10. Don’t use the following phrases “You’re so big!”, “Are you sure there’s just one in there?”, “Haven’t you had that baby yet?” If she’s big, she knows it. She probably feels bigger than she looks. If you want to celebrate that beautiful baby, try “Look at that gorgeous belly!” Or better yet, stick with “You look great!” or compliment something that ISN’T pregnancy related: hair, shoes, manicure, whatever!
9. Take some pics. Many women don’t take pictures of themselves when they’re pregnant because they feel big or awkward. Encourage your friend to let you snap a few that you’ll only share with her, and to take some herself. You can always delete, but you can never go back and get more pics of this very special time in your life.
7. Listen about the pregnancy, even if you’ve heard it all before. Sometimes a mother-to-be needs to talk about what’s going on in her pregnancy, but everyone is tired of hearing it. Maybe you’ve never been pregnant and can’t relate, or you’ve had several of your own and you’ve been there, done that. In any case, it doesn’t cost a thing to listen sympathetically for a little while. BUT…
6. Lay off the labor horror stories. You may have had the rudest doctor, meanest nurse, most clueless partner or longest labor in all human history, and you need to vent about it. Understandable, do it! But not to your pregnant friend, especially if it’s her first. Scaring moms-to-be seems to be a national pastime these days, and it’s bordering on cruel. Maybe you feel like you need to warn her, because she’s going to the same (healthcare provider/birth place/whatever) that caused your experience, but if you absolutely believe you need to, do it with caution and love. “I wasn’t very happy about how that practice acted when I ….” Or “When I went to the hospital, things were different than I expected”. Remember that fear can make a labor harder, so you aren’t doing her any favors if you scare her.
5. Talk about other stuff sometimes. Lots of moms are getting sick of everyone asking about the pregnancy, the baby, her growing belly. Find other things you normally chat about and start off your conversations with those things.
4. Give the gift of Netflix, Hulu, or On-Demand. Looking for that perfect gift? Many women find that the TV is their new best friend when a newborn is around, especially if they’re nursing. Find out if your friend uses or wants to try one of those services and give a gift card! She’ll thank you during a 3am feeding when she’s not stuck watching infomercials for company.
3. Offer to make food – for now or after the baby comes. A pregnant mom, especially one with little ones at home already, is almost always hungry, tired or both. Any food that she doesn’t have to cook will be appreciated, whether it’s homemade or take out! Just be sure to check for allergies/dietary needs first! If a mom doesn’t feel like she needs help now, offer to make a freezer meal so it’s ready when baby shows up. Don’t ask if, ask when and what. “I just wanted someone to help without me having to ask or agree to it. I just wanted them to come and take over; don't ask me, because if you ask me I have to think about it and then I might as well do it.” This can go for anything you think your friend might need, too!
2. Moms with more than one all mentioned watching the older ones. “Took my 2 year old so I could nap”, “Watch my toddler so I could rest.” “Because I have other kids, it was so nice when my mother-in-law sent me a gift card to (an indoor playplace) so I could sit in the air conditioning while they ran around”.
1. If you are a good friend, offer a foot, leg or back/shoulder/neck rub! Moms have places that itch that they can’t scratch, not to mention tired legs and feet. Several of the moms we talked to said “FOOT RUB!!” as their biggest thing. “I bought myself a back-scratcher specifically for my feet because the constant swelling made them itch, and the non-scratchy side was good for massages.” Painting toenails might be appreciated as well, if you’re so inclined. You could also give a gift card for a pedicure or massage (this idea was also very popular with the BTDT mommies).