9 Months of Pregnancy Updates: Keeping Long-Distance Family and Friends in the Loop
You’re pregnant! Now that you’ve made the announcement, how can you keep your parents, relatives, and friends up to date? With those who live close by, it’ll be pretty simple. They’ll likely see you at different times throughout your pregnancy — and you’ll probably get the inevitable “Wow, you’ve really popped” realization, or the potentially frustrating “You don’t even look pregnant” comment. But how can you make long-distance family and friends feel more involved? Take advantage of these seven ideas.
How to Keep Far-Away Family Updated on Your Pregnancy
Pro tip: take a “before” shot. Once you have a visible bump, take a picture and create a side-by-side photo that shows you sans bump, too. This will make your growing belly more obvious to people who haven’t seen you in a while. You might choose to take a picture each week or, if you feel like you’re looking pretty much the same, try every other or every two weeks instead.
Some women have two ultrasounds; some women have more. No matter how many you have, you’ll probably leave each one with a few print-outs of your growing baby. If you feel like sharing, snap photos and send them out.
“Are you craving anything strange yet?” is one of the most common questions I’ve gotten from friends throughout my pregnancy. Cravings can either be typical or weird, but either way, people just find them downright interesting. Whether you can’t stop eating bagels or you’re dreaming about pickles on top of ice cream, share your cravings when people ask how you’re feeling.
Baby’s the Size of a…
If you’re using a pregnancy-tracking app or website, it’ll tell you how big your baby is each week. It does this by making comparisons to similar-sized objects, such as fruits or vegetables. When mine changes to something new every Monday, I send a screenshot to family and friends near and far. They commiserated when it was something less-than-appealing like a Brussels sprout, and got excited with me when it was something I love, like an avocado or a butternut squash. You might even get a picture in return from your mom’s recent grocery-shopping trip!
What Do We Really Need?
Do you have family or friends who’ve had babies recently? They’re a wealth of knowledge waiting to help. As you think about registering for or purchasing items on the “must-haves for new parents” list, ask them what you actually need. What did they find helpful? What would they absolutely never waste their money on again? Not only will you get great guidance and product recommendations, you’ll show that you trust their opinions and help them feel involved.
When it comes time for your baby shower, send invitations to far-away relatives and friends that you have a close relationship with, even if you don’t expect them to come. For some, you might want to send a preemptive text or call to let them know that an invite is coming — you’ll be able to tell them that you wanted to include them, but don’t want them to feel obligated to make the trek across the country. Chat with whoever’s hosting your shower to see if there’s a way for people who can’t make it to participate from afar.
Whether you’re starting with a blank slate or you’re turning the office into your baby’s room, take a “before” photo. As you paint the walls, assemble the furniture, and add the finishing touches, take additional photos to show off the transformation — and the final product.
When your baby finally arrives, you’re going to want to share pictures, the name you’ve chosen, and more. But exhausted, excited, and totally overwhelmed, you might not be able to send out individual texts or emails. Ahead of time, designate a few people who can spread the news for you. Send your baby’s picture, name, and date of birth to them, and have them share with the different sides of your family and your friend groups.
Even though they’re not close by and can’t see you in person all the time, your long-distance family and friends want to feel involved. Don’t feel weird about sending an unsolicited bump picture or veggie comparison —they may love seeing them, but just don’t want to ask. Keep these seven ideas in mind, and rely on any or all of them to keep your loved ones in the know.
What’s the secret to setting yourself up for a successful parental leave? Employee coach Karen Rubin of Talking Talent takes you through all of the important steps, from making the announcement (hint: don’t be apologetic!), to managing your time away, and reclaiming your career when you come back.