How Do I Help When My Friend is Pregnant?
She called you up last night and you’re still shocked from the news. Your friend is pregnant, and it wasn’t planned. You’re not sure what to say. You spend so much time together. The last thing in the world you can imagine is her having a baby. You want to be there for her, but you’re just not sure what to do.
Many women find themselves in this scenario and sometimes they don’t say anything because they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. Right now your friend needs your support and encouragement and there are some practical ways you can show you care and love her no matter what. Some of these ideas may even help you work through your own emotions when your friend is pregnant.
Maybe your friend has decided to carry her baby to term, but she doesn’t know if she wants to be a mom yet. Maybe she is considering abortion as an option. Understand that she has a number of decisions to make and is more than likely completely overwhelmed by all of the options. If she’s considering adoption try to avoid saying things like “How could you even consider adoption?” or “I could never give up my baby.” You need to realize that the process for deciding to place a baby for adoption is difficult. Stay positive and give her encouragement. Let her know she has a friend in you no matter what she decides.
Also if she does decide to parent, don’t share horror stories from family members or friends. The last thing she needs to hear about is your sister-in-law’s 40 hours of labor, or your experience babysitting terrible toddlers. Will it be hard for her? Yes, but she does not need that negativity in her life right now.
Don’t Bring Up What If’s…
Trust us, she has already been thinking about them. What if she miscarries? What if she gets so sick she can’t stand it? What if she has a terrible labor and delivery? Keep these thoughts to yourself. If she wants to talk them through, listen first, then give feedback but remember to be encouraging and supportive. Be sure to steer the conversation away from things that aren’t likely to happen and that will only add to her stress.
Respect Her Decision
Maybe you think she should consider abortion. Maybe you don’t support her decision to go through with her parenting plan. You need to check your own feelings at the door until you have a chance to work through them. This can be hard to navigate if you don’t understand her reasons for carrying her baby to term. Try to understand her point of view and don’t try to persuade. She needs you as a friend right now. You may be experiencing your own feelings of anger, fear, and resentment. Maybe you’re afraid you’ll be loosing your friend. If you are aware of your feelings and work through them, this experience could potentially make your friendship stronger.
Doing small things with love can go a long way in a friendship. Maybe your friend needs a ride every now and then to her doctor appointments. Maybe she needs help picking out baby things, or she needs someone to just watch a movie with to get her mind off of everything going on. It doesn’t have to be much. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. If she’s pregnant in the summer, a Sonic cherry limeade could be just what she needs. Someone to cry with and get excited with her may help her out. If the father of the baby or her family isn’t supportive, she will need you more than ever. So think of a few small things you can to so show support over then next few months. She will be grateful for your kindness.
If your friend comes to you before she knows for sure she is pregnant (maybe she has only taken a home pregnancy test) and she needs pregnancy confirmation, please tell her about Collage in both Kearney and Grand Island. You can even come with her for her appointment if that makes her more comfortable. Once we confirm the pregnancy is viable, we can often let her know how far along she is. And no matter where she is in the decision process we can help by talking through all of her options and helping her figure out what is best for her. If she does decide to carry her baby, we can give her helpful information and resource referrals in the community.