How to help a Pregnant Daughter in Law

For most people who’ve survived raising a child, one of the big rewards is having grand-children. But before that happens of course, there is the pregnancy. Of course, there are major differences in the ways prospective grandparents can help it being a daughter-in-law instead of a daughter due to the fact that most soon to be grandparents simply don’t know or are as close to a daughter-in-law as they are to a daughter. Therefore grandparents have to tread more carefully than they would if the baby child is of their son, rather than daughter. But, regardless, there are things that can be done that are very helpful and are likely to be not only appreciated by the expectant mother, but might also smooth the transition once the baby is born.

The first thing either a prospective grandfather or grandmother can do, is to offer sincere congratulations to both the son and daughter-in-law regardless of the circumstances of the pregnancy. They can then follow that by letting them know they are eager and willing to help in any way they can. Then, they can follow that up by listening. Pregnant women, by most accounts, don’t always know what they need or want, so sometimes it’s difficult to ascertain what might be helpful. Also it might be difficult to determine which things might be more appropriate for the father to be, or the daughter-in-law herself to do if she wishes.

That said, there are vast possibilities available to people who are expecting a new grandchild. The first is an offer of financial assistance if you are able, and the recipient is in need and willing to accept it. After that, offers of rides to doctor appointments or other places are sometime appreciated if the daughter-in-law doesn’t have the means or doesn’t feel comfortable driving after she gets big.

Also, baby supplies are always welcome; diapers, powders, a changing table, baby bath, shampoo, food, bottles, formula and clothes, are all necessary and immediately useful once the baby arrives.

Intangible assistance prospective grandparents can offer include positive stories of pregnancy, births and child-rearing as well as ideas and musings on how you yourself might have done things differently or better in having and raising your own children.

The important thing to remember is, having a baby is an exciting, but sometimes volatile time for the couple having the baby and while assistance is generally welcomed, it needs to be done in a way that shows a willingness to help, not a move to assert superiority or plant the flag of grandparenthood before the other side of the family can make a move. Help should be offered and given in a loving and caring way, while seriously also attempting to stay out of the expectant mothers’ way. After all, the show is truly all about her and the baby, not you.