10/22/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT
A baby on the way
will help Real Housewives of New York City
star Bethenny Frankel
find some clarity and balance, according to her costar Alex McCord
"One thing I found for me is that being a mom cut through the layers of priorities," McCord told PEOPLE at the 26th Annual Princess Grace Awards Gala. "Being fully invested in your child helps you filter out some of that noise that just isn't necessary and helps you to focus on what's important."
Frankel, who recently announced her engagement
to boyfriend Jason Hoppy
, is roughly two months pregnant, and McCord said she couldn't be more thrilled for her friend.
"She and I have had several conversations and will continue to have many more," said McCord. "Having children doesn't turn you into a different person, but it opens your heart in ways that you never knew were possible.
"I think it happens to everyone in varying degrees and I know how badly she wanted to have a child so I look forward to that with Bethenny."
Adds McCord's husband Simon Van Kempen
: "Nothing prepares you for parenthood more than parenthood. That baby will change Bethenny for the better. It will smooth over the few rough edges she still has." --Joyce Chen