How to best to support your pregnant daughter

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Ensure that you’re a help not a hindrance with these expert tips.

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.

So what’s the best way to be of assistance in the lead up to your grandchild’s birth? Here, experts offer their advice 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 with information.”

Don’t offer unsolicited advice

“Though often well-intended, pregnant women are bombarded with opinions and advice, not-only from family members, but colleagues, friends and even strangers too,” 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 well-received, 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 or experience 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,” Douglas 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.

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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 Flynn.

“Parenting and general lifestyle has changed a great deal and what was right for you, might not be for someone else.

Douglas 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 personal choices.”

Michelle Kennedy, CEO and founder of Peanut app, adds: “How you think she should handle her pregnancy isn’t necessarily the right thing for her, so be sensitive when it comes to 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 and anxiety rather than add to it,” Flynn 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 or they hang up on you – you might have called at the wrong time.”

And remember that her mood might fluctuate, Kennedy says: “During pregnancy, our hormones change and this can affect our emotions in different ways. One day we may feel delighted, and the next we may feel insecure.”

Don’t post on social media without permission

You may be dying to show off your beautiful new grandchild for all the world to see, but remember that not all parents might be comfortable with pictures of their newborn being shared.

Flynn says: “Don’t share details or post photos on social media or with others unless given permission. While these might be your grandchildren, you must respect the parents’ right to what they post, for security and safety reasons, as well as personal.”

How do you think that grandparents can best help before the birth of a new baby? Let us know in the comment section below!

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