When a woman is pregnant, she may need more support, especially as the pregnancy progresses. As well as the physical symptoms of pregnancy and the hormonal changes it brings, an expectant mother has to plan for what’s ahead. It’s generally recommended that pregnant women reduce the stress in their lives, and this is where family and friends come in.

Whether this is your first grandchild or not, there are many ways that future nanas, aunties, and other loved ones can help expectant parents to prepare for their new child. Here are a few tips to help you to be as helpful as possible.

Contribute Where it Matters

Babies are expensive and, even if parents can afford the necessities, it’s nice to contribute where you can. While it’s nice to gift toys and other fun things, parents may further appreciate things that they will need immediately, from diapers to the all-important baby car seat

However, before you rush out to the shops, make sure that you consult the parents-to-be first. Yes, surprises are nice, but they can make stress worse, especially when it comes to large, important purchases that parents may have already researched.

For some families, a monetary contribution or a gift card might work wonders. It isn’t as fun or as cute as shopping for baby things, but the flexibility that it provides can be priceless.

Be Informed

One of the best ways to know how to help is to know what’s coming. Even if you’ve been pregnant before, you can always learn more. After all, your experience isn’t universal, every pregnancy is different and some mothers may struggle more or less. 

While it’s always good for the parents to pick up a pregnancy book, there’s no harm for other loved ones to read up on what’s going on with the mother. However, if you do have experience raising a child, you can use that to encourage the pregnant mother and help her to feel less overwhelmed.

Plan to Help

The best time to arrange for the big day is at least a couple of months before it happens. If the expectant parents ask you to help, then make sure that you have a game plan that’s ready to go. Hopefully, the parents will already have packed bags and other necessities ready, but there are ways for you to help.

For example, if this is their second child, then you may be called upon for childcare services. In other cases, the parents may ask you to drive the mother to the hospital when she goes into labor. In this case, keep your calendar clear. 

Offer Advice, But Within Reason

Some parents appreciate a helping hand and some good advice, especially if you’ve done it before. Be ready to listen to their concerns and offer your experience if they want it. However, this comes with a caveat. 

The parents may choose to do things differently to how you’d prefer, but it’s usually important to follow their lead. Times have changed and parenting practices have changed with them, so keep your advice non-judgmental.