Rossendale Free Press
How to support a pregnant daughter
Ensure that you’re a help not a hindrance with these expert tips, says KATIE WRIGHT
EVERY mum or dad wants the best for their daughter when she’s expecting a baby, and while it may be tempting to impart every last bit of knowledge that you’ve gleaned while raising your own children, it’s easy to overstep the mark and turn into a pushy parent yourself.
Here, experts offer their dos and don’ts on how to support your daughter during her pregnancy.
Do ask how you can help
“It’s hard to know what people actually need, especially when pregnant as it is such a personal time,” says Eliza Flynn, pre and postnatal fitness expert from Biamother.
“So instead of guessing and risking treading on your daughter’s toes, open up a line of communication which allows you to fully support her during this time rather than making her feel like you are overwhelming her with information.”
Don’t offer unsolicited advice
“Though often well-intended, pregnant women are bombarded with opinions and advice,” says Kirsty Douglas, parenting expert at Kiddies Kingdom.
“Every pregnancy is different, so whilst offering general advice and answering any questions your daughter may have should be wellreceived, it’s important not to push your thoughts and experiences onto them.”
Try to avoid comparing your experience with hers. Sharing your experience is helpful but avoid saying that your advice is better.
Do lend a listening ear
From the first trimester through to labour, pregnancy can be difficult both physically and emotionally.
“Your daughter may be worried about the birth itself, concerned around what the pandemic could mean for her labour or could even be having a confidence crisis about her mothering abilities,” Kirstie says, so try to check in and see how she’s feeling as the weeks progress.
“It’s important to make time for your daughter to ensure that you are there to listen to whatever worries she may have so that you can provide her with some much-needed reassurance and support.”
Don’t judge her choices
When it comes to someone else’s pregnancy, the old ‘mother knows best’ adage does not apply – even when it’s your own daughter.
“You might have ‘been there, done that’, but it’s important for your daughter to find her own way,” says Eliza. “Parenting and general lifestyle has changed a great deal and what was right for you, might not be for someone else.”
Kirstie says you should support your daughter with whatever she chooses: “Whether it’s unique baby names or her preference between a caesarean or a water birth, it’s imperative that you don’t judge your daughter’s own choices.”
Michelle Kennedy, CEO and founder of the Peanut app that helps connect women and mums, adds: “How you think she should handle her pregnancy isn’t necessarily the right thing for her, so be sensitive when giving advice. Empower her to be confident in her own choices.”
Do give her some space
“Pregnancy can be an incredibly overwhelming time and I’m sure you’d rather reduce stress rather than add to it,” Eliza says, so be mindful of that when getting in touch with your daughter.
“Try not to expect immediate answers to messages, and don’t take it personally if your phone calls go unanswered.”
And remember that her mood might fluctuate as her hormones change.