Supporting your friend whose child is in hospital

You can do a lot to help

It is a hugely joyous occasion when a friend or sibling has a baby but what do you do when the baby in question is ill? Unfortunately, in life you can never be sure of anything and while you just assumed your friends baby would be healthy like most babies it isn’t the case and you are struggling to be a support to her and her family. There are ways you can be there for her and here are some little tips on handling a difficult situation. 
  • Be there- It may be simple but been there is probably the most important thing you can do even when she pushes you away or when it is uncomfortable to stay near her. Just be there in any way that you can and never think that you aren’t helping as you are whether you realise it or not. 
  • Offer her a break- She may not take you up on it but offer anyway and let her take a break while you watch her little one. Let her and her partner grab a coffee and promise to call if there is any change and stay as long as they need you but be open to leaving if they would prefer you to. 
  • Listen- Rather than natter away to her saying things like “It will be fine” just listen to her and don’t promise things will be ok as we never know and it might be taken up as you are brushing off the seriousness of the situation. 
  • Research support groups- If her baby has a certain type of illness there may be support groups for your friend to contact and get some information. It may help her (having others who know about what she is going through) talk and open up whether it is online or through a phone call it doesn’t matter as long as she is getting some much needed support. 
  • Don’t avoid her or stop calling- It may be difficult watching your friend in visible pain and the many tears that she will inevitably cry but you need to be there for her regardless. It may hurt you seeing a little baby sick but imagine what it is like for your pal and be the crutch she needs today and in the future. 
  • Remember the test days- Make a note of any appointments or important tests so you can text your friend telling her you are at the end of the phone should she need you. 
  • Visit as often as you can if she wants you to- Some people will want their privacy and others will need people visiting to keep their spirits up. It is easy to get lost in the world when all you are doing is watching over a sick baby, so offer to visit as much or as little as your friend wants. 
  • Help her with her other kids if she has anymore- If your friend has more kids at home she will feel incredibly guilty for being apart from them but she knows she has to be with her baby. So take the kids for a sleep over or be there to do the school runs while your friend and her partner are in the hospital it will be much appreciated though it may not seem like it at the time. 
  • Wait for her to open up- It may be a long road ahead and be patient if your friend is closing down and not letting anyone see her anguish. Wait for her to tell you her fears and squeeze her hand and cuddle her before reminding her that you are here to help in any way that you can. 
Written by Emma, staff writer with and Irish mummy blogger. Check out her own blog at


Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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