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Expats in Amsterdam: Finding Friendship and Support Through Pregnancy and Parenthood

Navigating pregnancy and early parenthood can be both exhilarating and daunting, especially when far from the comforts of home. For Jessica and Diana, two expats finding themselves in the bustling city of Amsterdam, this journey took on a whole new dimension. Bonding over shared experiences and a desire for community, they found solace and support through the Prepped to Parent program. Here, they share their story of friendship, resilience, and the invaluable role that connection played in their journey through pregnancy and postpartum.

two pregnant friends in Amsterdam
Jessica & Diana met when they were both pregnant in Amsterdam

Q: Tell us a bit about yourselves? How long have you been in Amsterdam, where are you from? Zodiac sign lol

Jessica: My name is Jessica, originally from Mexico but spent 4 years in San Francisco before moving to Amsterdam with my partner and our two dogs. We arrived here three months pregnant, craving community and connection.

Diana: Hola! I'm Diana, originally from Bogotá, Colombia. Netherlands captured my heart over seven years ago when I came here for studies. Now, I'm happily settled here with my Dutch partner, our cozy house, a pup, and our adorable baby Valentina.

Q: How did you two meet?

Jessica: We met during a Prepped to Parent class, a godsend for navigating pregnancy and birth in a new country. The bond was instant – we shared the same birth plan, language goals for our children, even nursery room setups. It was kismet.

Diana: When those life-altering two lines showed us a new path on that pregnancy test, our minds went into overdrive. We wanted to be as prepared as humanly possible for this incredible journey ahead. Since we didn't have many friends who had gone through it, we turned to the almighty internet for guidance. And lo and behold, Prepped to Parent appeared like a shining beacon!

Q: How did Prepped to Parent help to facilitate your friendship?

Jessica: Beyond the educational aspect, Prepped to Parent fostered connections. Our WhatsApp group, organized by the Prepped to Parent team, became a lifeline. We'd meet for classes, then extend the bonding over lunch or coffee. Vulnerability became our common language.

Diana: On day one, we had one of those classic "look to your right, now look to your left" moments. The Prepped to Parent team, being the wise souls they are, pointed out that the most valuable thing we could take from this course was the support and relationships these couples around us could provide.

Q: How did your friendship evolve during the journey of pregnancy and postpartum?

Jessica: From dog walks to Sinterklaas celebrations, our friendship deepened. Diana's unwavering support during my labor was a beacon of strength. We navigated challenges like lactation struggles together, constantly checking in on each other's well-being.

Diana: Jess and Max were like the perfect pair of parenting pals for us. They're incredibly open, funny, and welcoming—plus, they come with two adorable dogs, which is always a bonus! Being just a couple of weeks ahead of us in the baby journey, they became our go-to source for wisdom and insight.

Q: In what ways did your friendship contribute to your overall well-being and mental health during pregnancy and postpartum?

Jessica: As expats, far from family, our friendship became vital. We reminded each other of the importance of self-care amidst the chaos of parenthood. Diana's support during my transition to formula feeding was a testament to our bond.

Diana: Jess has been a rock for me throughout this time. Seeing her honesty and openness about her own struggles with baby Ezra, yet witnessing the immense love she has for him, has been truly inspiring.

Q: What lessons have you learned about friendship, support, and resilience during this time?

Jessica: Pregnancy and postpartum are isolating without a support network. Our journey taught us the power of solidarity, empathy, and self-compassion. Together, we're stronger.

Diana: Navigating pregnancy and postpartum together has taught us some valuable lessons about friendship, support, and resilience. We anticipated some changes in friendships and perhaps even some disconnect during these early months of parenthood.

Q: Looking back, how do you think your pregnancy and postpartum experience might have been different if you hadn't been part of Prepped to Parent?

Jessica: Prepped to Parent was our lifeline in a new country. Without it, our experience would have been infinitely lonelier. Community makes all the difference.

Diana: Prepped to Parent empowered us to make decisions, find like-minded people, and navigate this new journey in the best way possible for our family. It truly made all the difference in feeling prepared, empowered and supported during this transformative time.

Q: What advice do you have for pregnant people looking to make friends?

Jessica: Don’t be afraid to take the first step, create the WhatsApp group, talk to the other mom with the stroller and ask for people’s contact info. It won’t take off every time but you only need one spark to find your people.

Diana: For pregnant people looking to make friends, my advice is simple: It takes a village! Be open, be honest, and be kind. Don't be afraid to reach out and connect with others who are on a similar journey. You never know where you might find your tribe, so keep an open mind and embrace the connections that come your way.

As Jessica and Diana reflect on their journey through pregnancy and early parenthood, one thing stands out above all else: the power of community. Through the Prepped to Parent program, they not only found practical guidance but also forged friendships that sustained them through the challenges and joys of this transformative time. Their story serves as a reminder that, no matter where life takes us, the bonds of friendship and support are essential in navigating the highs and lows of parenthood.


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