A new baby is a huge, life-changing event. So when a good friend tells you she’s expecting, you’ll probably be just as excited as she is. Heck, you may be even more excited, since you’re not the one dealing with morning sickness that lasts all day. Once the initial wave of excitement wears off, you’ll probably want to do something to show your support for her as she embarks on this thrilling, yet stressful, stage of life.
Ask her what she needs
This is one of the best things you can do for her, really. Expectant moms have wildly different reactions to pregnancy. Some women glow. Others just want it to be over. So if your friend doesn’t want you to throw an extravagant baby shower on her behalf, respect that. There are moms who will love the idea of picking out items for a buybuy Baby gift registry, but there are also moms who are perfectly fine getting hand-me-downs from their friends and family members. Neither approach is wrong. It’s perfectly OK to suggest throwing a baby shower to see how she reacts. If she sounds into the idea, then ask her for suggestions and move forward accordingly. If she’s not, then ask her if she would prefer an alternative celebration, or no celebration at all.
Don’t make any assumptions, either. You know what they say about people who make assumptions. Just because she didn’t tell you that she and her partner were trying doesn’t mean it was an accident. Don’t blurt out something like “Did you do this on purpose?” You probably wouldn’t want people asking you that, would you? She could have been trying for years, or she could have gotten pregnant unexpectedly and decided to roll with it. The particular circumstances aren’t really any of your business unless she chooses to talk about it.
Similarly, some women will feel comfortable sharing details of their latest visit to the obstetrician, but plenty of others will not. That’s fine. You probably wouldn’t want to talk about how many centimeters you’re dilated, either. Don’t take it personally if your friend refuses to reveal the name of her future child. She might just be looking to avoid weirdly judgmental comments, since nothing invites those quite like a pregnancy.
When the baby arrives
When the child is born, you’ll probably be hyper and excited, but your friend will likely be exhausted. She’s probably happy, sure, but childbirth is a brutal process. Don’t go posting about the baby on social media before your friend does. Let her (or possibly her partner) be the one to break the news in whatever manner she sees fit.
You can ask if she’s up for receiving visitors at the hospital, but don’t take it personally if she asks you to wait. Again, childbirth is an incredibly draining process. Women are poked and prodded and lose all sense of modesty. She may just want to take a few days to spend time with the newest member of the family.
Always remember that the pregnancy should be about the mother and her child, not you. You’re her friend, and you may even be a godparent to the new arrival, but you’re not the one experiencing all of this firsthand. Support her while also giving her plenty of space.