We all know what we should not be telling your pregnant mom
friends. Birth stories are pretty high up on that list. I mean really, what
better way to calm a woman down than to tell her all about your 36-hour labor
or emergency C-section when, let's be honest, no birth is the same for any two
Moms with more than one kid can tell you how different their own births
were for each child, and they are always willing to share those stories with
But what are you actually allowed to say to pregnant women?
What are the safe zones? It's always a touch-and-go sort of conversation, but
here are a few topics you can safely broach with the pregnant mom in your life and a few conversation starters to get you going when you just don't know what
to do next.
1. Can I treat you to a
Being pregnant, especially the last trimester, is just
about as uncomfortable as your body can be, at least by choice. Offer to get
your friend a massage. If that's too pricey, treat her to pedicures where they
offer extra leg massages. Most nail salons will treat pregnant women like
royalty if they are any good.
Yoga is one of those things either women don't really think
about doing when they are pregnant, or they are doing it but haven't told
their instructor they are pregnant (totally a mistake). There are
certain moves (like twists) pregnant women really shouldn't be doing.
instructors will be able to give a pregnant woman certain modifications during
class to make sure they protect their baby. If you want to invite your friend
to join you, make sure your instructor is able to do these modifications. If
not, encourage your friend to take a prenatal class where she can bond with
other pregnant women. Getting stretches in each week and, let's be
honest, complaining about all of those aches and pains with people who really
understand what round ligaments feel like, is worth its weight in yoga mats.
Your baby belly doesn't go away the moment you pop that precious bundle of joy out.
3. Of course maternity
clothes are worth it!
No one likes to buy clothing for a body they only plan on
having for nine months. If it's their first child, chances are they will need maternity clothes even less. However, a woman's self-esteem can take a
hit during pregnancy. Suggest your friend give herself a budget of $100 to $200 to
buy a few outfits that make them feel pretty (instead of like a growing beached
whale). It is money well spent, and you can offer to make a girl's day of it with
shopping, lunch and pedicures to make her feel really special.
4. Yes, you will totally
be able to wear your maternity jeans even after the baby is born
It's true. Your baby belly doesn't go away the moment you
pop that precious bundle of joy out. Moms will need comfy, stretchy jeans for a couple
more months. If the pregnant mom in your life chooses wisely, she may never want
to give them up. I cried the day I consigned my Maternal America skinny jeans. Don't
tell your pregnant mom friends how big they will still be after giving birth but do assure them that the investment is worth it. We all can't have personal
trainers waiting at home the minute we bring the baby back from the hospital.
5. Let's go shoe shopping!
Clothes shopping can be depressing for a pregnant mom with
an expanding waistline, especially in the final months. Some women's feet do
change when they are pregnant, but for those who find their feet staying about
the same size, a shoe-shopping trip may be in order. Focus on cute flats to add
to her wardrobe. Although she can certainly wear heels as a mom, flats tend to
get the job done on a daily basis.
6. Your decisions matter
to others about as much as your brand of toothpaste
One thing I realized while pregnant with my first son is
that everyone has an opinion about everything having to do with my baby and me.
People came out of the woodwork to give me their opinions, when, really, there
was only one simple truth: my decisions mattered about as much as my brand of
toothpaste in the long run.
Everyone had his or her favorite diapers. Did they
really care if I used Huggies or Pampers once my son was born? Nope. As long as
my decisions were not harming me or my child in some very big, fundamental way
(going natural, C-section or epidural does not count), then no one had a say. Nothing mattered to anyone but my child, my husband and
7. It is OK to be
scared. I'm here if you need me
Too many woman feel like they have to put on an "I am woman,
hear me roar" face for the world when they are pregnant. Inside they may be
terrified or freaking out that everything they do is wrong, why did they just
gain 50 pounds when the baby only weighs 8, and how will this ever be OK
when the doctor hands her a helpless infant who knows nothing of the world?
if you have never been pregnant yourself, you can listen. Don't be pushy with
your advice; just let the pregnant women in your life know that you are always
available for a hot cocoa or iced-tea date if they just need a listening ear.
Even when surrounded by friends, pregnancy can be one of the loneliest times in
a woman's life. Having someone to just listen is invaluable.
8. Do you need a
One of the best things anyone can offer a pregnant woman,
especially if she already has kids, is a babysitter. Whether you have teens who
can babysit or you can babysit the kids yourself, this is one thing your pregnant
friend really needs—a break.
If your friend doesn't have kids
yet, be the first to sign up for baby duty once her child is born. It is very
hard to leave a new baby in the first few months. Having a friend that you trust
and know will take good care of your baby is a weight off your shoulders you
can't find many places, especially if you don't have family close by.
her that she will be able to leave the house again one day, if only to run to
the market down the street by herself or for a quiet dinner with her husband. By
offering your help, you are taking the "you'll never do anything for yourself
again" naysayers out of the equation.
Peace of mind is the best gift of all
when you are expecting a baby.