How to Support Your Partner During Pregnancyby Charlotte Zealey
Finding out that you are expecting a baby is an exciting time. However, for many people, it can also be a scary time. You wonder you’ll cope with the pregnancy, and the newborn once he or she arrives. It’s not only Moms who can become scared. Dads are often scared they’re not going to be good enough. They worry they don’t know how to support their partner during pregnancy.
This can be as simple as going to antenatal appointments. I have found having my partner come to the appointments and scans so helpful. We have not had the easiest pregnancy which has made my anxiety higher but having him there helps. It means we can talk about things and he can help try and reduce my worries.
Looking at baby equipment is also something Dads may want to get involved with. As a Dad you’re going to be using the equipment so you may as well help decide what to buy. You want to make sure it’s going to work for you and your family's budget and needs.
If your partner is struggling with morning sickness you may want to encourage them to eat small and often. This can help them feel a bit better. Of course, if it gets too serious you may have to encourage them to see their healthcare provider. If you notice your partner is overly stressed and emotional for over 2 weeks and it is affecting their everyday life, then again this is a time when they may need some encouragement to seek advice.
Encourage her to take breaks and naps. Hormones during pregnancy can change a woman's energy level and need for sleep. She will still think she is able to do everything she did before pregnancy but this is not the case.
Make changes with her
Been pregnant might mean that your partner needs to make a few changes to her lifestyle. You may decide to give up alcohol and coffee—or cut back—since she can't drink alcohol and may cut back on caffeine. This can be a good time to make some lifestyle changes you've been thinking about. This makes the changes easier for her and she feels like you are completely supporting her. You might want to make healthy eating changes you’ve been thinking about for a while. This means you’ll be the healthiest parents you can be. If you are supporting her these changes might be a lot easier for you both.
Listen to her worries
Talking openly and honestly with your partner will help create the positive relationship you will need as parents. You may want to speak openly about your finances, making sure you can budget for the new arrival. After all, you do not have to get everything straight away. Money is something many families worry about. How will you cope without two wages coming in?
If your partner is anything like me, she may be worried that something is going to go wrong at any stage. It may take a while for her to open up, but be patient. If you can learn to support each other now, your relationship will be stronger when the baby arrives.
She may be worried she can’t feel the baby move enough. Having someone with a rational head who listens to your worries helps so much. If something seems unusual, talk about whether she needs medical advice. She may be worried she won’t be a good enough Mum. Having you there, just reassuring her, is something which can help so much.
Your partner may have a bad back which means she constantly wants to have it rubbed or massaged as this can help ease the pain. I am always asking for this and it seems to help soothe my back pain. This may be the same for your partner and she wants some relief. Later in the pregnancy she might want help to get comfortable because this can be super hard. She might want you to get her pillows in and arrange them to make her comfortable. This is one of the hardest things! You need to be patient because she may have a short fuse. I know my partner sometimes has to bite his tongue while I am pregnant because I can get angry over the smallest thing.
Another area where I have needed help is cooking. All throughout the pregnancy, I have not been able to stand the smell of chicken cooking. It makes me want to throw up so every time we have had chicken my partner has had to cook it. Supporting your partner by making her food can help so much and she is more likely to eat the food then.
Towards the end of pregnancy, you might want to be prepared for the upcoming birth. Your partner may have already sorted the hospital bags for herself and the baby but there are things you can do to help prepare.
Make sure you can be contacted at all times. The last thing your partner needs is to worry about getting hold of you. Make sure the car has petrol in it and do a trial run to see how long it takes to get from your house to the hospital. You also need to make sure you know where you are going, otherwise, when your partner is in labor this may annoy her more. Remember to pack a bag for yourself, including snacks, a camera, and your phone. You could be in the hospital for a while and not all of them have a 24/7 cafe where you can get snacks that's close to the labor ward.
How did your partner support you during pregnancy?