Pregnancy is a magical time, but it can also be stressful and a little frightening, especially for first-time mothers. If your friend is pregnant, you probably want to be there for her and help her as much as you can. But can you actually be useful to her and not just getting in her way?
Think about the sort of gift she might actually want. Think back to your own pregnancies and try to remember what you would have appreciated most. Look for ideas from lists like 47 best baby shower gift ideas for modern parents.
Try to avoid giving the same gifts as everyone else. Think about a gift that is for your friend. Pregnancy is tiring, so she might appreciate some pampering products or some cozy slippers. If she’s going to be lying in, perhaps you could gift her something like a stack of her favorite magazines to help her relax. I can never resist adorable little clothes, but I save these for gifts once the baby has arrived.
Give the gift of your time. With a new baby, your friend will be very busy. You could help her by bringing in some pre-cooked meals for the freezer, like large lasagnas or a casserole. Her family is bound to appreciate having something tasty in the fridge to eat when Mom is busy with the new baby. You could offer to do things like help with grocery shopping, or watching any older children to take some of the pressure of daily life off your friend.
Make Time For Her
Pregnancy can be lonely for some women. They have less energy and hormonal roller coasters can bring on depression. It is much harder to go out and do normal things like seeing their friends. If they have stopped working, they may be missing their job too. Spend time with her to help her feel like everything is normal. Go round to visit or invite her out for lunch. If she’s tired, arrange a spa day for the two of you. A massage can be a wonderful thing when you’re pregnant.
If you think she might be lonely, you could get in the habit of regular phone calls. If she’s a first-time mother, she might be nervous. Let her talk through her worries, and ask you any questions. If you have good advice from your own pregnancies, give it to her, but only if she wants it. Ask her if she’d like some company for any doctor appointments. Sometimes having someone with you who has been through it can be very helpful and reassuring.
Be Her Source Of Information
New mums always have a lot of questions. Googling symptoms can be alarming, but lots of first time mothers turn to Google to find out about labour pains, the mucus plug or Braxton Hicks false contractions. To save her from frightening herself with the internet, offer to be her on-call question answering service. If she has questions, let her ask you and you can answer them from your experience as a mother, without scaring her.
Look After Her
People can be surprisingly inconsiderate to pregnant women, and it can be quite alarming for the pregnant person. Be her protection in public to save her from having to have an awkward conversation. Be the person who asks someone to move so your friend can have a seat, or to give her more room in a crowded public space, or to let her cut the line for the bathroom when you’re out shopping. Your friend may be nervous to do this, and you can be the one to remind people of their manners.
Help Her With Her Registry
Most new parents register for baby gifts. If they don’t already have children, they may struggle to put together a list. If you’re already a parent, you can help her to make her registry list and advise her on the things she might want. Try to remember what you couldn’t live without in the first few months of being a parent, and suggest that your friend adds these to her registry. My top must-have item is a Moby wrap, hands down – or free (pun intended).
You can offer advice on how many muslin swaddle wraps or baby gowns she might need. And warn her away from items that sound exciting but you found to be a waste of money. Go with her to the baby store to look at things like strollers, cribs or car seats, and offer advice. Baby stores can be overwhelming, so a friendly hand to help might be very gratefully received.