As those of us who have been pregnant know, there is nothing comfortable about walking around with a protruding belly and swollen ankles. And even though your pregnant friends may be glowing on the outside, they’re dealing with physical limitations as well as stress about their impending births. Whether it is your friend’s first baby or her fifth, here are some ways you can help her feel a little less lethargic and a lot more loved.


1. Take her for a mani/pedi: She may feel swollen and tired but that doesn’t mean her nails can’t look pretty. Nothing helps to conquer the pain of cankles like a fresh coat of nail polish and some lotion rubbed on your legs. Plus, those massaging chairs are crazy relaxing.

2. Shower or sprinkle her: If it is her first child, a baby shower with all her closest family and friends is a must (as long as she is comfortable with that). If it is her second or beyond, a sprinkle is more appropriate. A sprinkle is just a little more low key than a shower. The guests could do a group gift or just all bring diapers. Either way, make it all about her by serving the foods that she has been craving.

3. Speaking of cravings, you don’t have to wait until after the baby is born to bring your friend food. If you know there is something she loves, surprise her with it. Especially during those final weeks, no pregnant woman enjoys being on her feet, cooking. She will be very grateful when you bring her her cravings like cream cheese and pickles.


4. Exercise with her: Most pregnant women are able to exercise throughout their pregnancy as long as their heart rate doesn’t get too high. Inviting your friend on a brisk walk is a win win for both of you.

5. Give her a night out: Instead of a bachelorette party, some women have started throwing their friends a “babyette” party—one last night out before the baby (and the sleepless nights) come. At a babyette, make your friend a mocktail, indulge in great food and let her enjoy some adult conversation.

6. Help with childcare: If your friend has an older child or children, offer to watch them for a few hours so she can have some time to herself. And if you are flexible, offer to be on standby when the baby comes, so she can have peace of mind knowing her older children have somewhere to go, even if the baby comes in the middle of the night

7. Set up a meal calendar: About two months before her baby is due, ask your friend if you can set up a meal calendar for her, so friends and family can bring over yummy dinners after the baby is born. Get your friend’s input on when she wants the meals to start, how often they should come, who to invite to sign up and if they have any allergies or preferences. There are websites that make this super simple like Meal Train  and Care Calendar.  Be sure to remind people on the list to send everything in disposable containers. No mom with a newborn baby has time to return dishes.

8. Keep your opinions to yourself: Whether it’s the name she’s chosen or if she’s going to breast or bottle feed, just be supportive. Responses like, “You’re going to be such a great mom” and “That baby is lucky to have you” are great. Things like, “Oh? Is that a family name or something?” are not.

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