You’ve known each other for years. You’ve had highs and lows. You’ve been through it all together. She’s your best friend. And now, your best friend is expecting a baby. You celebrated with her when she found out the news, but after a couple of weeks, you’re in a new situation. You suddenly realize that both her and your life are going to change.
As her best friend, you might have to adapt some of your expectations, relationships and boundaries to meet her needs with a new baby in life. But, how? Whether or not you have kids of your own, if she is your first friend to expect a baby, then chances are you’re in for some big life changes, too. Here are the best ways to support your pregnant friend throughout her transition.
1. Stop on by.
During pregnancy and after the baby is born, your friend might not be able to go out as much as she used to. That, or she’s really tired and doesn’t have the energy. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to see you! Make an effort to stop by and visit her at home when you can. Even a quick chat can make a world of difference. Bonus tip: bring your own snacks so she doesn’t have to worry about hospitality.
2. Go to the doctor.
Whether or not there’s a dad in the picture, sometimes it’s just nice to have a girlfriend next to you for support. Be a comforting presence for her by going with to the doctor’s visit. If you’ve had a baby before, then you know what to ask and can help her feel better in an otherwise tense environment. If you haven’t had a baby yet, you can use this as an opportunity to learn more about your friend’s situation and empathize with her.
3. Plan a girls night.
Baby showers are nice, but they’re certainly no girls night out. And after the baby is born, your friend will need a night out even more. Help her out by planning a get-together with close friends to celebrate her last days of freedom, or her first days of motherhood! Enjoy great food, have adult conversation and consider giving non-alcoholic wine a try, to really make her feel included.
4. Advocate for her.
Pregnancy is hard enough without people bumping into you and asking rude questions. Your friend might be too polite or hesitant to defend herself in these awkward situations; this is where you come in as her advocate. When people ignore her bump, refuse to stand up or ask an inappropriate question, be there to defend her. Politely ask someone for their seat, if she can move to the front of the line or deflect their question. Trust us: your friend will greatly appreciate it.
5. Shower her with praise.
Pregnant women face a lot of criticism and opinions on all sides. Don’t do this, don’t do that, how could you make that decision? And so on, and so forth. As her friend, make a commitment to be a voice of praise for her to hear during this tough transition time. Praise her for making difficult decisions, for decorating the nursery, for picking out the perfect diaper bag, everything. She is growing another human being inside her body, so she definitely deserves all of the praise in the world!
6. Be there for her.
More than anything, your friend needs you to be there during her pregnancy. Be a safe space she can turn to when she needs to vent about her swollen ankles, cry over her fears and worry about which baby carrier is the best quality. After she gives birth, be sure to stay present with her, and not focus all of your attention on the baby. Check in with your friend, listen to her and continually speak encouragement into her life.
Babies bring about a lot of change, and not just for the new mother. If your friend is expecting a new little one on the way, chances are your life is going to change dramatically, too. And that’s a good thing! Keep these tips in mind as you support your friend during her pregnancy, and you will stay close for years to come.