Your BFF is preggo, and it’s totally your job to help her through it. Maybe her S.O. will be the first person to shoulder that role, but as her bestie, she probably expects that you’ll be there for her right up until she’s grabbing that hospital bag on her way out the door (and obviously afterwards too!). Whether you’re enjoying a girls’ night out, shopping together for gender-neutral baby clothes, supporting her when she’s trying to beat morning sickness at work, helping her write her birth plan, or just relaxing on her couch in your lazy-girl styles on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make your pregnant friend’s day just that much easier.

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1. Offer to cook. Morning sickness is often an all-day affair. At the heart of your friend’s turning tummy is her sense of smell. When she gets a whiff of meat cooking on the stove, a roast baking, or a fish frying, she can go from hungry to totally turned off. Cooking can quickly become a major morning-sickness trigger, making the mama-to-be more into ordering out than anything else. Save her some stress (and possibly nix the nausea) by offering to cook a meal or two. Bonus points if you cook the meals at your house and bring them to her ready to go (or frozen and ready to reheat).

2. Carry crackers. Pregnancy brain happens. Your friend’s former ability to remember everything and anything may be replaced with something that feels almost like amnesia. As she’s losing her keys, her cell, and her shoes, she’s also forgetting some of the simple things it’s even easier to leave the house without — such as bringing crackers along with her to calm that queasy morning sickness. Keep a pack of crackers in your bag so you can be the go-to girl whenever that not-so-pleasant feeling strikes her.

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3. Ask away. Don’t assume anything when it comes to your pregnant friend. You might think that she’s totally together and doesn’t need your help, but she might just be putting on a brave face. Instead of waiting for her to come to you, ask what you can do for her. Be sure to make specific offers (picking something up at the store on your way over, running to the basement to switch a load of laundry, returning a library book, helping her research car seats), in addition to checking in to see if there’s anything she’ll suggest herself. And don’t stop at just one ask, because it can take a while for her to overcome the feeling that she’d be imposing. Keep going until she actually asks you to cut it out.

4. Listen, a lot. Your pregnant friend is going through some kind of crazy changes. Her hormones are all over the place, and she’s starting to stress over things like mucus plugs and nipple discharge. She needs someone to do more than stare back at her blankly when she starts talking. Let your BFF know that you’re always there to listen, even if you’re not physically present. Be the on-call girl who’s ready to receive (and actually respond to) the texts, emails, and FB messages that your friend sends out.

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5. Be the bag lady. That bulging baby bump is throwing your friend off balance. It’s also making her back ache and her feet sore. Add on her 15-pound mega-purse, and she’s probably pretty miserable. Offer to carry her purse, tote, or grocery bags instead of leaving her to lug them around. She’ll appreciate your offer and adore the added help.

6. Give mini massages. You don’t have to go full-on masseuse with her, but a little hand or foot rub can help to relax your friend’s tired muscles and perk up her day. If you’re not the hands-on kind of person, a gift certificate for a pregnancy massage at her favorite day spa would make an amazing treat.

7. Let her rest. The boundless energy that the two of you used to share may be on hold for the next three trimesters. What with the hormonal shifts, her changing body, and everything else that goes along with pregnancy, your friend might not have it in her to hang until 2am — or even make it through dinner without zonking out. If she needs a nap, doesn’t feel like going out, or wants to make dinner reservations during the early-bird-special hours, let her. She needs the rest whenever she can get it.

How do you help your pregnant friends? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)