Peterman says that if you do have reliable, compassionate family members or friends nearby, lean on them during your pregnancy. Truly good friends and loving relatives will be more than willing to offer you the support you need through this demanding time. But be sure to choose someone you completely trust—a friend or relative who makes you feel comfortable and at ease. After all, your supporter will be experiencing extremely personal, private moments with you, such as attending child birthing classes, standing at your side during doctor appointments, and holding your hand through delivery.
Unfortunately, many women do not have the luxury of living near reliable, devoted friends or relatives. In this case, Peterman suggests seeking out a midwife. Midwives are professionally trained women who care for pregnant women through all stages of pregnancy. A midwife can assist you with prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care.
Alternatively, a doula can also be an excellent source of support for you throughout your pregnancy and childbirth. While not medical professionals, doulas provide both emotional and physical support to pregnant women, offering everything from massages and coping techniques to aromatherapy and constant reassurance.
Knowledge can be empowering and comforting. See if your local hospital offers support groups for pregnant women. Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have not only birthing classes, but parenting classes as well. Peterman says that these classes and groups provide the perfect opportunity to meet other women who are in a situation very similar to yours. You may make some wonderful new friends for you and your baby-to-be.
Additionally, the Internet provides support right at your fingertips. Through BabyZone's community you'll find message boards and chats with due date clubs, a single parent support group, and numerous pregnancy-related features where you can connect with others. There are innumerable women out there without a husband or boyfriend to support them through pregnancy, and oftentimes the greatest encouragement will come from women who share your situation.