of new challenges too. With changing rules on maternity wards in hospitals, having to attend scans and appointments on their own, and being more cut off from their friends and family than usual, with less of a support network to help them through the difficult times. Pregnant women could be in need of more support than usual.
Some of these more difficult challenges will make it even more important than usual to make sure that you reach out to pregnant friends, colleagues, and family members than before. You can make sure you are offering consistent support during the pandemic. The support that is most helpful to offer should be in alignment with what your friend needs. Keep in mind that this could change on a day to day basis.
If you’re wondering how you can be the most helpful to a pregnant friend who is struggling with being more cut off, you can try some of these tips to offer useful support, and make sure their pregnancy is as enjoyable as possible.
Find Ways To Stay Socially Connected
With seemingly never-ending lockdowns and forever changing rules, normal face-to-face contact with pregnant friends can be difficult. This is especially true if your friend feels more nervous about being out and about while pregnant. Even if they can’t or don’t want to go out, you can still stay in touch with them. You just have to think outside the box a little bit and be more creative about how you do it. You should make an effort to keep in contact with your pregnant friend.
Luckily, there are more options than ever to help us stay in touch online. You could arrange a Zoom call with your group of friends, play board games online, or look for virtual baby shower ideas and games and arrange an online party to cheer her up or make her feel special.
We’re all guilty of occasionally forgetting to respond to a friend’s message. Live gets busy, and sometimes it just slips your mind, even if you have good intentions of responding. As we aren’t able to see our loved ones face-to-face as much as usual, it can be easy to assume that they must be fine if we haven’t heard from them. In fact, making a conscious effort to reach out to a pregnant friend is more important than ever at the moment.
It might be the case that your pregnant friend doesn’t want to reach out to ask for help, even if they need it. They could well feel overwhelmed and stressed without you knowing. If you can keep the communication between you going, you can keep the door open by letting your friend know that you’re always there to support her if she does need some extra help.
This doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours every day on the phone in order to do this. It can be enough to make sure you’ve sent a WhatsApp message, a voice note, or even a handwritten note or letter dropped through the letterbox. These are all good ways of letting your pregnant friend know that you’re thinking of them, even if you can’t see each other.
Ask Them How You Can Support Them
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but we can often forget to actually just ask if there’s anything we can do, and assume that we know what our friends want from us. We’re all different people, and our needs will vary from person to person, and on a day to day level. It can help to just ask your pregnant friend how you can best support them and if there’s anything you can do for them. If you ask, they’ll hopefully just tell you.
They might be in need of someone to pick up some groceries for them, collecting other children from school or childcare while they go to maternity appointments, or just a phone call occasionally to talk through her worries or someone to make her laugh on the more difficult days of her pregnancy.
Be Open, But Not Pushy
It’s important that you create a safe space where your friend can feel comfortable sharing how she is feeling, whether that’s good or bad. With pregnancy, there a wide variety of body and emotional changes that will be completely new to a first-time expectant mum, and she might be feeling frightened or wondering what’s normal.
If you can openly talk about your own personal experiences if you’ve been pregnant in the past yourself, then you can help to normalise what she is going through and can make it easier for her to share with you how she is feeling or what she’s worried about.
However, it’s also important to make sure that you don’t overstep your mark. You can discuss your own experiences, but you shouldn’t push an expectant new mum to talk about theirs if they’re not comfortable doing so yet. Communicate openly, but respect her boundaries, and don’t push, even if you think she is worried.
Coordinate Support With Other Friends
Sometimes it can be hard to give friends all of the support that they need by yourself, especially when your own life is busy. If you have a good network of friends who are also friends with the mother-to-be, you can try to coordinate your supporting efforts so you are all able to check in on her frequently, without the work all being put on just one person. Make sure you all spread out your interactions with her, so you don’t end up with everyone checking in on her on one day, and then a month of silence.
This is something that can be easy to overlook, but being aware of this will help your pregnant friend to feel as they are supported on a more frequent basis.
Small Gifts And Gestures
Another lovely gesture to show that you’re thinking of your friend is to put together a care package for your friend filled will some of her favourite treats and some pampering products. Another option is to have some beautiful flowers delivered to her home, perhaps to mark a milestone in the pregnancy, or if you know she’s had a difficult week. A little treat can go a long way to lift someone’s spirits.
Put in some goodies for the mother-to-be, and include a mix of things that are personal to her, but also some more generic items that all pregnant women are likely to appreciate. For example, you could include a favourite snack that you know she loves, some cosy slippers for swollen feet, and some luxurious moisturiser for stretch marks.
It can be a little more work to be a good friend from a distance, but not impossible. You might need to put in a little bit more effort than usual to make sure they feel supported and loved, whether they’re having a hard time or not. Ask what support they need, and make sure you are checking in on a regular basis.
Hi, I’m Louise- mum of one to a little boy called Mason.
I am the Digital Marketing and Admin Assistant for MyBump2Baby.
I enjoy working to provide excellent service to MyBump2Baby’s growing families.
Nice to meet you!