Your mother-in-law may be a valuable resource when you become a mother.

How to Make Your Mother-in-Law Feel Included During Pregnancy

by Eliza Martinez

Whether you have a friendly relationship with your mother-in-law -- or not -- having a baby will change the entire dynamics of your family. Going through a pregnancy without including your mother-in-law can result in feelings of resentment. Take into account that your mother-in-law will be your new baby's grandmother, so letting her take part can help get the bond started before your little one is born. It might even bring the two of you closer together as well.

1 Ask your mother-in-law for advice or help, suggests Brenda Stokes in "Managing Your Mother-In-Law," published by Baby Zone. Instead of waiting for her to provide unsolicited advice, ask your mother-in-law what she would do in a similar situation. For example, ask for tips on shopping for maternity clothes or what to eat. Elicit stories about her own pregnancies and how she handled having a newborn. Open the lines of communication to help reduce unasked-for advice -- even if you don't always do what she advises.

2 Go shopping together. You may find that you enjoy her company more than you thought. Ask your mother-in-law to help you choose receiving blankets, crib sheets, a cradle or infant clothes. Bring her in on the selection process to make her happy to be a part of your pregnancy and let her play a role in the birth of her new grandchild.

3 Avoid getting between your mother-in-law and your husband in pregnancy-related issues. Don't take sides and stay out of their mother-son relationship. Asking your husband to take sides can result in feelings of resentment and can strain the relationship between you and your mother-in-law during your pregnancy and afterward. Instead, compromise between what you want and what your mother-in-law wants, so everyone is happy, suggests F. Diane Barth, licensed clinical social worker, in "Take My Mother-in-Law: 6 Steps to Good In-law Relationships," published in 2012 in "Psychology Today."

4 Invite your mother-in-law to assist in planning the baby shower. Suggest that she loan her backyard for the venue, help choose invitations or assist in planning the menu. Feeling like a part of the excitement helps your mother-in-law feel more involved during your pregnancy. If your mom has a friendly relationship with your mother-in-law, let them plan your baby shower together to keep everyone involved.

5 Ask your mother-in-law to be in the room during the birth. Let your mother-in-law take part in your pregnancy and welcome her new grandchild into the world, reports Georgia Witkin, Ph.D., on Grandparents.com. If her presence makes you uncomfortable, ask her to come in and see the baby as soon as possible.

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