Support For Friends
So your friend is pregnant?
How very blessed she is to have a friend who is doing what you’re doing now: seeking answers for and with her. You’ve seen her head pinging with concerns and questions. You might feel helpless right now. There’s actually a lot you can do to help her make a decision that she won’t regret later in life.
What do I say?
Asking the right questions
The best support you can give initially is to be a good listener. Ask questions that will allow her to delve into the reality of what’s happening and mull over the full spectrum of choice. Many people automatically consider the pregnancy to be the ‘problem’ rather than looking at the circumstances that are provoking that outlook. Here are some good questions to ask your friend:
- Is this your decision or are you feeling pressured in any way by another person? (This could be their partner, doctor, family member, employer, another friend etc.)
- Have you considered how quickly circumstances can change? (This could be finances, health, relationships, career priorities etc.)
- Have you explored all the options?
- What are your feelings?
- How will you feel in one month, nine months or several years from now?
Actions speak louder than words.
Giving meaningful support.
Words of support are hollow when they aren’t followed by action. Now, more than ever, your friend needs you. Here’s your chance to be practical.
Offer to attend appointments with her.
Help her access support services, to find a great GP and decide her preferred antenatal care.
Arm her with information (her baby size according to fruit and vegies, What to Expect When You’re Expecting through to your own or other women’s experiences of pregnancy, labour and motherhood).
Basically, be her wingwoman (or man) and champion her in this journey. With you beside her, the fear will slowly dissipate and you can both view pregnancy and motherhood as the great adventure and delight that it is.
She had an abortion.
I’m worried for her.
Sadly, many medical professionals fail to acknowledge the risks associated with abortion, let alone pass information on to their patients. A study into the effects of abortion revealed that:
- Women who had undergone abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems.
- Nearly 10 per cent of all mental health problems in women were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.
- Abortion is linked with a 34 per cent greater chance of anxiety disorders and 37 per cent higher possibility of depression.
- Women who have had an abortion are twice as susceptible to alcohol abuse, have a three times greater risk of cannabis use and a 155 per cent greater risk of trying to take their own life.
Read more about the risks of abortion HERE.
Help and healing is available to your friend. As a trusted friend, you might be able to gently suggest she makes contact with one of the services we recommend.
- Meta analysis of 22 international studies on the effects of abortion, by Dr Priscilla Coleman (British Journal of Psychiatry, 2011).