Asking for Help: Five Tips to Make it Easier for Parents During Pregnancy and Postpartum

Dear parents,

Asking for help can be a big challenge for parents, even though pregnancy and birth are natural times to need some extra support. Let’s take a look at some ways to make asking for help a little easier…

1) Ask yourself – What is getting in the way of me asking for help? Family stories, community norms, and cultural ideas all contribute to the way people feel about asking for help. By identifying where your beliefs came from around asking for help, you can start to create some space between yourself and your limiting beliefs.

2) Notice what’s working. Make note of the people you do feel comfortable asking for help, or the situations in which you feel ok asking for help. What is it about these people/scenarios that makes you feel secure in being vulnerable?

3) Experiment. If asking for help is hard for you, then trying experimenting in low-risk scenarios. You might ask a stranger in the grocery store to help you reach something on a high shelf, or you might ask a close friend to call you and check in to see how you’re doing next week. Once the idea registers that people can and will show up for you, it will become easier to continue to ask for help.

4) Keep going. Remember, humans are fallible, and people won’t always be able to give you the help you want and need. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking! Try again with another person, or with the same person on another day. This will help you build a network of support, and also build your confidence that more often than not people do show up for you to the best of their ability.

5) Don’t take it personally. When people don’t come through for you, remember that it’s about them and not about you. Being let down isn’t a reflection on your worthiness or lovability. Those things are built in and don’t need to be earned. I promise.

All my love,

Nikki Shaheed

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