Having friends or family to turn to in times of need that can provide assistance or comfort through difficult times. It is important to have social support during pregnancy to help during this stressful time.
Types of Social Support
There are 4 types of social support: Emotional, instrumental, informational and appraisal.
- Emotional support often shows physical comfort, empathy, compassion and genuine concern. Examples can either be a hug or listening to your problems.
- Instrumental support is physical support to assist in any way. This can be cooking dinner for you, assisting in household duties or picking up your children from school.
- Informational support is giving advice, suggestions and information. Examples can include giving advice on the best formula for your baby, or sharing next steps to help quit smoking.
- Appraisal support provides encouragement and self-confidence. This can include a close friend reminding you of your great qualities that make you a great mom.
Social support can come from a spouse, family, friends support groups or other people going through similar transitions. Various people can provide different forms of support in multiple ways.
Benefits of social support during pregnancy
Social support can decrease risk of :
- Mental disorders during and after pregnancy
- Intimate partner violence; having someone by your side that knows what going on at home can help keep you and your baby safe
- Substance and opioid misuse
- Social support can aid in increasing:
- Amount of physical activity
- Healthy diets