#HELP – My best friend is expecting her first bub, and she’s asked me (a mum of three) to give her an honest idea of what to expect during birth and in the days that follow. She’s quite anxious about it all, and I don’t want to add to her anxiety by telling her things that might make her more worried – that said, I want to be a good friend and be honest with her. How can I be a good bestie and share what I know, without scaring her?!
It’s a relatable dilemma, because sometimes women ask “why didn’t anyone tell me about this?” as they navigate postpartum life and feel a little shocked about the way their body – and baby – are behaving.
Keep it positive
So what did our experienced parents suggest the best approach to sharing birth stories would be? Some suggested focusing on the positives, while still being truthful.
When my daughter had her Bub I didn’t go into the negatives as I didn’t want her focusing on that, so I stressed how important the proper breathing was during labour and it got her through. She was a champ. – Michele Geale
I would be honest with your birth story and say this is my birth story but all are different, which they are! The baby is going to have to exit her body one way or another … tell her not to stress after the birth and to take one day at a time. – Anita Martell
Tell her that yes, it will hurt like nothing else, but she will be amazed at how much she can cope with. She will find a strength she was never aware of. Tell her the first days and weeks are tough, but that you’re only a phone call away, any time. Tell her to follow her gut, do what feels right. – Jen Czerny
Just be honest with her – it’s gonna hurt, you will be scared, you can plan all you like but don’t bank on your plans coming together on the day. It’s ok to say no, breastfeeding will hurt, you will experience every emotion known to man and some that aren’t, birthing suites are not glamorous, don’t feel bad about any choice you make. You will want to throw in the towel halfway through but there is no easy way out of this one but when the dust settles and you have your beautiful baby none of that will matter. You won’t care about any of that; you will have your baby. – Selena Harkess
You’ve got this
Reinforcing that there is a baby at the end of this tricky process, and that the hard parts are temporary was another approach that our Babyology community recommended.
My best mate told me, ‘You know you can get through a minute of pain. Keep thinking that and you’ll nail it.’ Best advice ever!! – Rhian Griffiths
Tell her whatever I tell you probably won’t happen to you and every birth can end in a different way, but no matter the outcome you will be there for her in the days, weeks and months and years that follow. – Chantelle Cavlovic
Tell her “every pregnancy, labour and delivery is different”. But remind her she’s got this. Women were designed for this miracle! – Annie Newbery
So while it might appear difficult to balance reality with positive encouragement, our readers suggest it’s a juggle that can be achieved with some forethought, honesty and sensitivity.
You can read all the helpful advice given, on the original Facebook post here:
#HELP – My best friend is expecting her first bub, and she’s asked me (a mum of three) to give her an honest idea of…
This post is sponsored by Nurofen For Children