Finding Your Pregnancy Partner

Pregnant friends

Like all of the best things in life, pregnancy is better experienced with a friend.

Every preggo mama benefits from a friend who’s also expecting, ideally one who is due a month or two ahead so she has a bit of a “been there, done that” manner, though in a friendly, helpful way. It doesn’t matter if this is your second or sixth baby; the pregnancy friendship is like a good OB: informative, collaborative, sympathetic, and altogether accepting.

After all, pregnancy can turn a woman into a bit of a freak show. People can’t help but do a double take when they first see that belly, then come the stares; the most atrocious might even try to touch it. Things you used to do or gab about with girlfriends—clothes shopping, new types of exercise, dieting and body issues, nights on the town—are now pretty much dead in the water. Every conversation instead begins with well-intentioned “How are you feeling?,” as if you’re suffering from a long-term disease, but even the best of friends don’t really want to hear much about your incontinence issues while jogging. Other friends, particularly those unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant, might be stepping back or altogether avoiding you, whether out of jealousy or a bit of sadness.

With your pregnant friend, you can gab ad nauseum about the joys and pains of growing a baby, share maternity fashion advice, and discuss birth plans. Plus there are all of the baby preparations to make, and your pregnancy partner is the perfect sounding board to bounce nursery design ideas off of and to advise you on necessary baby gear. It’s like pairing up on a school project; she’s taking on half (or more, depending on how much farther along she is than you) of the research necessary for purchasing the perfect carseat-stroller combo or baby bathtub.

Your friendship, however tenuous pre-pregnancy, benefits from the unique bonding that being pregnant together offers, and post-delivery, bam! Your baby has an instant friend within months of age. Plus you potentially have an instant therapist for 18 years of future childrearing… but let’s just begin with swapping breastfeeding challenges and tips.

I’ve been lucky this time around; I have two friends who are both about a trimester ahead me. One is also having a girl, which means I’m pretty much set for baby clothes if I want to be; she plans on handing down all of her babe’s clothes as she’s finished with them. If you’re finding yourself without a pregnant friend, do yourself a favor and get one, stat. You’re sure to make some by trolling popular preggo hangouts like prenatal yoga sessions or breastfeeding prep and birthing classes. Or you could head online to the Mom365 Community, where I’m a member host; I could always use another partner in pregnancy.