No one planned on being pregnant during the Covid-19 outbreak. Pregnancy is an exciting, overwhelming and sometimes scary time - and being pregnant during a pandemic adds a whole new level of stress to an already emotional rollercoaster. When this special time of life that is meant to be shared and celebrated is instead forced into seclusion, your pregnant friends may be missing out on a lot of what they expected pregnancy to look like. Below are three steps you can take to help your pregnant friends have a wonderful pregnancy during this crazy pandemic.

Social distanced baby showers

If you were planning on throwing your friend a baby shower, don’t throw away the whole idea and tell her you’ll just wait for the next baby- get creative!! You could shorten the guest list, throw multiple smaller showers, or have guests stop by in shifts - just make sure the mama-to-be is far enough away from everyone that she feels safe and keep plenty of hand sanitizer nearby! A socially distanced shower menu should include individual drinks and food, such as ham biscuits, chicken salad croissants, yogurt parfaits and cupcakes. Other options include a drive-by shower, where guests drive by to say hello, drop off a gift, and offer well wishes, or a virtual shower, which may be a great option especially if many of the potential guests live far away anyways. Your friend will relish these moments of normalcy you have created for her and she’ll love being able to share this special time with loved ones - not to mention, getting gifts for baby is always a nice perk! Skipping over a shower that had been previously discussed will just be another canceled event she’ll add to her ever-growing list of missed opportunities in her pregnancy; your creative ideas to help her feel loved and celebrated will mean more to her than you’ll ever know!

Bump pics & baby updates

Being stuck at home has many negative consequences - and one of them is that your pregnant friend can’t show off her cute baby bump! Because she’s not going to stores, restaurants or work, she might be mourning the previously anticipated days of bump adoration. Text her every few weeks to ask for a bump picture or baby update; being able to share the excitement of a growing belly (or talk through potential decreased self-confidence of a growing belly), the heartbreak of going to appointments alone and the joy of feeling baby’s kicks will help her feel less isolated in what she assumed would be a shared journey.

Check in

Most of all, make sure your pregnant friend knows you’re thinking about her- her hormones are already all over the place and you never know how much a simple text might mean to her. Listen to her concerns or frustrations, share her excitement over baby’s movements (even if you can’t feel them in person) and remember how difficult this time must be for her, when there’s simply no right answer of what to do. Support her in the decisions she’s making, knowing that she’s just trying to do the best she can with the information available, and be there for her in whatever capacity she might need.

There’s so much unknown about Covid in general and specifically in regards to pregnancy - but what is known is that your pregnant friend can’t postpone this precious time. With your help, this special yet confusing time can become a sweet and memorable one.