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6 Things to Tell Your Pregnant Friends (and 1 to Keep to Yourself)

Mar 16 2014 - 6:41am

Once you become a parent, you have an obligation. It's not to your child (though there's that, too), and it has nothing to do with your significant other (though you'll want to respect that partnership as well). It's to your best girlfriends. Whether or not they admit it, they're nervous about the all-consuming undertaking that is parenting. And in addition to dropping off those bags of old baby clothes and advising you against the stroller that's impossible to fold, they'll want to share their sanity-saving wisdom. Here, six things that we'd share . . . and one we'd most definitely spare!

Source: Universal Studios Entertainment [1]

You'll Figure It Out

The truth is, you don't have a choice. But no need to tell her that. Just reassure her that whatever fears and worries she has will work themselves out. While there's nothing that quite compares to caring for a newborn, remind her that she's a competent, smart person who has already accomplished X, Y, and Z, and this is the next great adventure.

Skip the Birth Plan

Long before pregnancy was on my radar, my college roommate (one of the most organized, type A people I've ever met) gave birth to her first child. She told me that she walked into the hospital with a typed-out copy of a birth plan (involving natural delivery, no interventions) to hand out to everyone involved. She left with a C-section and an absolutely perfect baby girl. I'll take that with me always.

Everyone's childbirth experience is different, and it's important to be able to roll with the punches and not panic if things don't go according to plan. Sure, you should have an ideal scenario in mind, and know some of the different paths that your delivery might take. But let her know that whatever happens is A-OK, as long as the end result is a healthy baby (and in turn, a happy mama).

You'll Be a Natural

Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes, so whether she's been dreaming of it since she was a little girl or has never actually held an infant, she's going to figure it out. Offer her that reassurance, especially if you get the sense that she needs to hear it from someone else.

Your Hormones Are Going to Be in Overdrive

If she's feeling a surge of emotions (and tears!) immediately after her baby's born, she shouldn't panic. Remind her of what her body is about to go through, and reassure her that it's totally normal to feel a little — or a lot — out of whack.

Don't Be a Martyr

Many women have an "I can do this myself" mentality and are quick to turn down offers of new mom help. Encourage her to do herself a favor, and just say yes to friends and family who are willing to assist. Let her know that it's A-OK to accept help, whether it involves cooking dinner, running errands, or just holding the baby to give her a break. The helpers will feel included in the family's excitement, and the new mom will feel supported (and maybe even rested!).

No Sleep? That's the New Normal!

No need to send her into a tailspin, but every pregnant woman who complains about having a tough time sleeping should know: this is only the beginning. Encourage her to kick back, relax, and take it easy while she can. Once the new arrival makes his or her appearance, all bets are off!

But Spare Her This . . .

We've all heard delivery room horror stories. Labors that last for days, epidurals that wear off, C-section side effects that seem to last forever . . . And when there's a pregnant woman in the room, conversation tends to veer toward what she has in store. But don't plague her with nightmare scenarios. She's already coming up with those on her own. A friend should instill confidence, not cause panic.

Source: Universal Studios Entertainment [2]

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