July 17, 2023

How to care for a pregnant friend in her last weeks of pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a wonderful phase of life, but that last trimester can be tough. As you grow bigger, need more rest, and want to get the nest ready, a little help and support is a welcome treat. I’ll share 12 ways how to care for your pregnant friend in her last weeks of pregnancy.

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Pregnant lady on a bridge in an autumn setting

That last trimester

While I was nearing the last weeks of pregnancy when we were expecting our fifth, I wrote the notes for this post. I never thought I could get irritated at people asking how I was doing, but frankly, I did. Those last weeks were tough. With energy at an all-time low, and hormones all over I was just very ready to meet this baby girl.

Because I didn’t want to forget how those last weeks were and to not forget how I could encourage a friend in her last trimester I thought I jot down what I felt I needed most at that time.

Read on as I give you some practical tips on how to support a pregnant friend in her last weeks of pregnancy.

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Can pregnancy be really that tough?

Pregnancy is different for every woman. Someone may roll through the months like it's nothing and for someone else, it could be the longest months of her life. So first of I want to encourage you to be gracious to any woman in her last trimester.

It's encouraging to know people are thinking of you and praying for you, but these last weeks of pregnancy are demanding for the mother. The mom needs lots of rest to prepare for labor and the newborn baby, both physically and mentally.

These suggestions will guide you to be a practical support for your pregnant friend. Bear in mind that needs can differ from one pregnant woman to another. Be generous in offering help, but don't overrule her.

1. Make a meal

Who doesn't like to be cooked for? I certainly do! With a large family, one evening "off" is just nice. For the expectant mother preparing a meal can be exhausting. This is surely something any expecting mother will appreciate.

TIP: When you cook a freezer-friendly meal you don't have to worry whether or not she already had something planned for the evening.

Sunflowers in a glass vase

2. Send flowers

Flowers are a lovely reminder someone's thinking of you. Especially if they come as a surprise! This makes a great way to support an expecting friend for someone who lives farther away.

Also, flowers brighten up any room. It's a nice reminder that someone's thinking of her every time she sees the flowers. And to add some charm to the home in a time when the homemaker might not be able to tend to her home as she used to.

3. Take her out for lunch

Her energy level might no longer be high enough to go out for a whole day or evening, but a brief lunch is something that she might enjoy. It's a nice distraction from all the pre-partum worries an expecting mother can have.

Don't forget to pick her up and bring her home so she can just sit back and relax.

White suitcase with a baby legging on a woolen mat

4. Take her children on a day out

Babysitting the other children is a great way to give your friend a break when she already has children.

It gives her time to take a nap in the afternoon or do some little things around the house to prepare the nest for baby's arrival.

Also, it can be a welcoming break for the children. The expectant mom may not be able to do all the things she used to do with her other children in these last weeks of pregnancy. Therefore it's nice to be out and about and have some distraction before the arrival of their sibling.

5. Offer to babysit

A babysitter offers the expectant mother some time out. She can do some last-minute baby shopping or visit a relative or friend without having to bring the other children.

Also, it offers a way for her and her husband to go out together. Be generous to her and let her know they can take their time and that her children will be well taken care of. With all those hormones, it's nice for her to know all is well with the other family members.

6. Bring her favorite magazine

A magazine, full of inspiring pictures and stories is a lovely read for a woman in her last trimester. It's simply a good companion with a cup of tea and a relaxing night at home for the mother-to-be.

7. Do laundry for her

By doing laundry for her I mean the whole cycle. Like washing, drying, folding, and putting away. If you see piles of dirty clothes, just go and start a cycle or take a load home and bring it back to her crips and clean.

Freshly baked apple pie with slices of apple on top. Vanilla sauce and apples lying beside the pie.

8. Go over for a cup of coffee

Especially if it's her first child, those last weeks can be lonely actually. It may feel even more alone if the mother-to-be is used to working outside the home and sees her colleagues every day. That's because the contrast between staying at home and working with colleagues every day is big. Her world may seem much smaller than it used to be. A friend coming over for a cup of coffee or tea might be a welcome break for the mother in her last trimester.

TIP: make it extra special by bringing a unique tea or coffee blend. And, of course, bring something to accompany the cup of tea/coffee. Like a chocolate or two...

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9. Go grocery shopping for her

Hauling groceries is the last thing a mother in her third trimester is looking forward to doing. So, someone doing it for her is much appreciated I'm sure.

If you want to get groceries for your pregnant friend you could ask her to give you a list of whatever she needs. If she doesn't want that (accepting help can be hard...!) you can just bring some basics like fruits, granola bars, tea & coffee, soap, etc., and things with a longer shelf life like soups, sauces, and dried goods like pasta to whip up a quick dinner.

10. Do household work

In the last few weeks, it can be a challenge to get it all done with all the extra weight of the baby. It gets harder to keep up with everything when your night was short and you have all the extra weight to cope with.

I'm sure a few extra helping hands are welcome for an expectant mother. Don't keep asking her what needs to be done. You can of course ask, but if she's unsure just tell her you'll do something that looks like it needs some attention.

Otherwise, just go with the daily tasks like clearing and cleaning the kitchen counter, bathrooms, sweeping and mopping, etc.

11. Make scripture cards

One gift I have always appreciated was a bundle of scripture cards. It's nice to have a piece of scripture to quickly read when you sleep much less and your focus is more on getting everything ready in the home and getting ready for labor.

TIP: They are also nice to keep on hand during the beginning stages of labor.

12. Buy something for herself to enjoy

Give her something, especially for her. Something she can enjoy and take a break and get some rest at home. Things like natural soap, body oil, chocolates, teas, assorted macarons, etc. will likely do well.

BONUS: What to tell an expecting friend in her last trimester. Do's

Tell her she's doing great, that it's an accomplishment that she has carried this baby all along. Tell her she'll be a great mom. And let her know you admire the work she still gets done (however little that may be). These are some phrases to consider.

Doubt can creep in those last weeks of pregnancy and an affirmation can certainly help cheer up a friend in her last weeks of pregnancy.

DOUBLE BONUS: What not to tell an expecting friend in her last trimester. Don't's

This is a classic and I'm going to be straightforward here (like they say Dutch people are...). Don't ask her if the baby has already arrived. Just don't. Because the baby hasn't arrived yet. Otherwise, you would've surely heard about it. She's just as anxious as you are to meet this little one and it's not helping her a bit if all those impatient, but well-meaning, friends and relatives keep reminding her that it takes so long. She already knows that.

Another one, which might not apply to all pregnant women in their last trimester but can be very helpful for those to whom it does apply... Don't ask her what she needs. This might seem strange as you want to help and need some place to start. But, her brain is probably so foggy and trying to focus on her baby and the upcoming delivery that she doesn't know what she needs.

Surely, she knows she wants to rest and prepare and tidy the nest. But how and when? She has no clue.

So, just bring that meal, her favorite treat, and send those flowers as an encouragement. Without asking if she needs them. Trust me, as a five-time "third-trimester graduate", she will definitely appreciate your efforts.

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