Having a baby not only changes your life, but also your friendships. Here are some tips on how to maintain friendships through pregnancy and remain supportive on both sides.
When Someone Doesn’t React Well
Whether you’re pregnant or someone else is, it’s common to have feelings other than joy. Learning about another person’s pregnancy can trigger strong emotions – and that’s usually not about the pregnant woman herself.
Perhaps your friend struggles with infertility, so your pregnancy reminds her of her own struggles. If a friend seems distracted at the news, it’s okay to ask if something’s bothering her and then reassure her you’re not taking it personally.
On the other hand, if a friend’s pregnancy brings up tough feelings for you, be honest. Tell her you’re happy for her, but you’re having a reaction based on your own circumstances and may need time to process your feelings. A good friend should understand.
What Should You Say (or Not Say)?
Women don’t always appreciate advice related to their pregnancy. If a pregnant woman wants to hear opinions on breastfeeding or potential names, she’ll ask. Otherwise, smile and keep your lips sealed. What if you’re pregnant, and someone is giving you advice? Nodding and saying “Thank you” or “We’re not ready to discuss that right now” is a great way to acknowledge someone’s words without starting an argument. Then politely switch subjects.
Having a baby? Learn more about what to expect during maternity.*
Activities to Do With a Pregnant Friend
In addition to a growing belly, pregnancy brings a host of physical changes that will most likely affect the activities you can do together. Not only is an evening at the bar less enjoyable for a woman sipping soda instead of chardonnay, but the smells, noise levels and high stools can be irritating or uncomfortable.
Pregnant women get tired easily. They may not want to stay out late or have the energy to do a marathon shopping spree. Pregnant women may experience hormonal changes, which can mean emotional instability, according to the Mayo Clinic, so proceed to tearjerker movies with caution. When planning activities with a pregnant friend, ask her how she is feeling and what she wants to do.
Consider going to an exercise class together, like pilates or yoga. You can also sign up for a meal preparation program, like the one offered through Super Suppers or host a freezer meal workshop with a Pampered Chef representative. You’ll prep meals you freeze and store until after baby comes, which is fun and helpful for the mom-to-be.
As you or your friends go through this life-changing experience, learning how to maintain friendships through pregnancy is important. Share your feelings in a kind but honest way. It’s important for you both to feel supported and keep those friendships strong.
Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.