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Asking for Help: The Importance of a Support System During Pregnancy

February 6, 2012

When you’re pregnant, you may occasionally feel a little alone, which is ironic, since you have a little person growing inside! You’re the one handling morning sickness at work, while your partner wakes up feeling fine everyday. You’re modifying your diet, not sleeping well, and your body is changing in ways you couldn’t imagine. While your family and friends are excited, they’re not going through the same things you are right now!

Even if you pride yourself on being self-sufficient and independent, everyone needs a hand sometimes. Pregnancy is a great time to solicit some help! In fact, your partner may want to help out in some way in order to feel useful during such an important time. Get help with household chores, especially the ones that are becoming more difficult throughout your pregnancy. Ask someone else to clean the cat’s litter, as it can carry toxoplasmosis and can be harmful during pregnancy. Ask your partner to lift any heavy objects around the house. And some everyday tasks may become very uncomfortable, like cooking during first trimester, when your sense of smell is heightened and nausea may be setting in. Plus, as your belly grows, things like bending over to load the dishwasher or cleaning the floor may become very daunting! These are examples of little things that family members can be helping with right now.

Ask for a hand at work, too. Many women don’t want their coworkers or their managers to have to pick up any slack during their pregnancy. But your health and wellness come first, and if you’re feeling under the weather or are simply exhausted, reducing your stress is important. Plus, asking for help is better than allowing work to suffer. Of course, many women feel fine and continue to work at their usual capacity throughout pregnancy, but if you need an occasional hand, ask for it! Maintaining a healthy stress level and recognizing your limits make you a better employee in the long-run.

And in those first few weeks at home with your new baby, you’ll be grateful for the assistance friends and family can offer. Welcome your friends’ lasagnas and fruit baskets with open arms. And when visitors come to see your new baby, allow them to hold her for a few minutes. Take that time to do something you’ve wanted to do all day, like eat a quick snack or throw in a load of laundry.

You may be bearing the brunt of the work in bringing your new baby into the world, but the people who care about you can really come through when you need them. While it’s tempting to take on all of the work ourselves, it’s important to trust our loved ones, co-workers, and neighbors to support us when we need it most!

Photography courtesy of Flickr.

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