Friday, July 22, 2011

Hospitality for Pregnant Guests (repost)

This post was originally posted in June of 2010. I now have a beautiful niece who is on the verge of crawling!

My brother and his pregnant wife visited last weekend, and I put a lot of thought into making them (mainly her) comfortable, partially by trying to remember what made me most comfortable during my own pregnancy, so I thought I'd share my philosophy on making your home welcoming to a pregnant friend or relative!

Keep her hydrated!

It's easy to get dehydrated anytime you're pregnant, but especially on the road, and some people are shy about asking for drinks before their host offers them. So offer early and offer often! To drink, we had available:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Orange Juice
  • Raspberry Lemonade (Simply Lemonade brand with nothing artificial in it-I LOVE it!)
  • Root beer (caffeine free!)

Feed her well!

She may be nauseous and not eat much (so get stuff you like too so you're willing to eat the leftovers!), or she may be pretty hungry and constantly eating. Either way I think it's important to have lots of yummy things available for her. Because of cravings and aversions, I tried to come up with a wider variety of options of snacks than I would for a "normal" guest.
I like to have at least one snack from each of these categories available:

  • Sweet: I baked brownies plus we had ice cream to go with it!
  • Salty/bread: My SIL loves peanut butter sandwich crackers so we got those. Pretzels and wheat thins could be great options too!
  • Protein: Besides the PB crackers, we also had hard-boiled eggs available.
  • Fruit: I picked bananas, but sweet apples could be good too, like Fuji or Galas, or grapes, but I'd avoid really acidic fruits like pineapple or granny smith apples!
For meals, also offering a variety of choices can help ensure there's something she'll like even if some of the options aren't appealling to her. For example, we made bacon, eggs, and potatoes for breakfast, plus had pancake stuff ready in case the smell of bacon made her feel sick or anything like that, and we asked ahead of time if that meal sounded good to her (it did and was sooooo yummy!!)

Gift her!

Okay, you don't have to give her a present everytime you see her if it's someone who visits often, but if it's a relative or close friend, giving them a gift like maternity clothes (including hand-me-downs) or a great book like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding can help her feel welcome and let them know you're excited about the pregnancy.

Give her privacy!

If like us, you're lucky enough to have more than one bathroom, set one aside as exclusively hers, even if you don't normally for guests (her hubby can share it too). There's nothing worse than feeling like you have to hurry up and puke because someone's waiting on the bathroom! We cleaned the guest bathroom and filled it with fresh towels, a new bar of soap, and new bottles of shampoo (Suave-they're like 99 cents/bottle) and body wash (coconut scent from Bath & Body Works). We'll use what's left of the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, but because they were new, the guests could tell they were intended for their use and weren't just our junk we forgot to put away! Alternatively, you could get small "travel-size" bottles and then let your guests take them with them or throw them away. I figure most people bring their own stuff, but it's good to have it out in case they forgot something!

Don't expect too much

She may be very tired and not feel up to doing much. Or she might be just as energetic as ever! It's perfectly fine to offer all sorts of fun, like going for walks, to a movie, out to eat, etc. but be sure she feels like she can set the schedule based on her needs and be ready to just relax at home if that's all she feels up to.

What are your tips for hosting pregnant friends and relatives at your house? What have others done while you were pregnant that made you feel comfortable?

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