Sunday, December 31, 2006

Helping An Unexpected Mom

If you know someone who got pregnant unexpectedly, she may need you to be there for her more than other women you know who will be having babies. While you cannot change the situation, you can provide moral support and advice when needed. The first decision that the mom to be needs to make is whether or not she will keep the baby. For many women, this decision is simple. Some may have moral problems with abortion that make that decision one they will not consider. Other moms may know that adoption is not right for them. Still other moms will want more information about these decisions. If you cannot give information without being too biased, then you should direct her to someone who can be more objective.

If the mom decides to keep the baby and to raise it alone, then she will need someone to help her with the many decisions coming. For her sake, you need to show her some excitement about the baby. Remember that she probably is terrified and worried about money, childcare, and a million other issues, so it is your job to help her through those feelings.

Start by taking her shopping just to get a couple of things for the baby. You should try to get her to get a couple of pieces of maternity clothes. Trying on clothes, especially if you can find a shop with trendy clothes, will make her have fun associated with the experience of having the baby. You also should try to pick up a toy or two and maybe an outfit.

After you have done some shopping, you should sit down with mom and talk candidly about how she will afford everything the baby needs. Point her to books or websites about raising a baby with little money. While she may be panicking about the cost of a crib, changing table, and everything else, you know that there are places to cut corners. She can get a good used cribs or even a less expensive new model.

Also look at the on-going costs of the baby, such as wipes, diapers, and toiletry items. Be sure that you give her an accurate portrayal of how much it will cost because she will need to work out a budget or to see how much money she will need to make to cover the extra costs. Start pricing daycare now as well. Look at possible alternatives to full-time daycare and talk about the differences and the cost.

Help her to make a list of everything she will need when the baby arrives. Then if someone will be throwing her a baby shower, you can have a list ready. You can even go with her to set up a baby registry so that she will get the fun of picking out things that she would like for the baby. These types of outings are exciting because they let the fun side of having a baby come into play.

Once she gets into the pregnancy, you can be there to help with advice on major issues, such as telling her boss that she will be having a baby and planning for maternity leave. Also help her to deal with the hospital issues, even going with her to birthing classes if she would like. Education is very important during the prenatal months, so help her out by giving her books or telling her about things she should know without intruding.

You also can do some good neighbor-type stuff for her. Take her dinner once in a while or buy a pork loin for her when they are on sale. Offer to paint the nursery for her and to help get everything together. Pick up things along and along when you find them. Give her a good book or a certificate for a pedicure so that she can spend some time focusing on herself. Try to keep her calm. Most first-time mothers are nervous anyway. When you add to it that she may be doing everything alone, then you are looking at a recipe for sky-high anxiety. Instead try to be there to calm her fears and provide all of the support you can to make this time memorable for her.

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