Mother-in-laws can be helpful or not when you are pregnant. Read how to deal with your MIL in 12 steps.


  1. Set limits. There needs to be limits in the relationship between the pregnant mom and the mother-in-law. These limits need to first be discussed with the husband and then with the mother-in-law. Make sure to impart the feeling that she is welcome, just not the one who is making the final decisions with baby.
  2. Allow her some space. She will want to be as much a part of the pregnancy process as allowed. This is even truer when it is the first grandchild. The mother-in-law needs to be given the idea of space from the first moments of pregnancy. If she has no idea that you want to have some space in the pregnancy, she will keep coming closer.
  3. Talk about your feelings. If you are married and the mother-in-law is being a problem, the time will come when you need to talk about the problems. Stress during pregnancy is not an option and if she is causing anything resembling stress, the husband and the pregnant mom need to talk about the stress and how to fix any problems occurring. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse.
  4. Do not let her intrude. Some mother-in-laws will feel the need to intrude beyond where the mother to be is comfortable. If she is talking about the weight gain or the many things you are doing wrong during the pregnancy, those are intrusions that need to be handled immediately.
  5. Do not put the husband / father in the middle. Talking to mother-in-law about the problems and the pregnancy is an important, essential task. It is not one, however, that needs to be only on the shoulders of the father of the baby. The talk should be one both parents share equally. This will stop any negative feelings between the married couple.
  6. Do not hold in your feelings. Holding in your personal feelings about how your mother-in-law is acting will only cause stress. This is not the time to just handle the situation. It is the time to deal with the situation early.
  7. Allow a little spoiling. The mother-in-law may want to spoil the baby or the mom to be a little during the pregnancy and this is okay. As long as the spoiling is not in a negative manner, allow her these joys.
  8. Define her position. Giving the mother-in-law a careful look at how she figures into the pregnancy is a great way to prevent bad feelings later in the pregnancy. This talk early on can help curb many bad feelings.
  9. Give her something special to accomplish. All the mother-in-law really wants is to feel special and be a part of the spectacular event. Giving her a special job to accomplish during the pregnancy will keep her time occupied and the mom to be will feel less pressure.
  10. Listen to her side of things. If the mother-in-law is confronted about her behavior, give her time to talk out her side of things. She may have a valid reason for acting the way she is acting. Or, she may just need to get her feelings off her chest too.
  11. Bring her to some doctor's appointments. The doctor's appointments are a great time to give real life to the baby in the belly. Inviting the mother-in-law to the doctor's to listen to the heartbeat or see the first sonogram is a special way to bond during pregnancy.
  12. Be patient. Patience should not be confused with tolerance. Being patient simply means giving her a little time to adjust to the things discussed and the time to spoil both mom and baby the way she sees fit.
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