7 things your pregnant friend wants you to know

I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant.

At this point, I’m not new to pregnancy, but also have more time to go before baby girl makes her arrival into the world.

I have some thoughts about pregnancy and interactions with others. It’s not one of those things we’ve been necessarily trained on how to handle, so this might be a helpful PSA if there are pregnant women in your life. Every pregnancy and woman is totally different. This, of course, is only from my point of view and I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments — do you agree? was there something I missed?

After thinking through this for the last week or so, here’s seven things your pregnant friend (me, Rachel) wants you to know.

“Think before you speak” has never been more important.

This is the biggest one. Maybe I should get a shirt printed with those words on it along with a shirt that says “yes I’m expecting – March 11, 2020 – girl.” 😉

It seems like the moment you announce you’re pregnant, the unsolicited advice and comments start coming in. Once you’re showing, these will come from strangers as well. I’m sure people are coming from a good place, but I’m still surprised by some of the things people say.

I can’t think of any other circumstance where it’s “normal” to say to a women ‘wow, you’re so big’ or ‘you look ready to pop.’ Prior to pregnancy I was guilty of this too, so I get it. You didn’t mean it that way. A pregnant woman is going through so many changes (both physically and emotionally) and sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all.

Better options:
You look beautiful.
You’re glowing.
You’re carrying your baby beautifully.
I’m so happy for you.
How are you doing?

As for the unsolicited advice, it’s probably better to keep it to yourself unless she asks. There are plenty of sources to get this from — just be a friend.

We love when you ask about the baby…

We’re probably going to be talking about me a lot. It’s a very exciting time and with all the changes there’s always something new going on. But we have other things going on in our lives. We are more than a baby bump. And you have important things to share as well, so don’t feel like for these nine months it has to be only baby talk.

Some people are more interested in that topic or they’ve been there before (or are pregnant currently), so it’ll dominate conversation. It’s so kind when people check in on me and baby and I’m always up for talking about it, but it’s okay to change the subject.

It’s a beautiful time, but it can feel isolating.

As most people know, there’s a lot you can’t (or don’t want to) do when you’re pregnant. There’s the obvious ones like no alcohol or raw sushi, but there’s plenty of other ones I didn’t even think about like soft cheeses and deli meat. I guess a lot of it comes down to food…

Especially around the holidays it can feel isolating as the only pregnant woman at a party. I’m not saying this for sympathy, but it’s something I never thought about before. While there are items on can’t-do list, there’s still a lot of room to enjoy life. Be inclusive and open to doing things a little differently (like maybe brunch instead of a night at the bar). Not only will your pregnant friend feel supported, but your friendship will continue to strengthen and you’ll mix things up!

Support means everything.

With that being said, support is my favorite word right now. My pregnancy pillow has been providing that much needed back and belly support for sleep and the people in my life have been the much needed support for my day to day life. A quick phone call or text to check in, a prayer for health, a relaxing afternoon lounging together on the couch.

We recently moved into a new home and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our families and the team of movers. Through these 27 weeks, I’ve had to get better about asking for help. That vulnerability and support is allowing us to create a wonderful community.

It’s going to be a bit weird.

Everything is changing. I honestly don’t know my body anymore. Some foods I used to love now don’t sound good. I’m hungry, but nothing sounds appetizing for dinner. I’m more emotional, so things that didn’t bother me before probably do now.

What I’m saying is things are different right now and that’s going to ask for more patience, understanding, and grace from you, friend. I’m doing my best, but I’m more to handle right now. Thank you for still being there even when it’s weird.

Our health care provider is the one to give approval.

Again, people mean well. But they’re probably not a doctor and don’t know the whole story. What’s healthy and fine for one woman may not be for another. We’ve heard the term “mom guilt” and I think this can even start in pregnancy.

A pregnant woman is enjoying sushi and is then shamed because someone thinks that it’s off limits without know it’s a shrimp tempura roll, so it’s cooked and totally fine in moderation as confirmed by her doctor.

Maybe instead of shaming, be curious and ask questions. You may be right. There’s so much information out there about what’s safe and healthy and what’s not and this can vary from person to person. Education goes both ways and it’s always good to not be the ‘know-it-all’ friend.

It’s likely we’re hungry, tired, or overwhelmed.

At any given time, I’m probably feeling one of those emotions. Sometimes all three. I encourage you to be compassionate and gentle with your pregnant friends and it wouldn’t hurt to show up with snacks.

I don’t write this from a place of anger or an annoyed attitude, but in hopes that sharing what I’ve learned through this journey will help you love on and encourage your pregnant friends well. It was pretty unfamiliar territory for me not too long ago and I know many of yall are in the same boat.

Pregnancy is a truly unique and special time. Every morning and night I thank God that I’m healthy and my baby is healthy and He’s allowing us to grow our family. I understand that I’m in a position so many women dream of being in. Incredible women that have experienced child loss, miscarriage, infertility. While I have not been there, my heart breaks for you. I pray your pain will be healed and that you find the hope and light you need. ❤

I’m almost to the third trimester and time continues to fly. It won’t be long before March is here and we’re finally holding our baby girl. I can’t wait! I want to savor this season though. Thank you for being on this journey with us. Later this month I’ll be doing a second trimester recap, so stick around if you enjoy pregnancy talk.

If this was helpful, I’d love to hear about it in a comment below!
You’re the best!

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