Pregnant Friend Dos and Don’ts: A Guide To Supporting Your Friend Who’s Expecting

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It seems like more people than you would have expected decided to get pregnant over the pandemic. Whether it’s because the ability to work from home meant less strenuous pregnancies or because older parents planning families couldn’t wait any longer, the odds are actually pretty high that you may have a friend expecting in the next few months. With things opening back up, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you look to be supportive of your pregnant friend. Here are just a few ideas to think about while you transition your friendship to accommodate your friend who is expecting a baby in the coming year.

Take the personal route when it comes to gifts for the baby.

If your friend or family member is expecting, the odds are high that a baby shower is in the works. Whether you’re purchasing a baby gift specifically for their nursery such as diapers, a crib, or a blanket, or you’re looking for clothing such as onesies and bibs, everything you buy for expectant parents will likely be greatly appreciated. After all, new parents have a lot to grapple with when they have a child, so getting them anything on their registry is sure to be welcomed with open arms.

While baby shower gifts like strollers, burp cloths, and diapers can always be functional, it’s never a bad idea to shop for something a little more personalized for new moms and dads, too. New parents (and their finances) will of course appreciate any baby gift that is useful but finding a way to personalize or customize your gift with photos or other embellishments can really make your gift stand out. It’s not that a teether isn’t a good gift for a newborn, it’s just that when the nursery reflects the baby girl or boy who was just born, as well as the new parent, it’s a much more thoughtful gift.

Respect their boundaries.

While things have been opening back up after the pandemic, the delta variant still poses some concern for many in the U.S.—especially those with older parents or young children in the home. As such, it’s important to respect your friend’s boundaries if they insist on wearing masks or only meeting up outside to hang out, regardless of your vaccination status. The same can be said for when you decide to text or call them. The gestation period of nine months can take a lot out of an expecting mother, and it’s important to let them get their rest and get what they need.

Be willing to listen.

Just because your friend may want to be a parent doesn’t mean that having a baby is always a walk in the park. Especially for young adults, the financial planning aspect of having a child in the U.S. can be difficult enough. On top of that, they likely have their entire family (and their spouse’s entire family) giving them all sorts of pieces of advice. While everyone means well, it can be stressful to hear so many differing opinions about someone who you’re ultimately going to be responsible for raising. As such, don’t be surprised if your expectant friend just needs to blow off steam from time to time.

Being willing to listen and keeping a positive attitude without trying to fix every problem can be a great way to support your friend during their pregnancy. Especially if it’s their first time having a baby, there can be a lot of concerns about the health care they’ll receive and potential complications that could occur during and after the birth. By listening to your close friend, you’ll ensure they have a sounding board during this major part of their life.

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