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Close friend really not enjoying pregnancy...advice please?

(16 Posts)
RoRoMommy Mon 11-Aug-08 13:30:43

Hello all and thanks in advance,

A good friend of mine is really having a difficult time with her pregnancy. She's 17 weeks along, has had no "burst" of energy with second trimester, is very sick and feels really down.

I had a great pregnancy, so I can't relate, but if course I want to be there for her as much as I can. Does anyone out there, who is having or has had a difficult pregnancy, have advice on:

(1) books I can recommend to her to make her feel more "normal" (like society wants you to think that all pregnant women are just loving it--any novels or books that I can give her showing the other side of the story?);
(2) websites or talk boards she can turn to to meet other women not having a rosy time 24/7;
(3) exercises, techniques, foods, etc. to get her through the rest of it?

Thanks again!

InTheDollshouse Mon 11-Aug-08 13:57:13

I really feel for your friend! TBH I don't think any of the stuff you've listed would be all that helpful (or at least, it wouldn't help me), though it's sweet of you to think of it. If I were you I'd just carry on as normal, be a sympathetic ear, and be tactful - don't say how much you enjoyed your pregnancy/how she should be "glowing" by now/etc.

waitingtobloom Mon 11-Aug-08 14:05:53

I have crap pregnancies and one of the biggest problems is I feel that Im not allowed to take things easy because other women seem to cope so much with it. If she has been close to you during your pregnancies then she may be comparing herself to you thinking "why cant i cope when she does" "im useless at this" "i must be so weak" etc etc.

I think you just need to be there for her - be sympathetic (which it sounds like you are doing a great job of it). Pregnancy isnt an illness but its side effects sure are! For me pregnancy is like one giant awful hangover from hell. Try and imagine what you feel like on one of those mornings where you swear you will never drink again...then imagine doing that every day whilst being expected to carry on with things.

I would point her in the direction of mumsnet if she isnt already here - not in a direct way but as in "isnt this website fab it really helped me way". There are books out there that are good but most want to make you strangle the authour then yourself. There is quite a good one - something to do with pregnancy sucks - what to do when your miracle makes you miserable.

It is really really hard being pregnant when you feel terrible - you are made to think that it should be something wonderful and that you bounce about and cope with everything. I just needed people to understand how I was feeling and how bad emotionally that made me feel. Perhaps practical offers - making her a cup of tea, letting her moan etc might help.

Does that make any sense?

frasersmummy Mon 11-Aug-08 14:19:02

I completly agree with waiting to bloom this was exactly how I felt. There is not a lot you can do to help your friend.. except try to be sympathetic and supportive.. which sounds like you already are.

There is quite a humourous book which i remember being quite good.. it was called the best friends guide to pregnancy

I know when I was quite down my dh bought me a bottle of non alcoholic bubbly and poured it into a champagne glass for me. The pshycology (sp?) of doing something I am not allowed to do when its all I really felt like doing was nice.. cheered me up a bit

hope that makes sense

PetitFilou1 Mon 11-Aug-08 14:29:08

Get her on the antenatal clubs bit on MN of course! Everyone is allowed to whinge on those and actually most women don't enjoy at least some part of their pregnancy so she is completely normal!

Having a pedicure, a haircut or a facial generally cheers me up.

Prenatal yoga would probably be good or some antenatal swimming if she's feeling up to it as exercise helps with depression generally.

If she signs up with an NCT course or something she will most likely find support there too.

Keep the good work up anyway as you are obviously being a great friend.

auntyspan Mon 11-Aug-08 14:40:25

i very much dislike pregnancy for the reasons you've described! I wish I had spoken to my midwife about it rather than bottling it all up, they are trained to offer proper support to ladies having a rough time.
If it's proper pre-natal depression then that can sometimes lead to PND so it's best her midwife knows about it? HTH x

auntyspan Mon 11-Aug-08 14:41:18

i very much dislike pregnancy for the reasons you've described! I wish I had spoken to my midwife about it rather than bottling it all up, they are trained to offer proper support to ladies having a rough time.
If it's proper pre-natal depression then that can sometimes lead to PND so it's best her midwife knows about it? HTH x

poshtottie Mon 11-Aug-08 14:44:37

pregnancy yoga, should help her relax and its not too taxing.

