Caring for a Pregnant Friend in Lockdown: 4 Tips

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Pregnancy is an exciting and unique time, a beautiful journey to be shared. But in unprecedented times, many expectant mothers are feeling anxious and alone. One study in Italy last year found that nearly 40{226524ae3ad3992759beaf6e4c3a0e8b5a3d3506d10b9112f22b774c85a79885} of expectant mothers felt pandemic-related anxiety, with one in ten showing signs of clinical PTSD. If one of your friends or relatives is expecting, how can you support them? Here’s 4 tips.

Keep in touch

The rules on meeting up are constantly changing, but throughout it all, it has always been possible to stay socially connected. We all have busy lives so expectant mothers really appreciate friends checking in with them regularly. If you’re already a mother, you probably remember those many worries (rational and irrational) that made you feel anxious, and the coffees and lunches with friends that helped you regain your calm. Those are the things your friend will be missing right now. By allowing time to regularly chat with your friend, you can help her with any anxiety she’s feeling and help her feel valued. There’s more than one way to stay in touch and it doesn’t have to be a burden. A combination of video calls, voice messages and the occasional written note will do just fine.

Organise support with other friends

If you’re reading this article, then you are without doubt a very caring friend. But it can be a big effort to try and support a friend throughout her pregnancy. Instead of feeling like you’ve got to deal with it all yourself, coordinate with other friends to make sure your friend is cared for by a range of people at different times. That will give you a break and have a greater impact than if you had a long call with her every day. Joint activities you do with a few friends online can be particularly uplifting, which brings us to…

Provide distraction

Hobbies and other distractions are recommended by psychologists as effective ways to reduce anxiety. Your pregnant friend will have a lot on her mind but doing fun activities together can really help her relax and enjoy a fresh perspective. What kind of activities can you do together? Perhaps the best thing to do is gather ideas and discuss them with your friend. Glamour Magazine has 58 suggestions of fun activities you can do during lockdown, many of them involving others. Games nights, pizza making, virtual karaoke, bake-offs, wine tasting and terrarium making are all highly recommended, the only limit is your imagination. While it’s easy to get tired of constantly Zooming, if one format doesn’t work, don’t give up on trying to do things together. Your friend will certainly appreciate any effort you go to.

Make her feel pampered

A little bit of luxury makes a huge difference and now is the time your friend needs pampering. We all thrive on thoughtfulness and appreciation, so if your circumstances allow, prepare a small box of her favourite beauty products, chocolates or flowers. If that is a little too time consuming, ordering a small gift and having it delivered straight to her door would be a touching and kind gesture. One gift that has gone down so well with many expectant mums is a voucher for a takeaway. Cooking can sometimes be a strain, so an opportunity to take a night off and enjoy something special is exciting. Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats all offer gift cards, and some occasionally have promotions.  

For more tips, check out this excellent article from Mamamade.

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