safe motherhood

The rest of your life

Social life

The final months of yourpregnancy are an important time in establishing friendships that will beinvaluable once you are on maternity leave or after your baby is born.Suddenly being away from your work, unable to go out and party, or betoo spontaneous about making arrangements can leave you feeling isolatedonce you're more home-based with a newborn.

"Don't underestimate the changes that having a baby will bring toyour friendships," says Jane, mum to 10-month -old Harry. "You changemore than you could imagine, plus you don't have the time, or often theenergy, to socialise in the same way as before. It's really important toget to know other mums. Knowing that you have friends who are in thesame boat as you - even if that's all you have in common - can be a reallifesaver in the first few months."

If you've been out at work all day up until now, you may not knowanyone near where you live who's free to meet up during the day. Try andmake it a priority to get to know other pregnant women or new mums.It's much easier to do this before your baby is born when you canconcentrate on getting to know people, rather than attending to yournewborn. You could think about:

• Meeting up with other women at antenatal classes, either run by the NCT or your midwife.

• Going to relaxation, yoga or swimming sessions to meet new people.

• Getting in touch with your local NCT branch and going along toBumps and Babes coffee mornings that are designed for new mums andmums-to-be to meet each other.

• Asking your midwife to put you in touch with other pregnant women on her case list.

Click above to get in touch with your local branch of the NCT