How to share in your partner's pregnancy

How to share in your partner's pregnancy

Few pregnant women believe that their partner really understands what they're going through. And the fact is, we mostly don't.

We talk about it. We show interest. We empathize. We read about it. But let's face it, our experience of having a baby is fairly removed until we're dealing with diapering and sleep deprivation. We'll never know the minute-by-minute, close-to-the-heart, kick-in-the-gut reality of carrying a baby through pregnancy.

But we can participate. We can be there to listen to the first heartbeat, we can swear off our dinner wine, we can pore over lists of baby names, and more. If your spouse or partner is pregnant, here are some additional ideas for being there.

Pay attention

You can participate by being an active observer. Let your partner know you're enjoying seeing her belly grow.

Feel the baby kick. Play music and read to your baby. Keep a journal as a way to both record your inner thoughts and help you think about what you'd like to discuss with your spouse or partner. Follow your baby's week-by-week development during pregnancy – you'll be amazed.

Be there

Try to make it to at least some of your partner's many prenatal care visits, and ask questions. (It shows you're involved, not just a bystander.)

Don't miss the chance to get a glimpse of your baby during an ultrasound. If your partner has an amniocentesis or other procedure to test for genetic defects, make sure you're there. And, of course, attend childbirth classes, so you can participate in your child's birth.

Get healthier, too

As your partner tries to modify her diet, give up alcohol, eliminate bad-for-baby foods, and drink more fluids, you can support her by sharing those lifestyle changes. Cut down on or cut out alcohol yourself. Don't smoke. Spend time walking or exercising together. And try to shift your priorities so you have more time together in general.

Take a photo of your sweetie in profile in each month of pregnancy to record how her body changes. As her pregnancy progresses, she may feel unattractive at times. Tell her she's beautiful.

Meanwhile, you may also find that your sex life gets a PG rating for a while. What with hormone changes, back pain, morning sickness, and an understandable preoccupation with the stirrings of life, sex can take a hit. Or your partner may be more into it than ever. Whichever way it goes, roll with it – it's her call. (Read up on sex during pregnancy.)

Go the extra mile

Your partner may be intensely demanding. Go with it. She's doing all the heavy lifting. The least you can do is shop for groceries, send her flowers, and indulge her 11 p.m. demands for cottage cheese and strawberry jam.

Memorize the route to the hospital

This may seem obvious, but unless you're away when your partner's water breaks, you'll probably be making that drive to the hospital for delivery. That's when your memory cells go dim.

To avoid panic when the big day arrives, do a dry run. Make sure you know the route cold. Your partner will appreciate it, since it'll be one less thing she needs to worry about.

Be a partner in labor

Be prepared to support her. Record music she wants to hear during labor and other distractions for labor to take to the hospital along with her hospital bag. Be ready to embrace her and coach her, soothe her and massage her, feed her ice chips and offer her liquids. If you're up for it, ask your doctor or midwife if you can "catch" the baby – that is, support your baby as they emerge from the birth canal – and cut the umbilical cord.

Shop, talk, and make lots of decisions together

By the time your baby arrives, you and your partner should have bought a newborn wardrobe; prepared the nursery; bought and safely installed a car seat (hospitals won't let you drive baby home without one), settled on options for your child's name; and determined whether to circumcise, breast- or bottle- feed, and use cloth or disposable diapers.

And you thought you had nothing to do. Even if you both change your mind later, at least you'll have started the discussion.

Prepare for your new life as a family

Get life insurance, and make out a will if you haven't already. Start a college savings fund. Understand the basics of maternity leave. Arrange for leave (such as family leave or paternity leave) if you can, so you'll be able to participate in your baby's care during the first days and weeks after birth.

Childproof the house. Install a smoke detector in your baby's nursery and in other key rooms in your home. And don't forget the little things, either: Collect take-out menus from your favorite restaurants and put them in a handy folder. (You'll be surprised how often you'll use them.)

Finally, consider getting your partner a gift she'll always remember. After all, she's about to give you a pretty incredible gift herself.

Watch the video: Husbands Role in Pregnancy. 2 Months Pregnant Ultrasound. Second Baby Tips. Birth Doula (January 2022).