I had lots of treatments to cheer myself up.

I also went to a baby cafe for mums and mums to be.

Cicatrice Mon 11-Aug-08 14:48:05

Don't have much to add to the advice given, and you sound like you're a nice friend to have!

I had a crap pregnancy sick all the way through. I have just had a week off work with flu and it really reminded me of just how I felt when I was pregnant.

It won't last forever that's all I can say. But I still wish I could have vomitted over one of the chirpy buggers who would say"Pregancy's not an illness, you know!".

For me, to all intents and purposes, it was.

jette Mon 11-Aug-08 14:51:06

I think just being allowed to complain a bit and get a hug at the end of a rant is a great thing (I'm guessing you're doing that!)..
I made the mistake of complaining a little too much and my MIL asked me why I was bothering if it was so much trouble! Then I cried!

kookiegoddess Mon 11-Aug-08 15:06:17

not sure if she's up to it but if you live nearby, offering to go for a walk with her every other day in the afternoon (before yr baby's bathtime??)whilst it's still light might help. I had very bad nausea with no vomiting but found that keeping busy could sometimes stave off the sicky feeling - so helping yr friend to plan things that she can do, visits, hairdresser etc may help.

Sea sickness bands (from boots, just ask) also helped. Make sure her partner is doing everything he/she can to support her when they get home - nothing worse than people expecting you to function as normal! Really hope that GP can offer some more advice and support and that she gets to a good bit of pregnancy v soon.

notcitrus Mon 11-Aug-08 16:06:18

I felt terrible round that time, especially with the idea that I 'should' feel better. Then I read somewhere that the whole feeling better in second trimester simply means that at some point IN the second trimester, most women feel better, not at the start.

And that the comparison is to how you felt earlier in pregnancy, not pre-pregnancy... another of those misleading ideas, along with 'sleeping through the night' which apparently is interpreted as 'five hours'.

I second the idea of making sure her partner is being useful and not expecting her to be 'normal'. Maybe remind her that lots of pregnant women feel like she does, but obviously they're not the ones she sees out and about? Hope her GP and midwife are supportive and useful, too.

RoRoMommy Mon 11-Aug-08 16:29:57

Wow, these are all really helpful ideas. Thanks so much for responding!

Unfortunately I live in London and my friend lives in Los Angeles, but I am trying to be as present as possible and already sent her about five books that I really loved when I was pregnant, most of them from Dr. Sears and the others from Ina May Gaskin...so the idea of something on the other end of the spectrum isn't a bad idea at all.

I am also going to get in touch with her husband and see if there is a spa or nail salon she likes to go to, and get the number so I can make her an appointment.

Even though she's not from the UK, getting her connected to mumsnet isn't a bad idea. At the very least she can lurk about and run searches for specific things if she's curious. Who knows, maybe she will get involved.

Most of all I just want to let her bitch and not feel like she's SUPPOSED to feel a certain way and she can just feel however she's feeling without having to apologize.

aurorec Mon 11-Aug-08 17:04:56

I found that I felt like crap my 1st pregnancy, I was sick the whole time, my skin was terrible etc.

I fet ill, not pregnant. The only thing that made me feel better was to find out the sex of the baby- it suddenly made everything a lot more real.

PetitFilou1 Mon 11-Aug-08 17:07:14

RoRomummy there is no reason why she can't connect to MN just because she is in LA. There is a prolific poster on our antenatal thread at the moment who lives in Texas (plus expats in Argentina, Singapore etc)

AnnVan Tue 12-Aug-08 06:13:26

Agree with other posters, there's not going to be much to recommend. I've had horrible pregnancy. (now at 37 weeks, and just counting the days till I start to feel vaguely normal again)

Everyone kept spouting so much advice at me, esp in early stages, like eat ginger, eat dry biscuits, eat before you get up, that eventually I just wanted to scream NONE OF IT WORKS!!

Just be supportive. I know the managers at work were comparing me to other staf members who were heavily pregnant and glowing. I have not yet 'glowed' at all, just thrown up, fainted suffering insomnia and constant heartburn.

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