So your friend just found out she’s pregnant. She’s probably feeling so many emotions – and so are you. How do you react? You don’t want to be overbearing, but you really want to help. Here are seven things you can do to support a friend facing an unplanned pregnancy.
1. Don’t go ghost on her
When I announced my pregnancy, I had so many friends say how excited they were for me, and “to let them know if I need anything!” I thought nothing was going to change. But it did. Especially after I announced my decision to place my baby for adoption, many of my friends disappeared. Some of them judged me, but I think most of them just didn’t know what to say. You don’t need to say or do anything special to help your friend during her pregnancy – just be there for her. Be willing to talk about it or not talk about it, whatever she needs.
2. Don’t treat her like an alien
I loved talking about my pregnancy. I loved it when friends and family asked how I was feeling, and made sure I was comfortable. I felt special. But pregnancy (and doing it alone) was on my mind 24/7. Sometimes I needed a break to remind me I was a human being, not just a walking uterus. That’s where you come in. Talk to her about your own life. Hang out with her, do the same things you did before she became pregnant. She’s the same person you knew before she was expecting – just rounder.
3. Be careful with your words
I know, you’re friends, you tease each other. But it is not cool to call her stupid or promiscuous because she is pregnant. Lecturing her about how she should have been safe is not going to help anything now. Facing an unplanned pregnancy means a lot of people will likely give her grief – don’t be one of those people. It is your job to build her up, not bring her down. You don’t have to walk on eggshells around her, just be kind.
4. Be excited for her!
Regardless of whether she decides to parent or place her child, a baby is a miracle. Do something to celebrate. If she’s parenting, throw her a shower! If she’s placing, take her on a fun outing to celebrate what a warrior she is. Just because her pregnancy wasn’t planned doesn’t mean it should be swept under the rug. Your friend is carrying a tiny life, and that’s something to be excited about.
5. Ask questions
It’s okay to ask your friend how she’s feeling. Ask her how you can help. Ask what her adoption relationship will look like. The pregnancy is not a topic that needs to be skirted around, talk about it! And if she doesn’t want to answer, that’s okay. At least she knows you’ll be there to talk if she needs it.
6. Stand up for her
When I was pregnant, some people were pretty judgemental. I had a few loyal friends and family members who stood up for me fiercely, and would not tolerate people’s’ assumptions and cruelty. I am more grateful for that than they will ever know. My mother served as my human shield, protecting me from people who thought I should be treated differently because I was pregnant. Be like my mom.
7. Be Patient
Her hormones are going crazy, she’s uncomfortable, and going through something really hard. She might be a little grumpier than usual, and need to lean on you more often. Stay strong. Friendship is about being there for each other no matter what.
You’re a good friend – that’s why you’re reading this article. Keep it up. Be sensitive to her needs, just as you always are. What she needs most is your friendship and loyalty. As long as you’re trying, you’re doing an amazing job of supporting your friend through her pregnancy.