As we enter our 20s and 30s more and more of our friends get married, and in the ensuing years, start families. As single and dating friends to these married couples, it can be hard to navigate the transition. Most young women in today’s culture aren’t exposed to pregnancy and birth except through movie scenes and biology textbooks. It’s unfamiliar territory, and hard to know how to support those experiencing it when you’ve never gone through it yourself.
The good news? You don’t have to have experienced pregnancy or birth to be a good friend to those who are walking that road! You can be just present for them in this season as you’ve been in the ones prior. Here are a few things you can do.
1. Invite Her Anyway
In a healthy pregnancy, life pretty much goes on as it did before. Pregnant women can walk, work out and even run as their baby grows. They can eat most of the foods they had prior to the baby and can still go out with the girls if they’re feeling up to it. So don’t hesitate to invite your friend to the events you included her in before her pregnancy! If she’s not feeling up to it or has been given limitations by her doctor, she’ll let you know. It’s nice to enjoy time with your girlfriends in this season before young parenthood, when that time will become more limited. So make the most of it!
2. Take an Interest
Pregnancy may be foreign and new to you, but you can learn through your friend’s experience! Don’t feel bad about asking questions if there are things you don’t understand. She’ll love to share her journey with you. Plus, you can take this knowledge into the future, whether to support another pregnant friend or when you walk your own road to a future family.
I loved when my girlfriends asked where I was planning to have the baby, what names I had picked out and what my favorite baby items were. It closed the divide between our seasons and made me feel valued and loved. No question is a dumb question—especially when you’re talking to a friend!
3. Help Coordinate a Shower
Did you know most women don’t get a baby shower after the first baby? There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s mainly because they already have everything they need. But even if your friend’s mom is throwing her a massive baby shower, you could help coordinate it or throw a shower of your own on a smaller scale. One great idea is a “diapers only” shower. Everyone brings a different size diaper to help stock their nursery for the baby’s first year. It’s an affordable and easy way to bless a pregnant friend, and allows other people in her life the opportunity to host the “bigger” shower.
4. Coordinate a Letter Book
If you’re part of a larger friend group, consider creating a letter book for the baby and/or mama. Have everyone write a letter to them and enclose them all in a gift to her. I love the idea of all the girlfriends writing letters to the baby (especially if it’s a girl!) for her to read when she is older. This is a great way to facilitate Titus 2 discipleship before the baby is even born, and it leaves Mama with a beautiful keepsake. You can alter this idea to whatever might fit your friend group or situation.
5. Remember: We Need Friends in All Seasons!
Don’t downplay your value in your pregnant friend’s life just because you don’t share her life stage. She needs you just as much as she did before she started a family. Your heart and input in her life in this season means more than you know!