Change of lifestyle and diet, fatigue, body aches, labor, and delivery – even if pregnancy can be wonderful, it can also be quite overwhelming. Whether you are her spouse, boyfriend or co-parent, understanding and supporting Mom can make her pregnancy much easier. In fact, there are plenty of things that a dad-to-be can do to help.
Help with the chores
Having a baby growing inside you can be exhausting, especially when you have a job to do at the same time. After a long day of work, Mom might feel a bit sleepy and need some time for herself. Don’t wait for her to ask. Take the initiative and help with the household chores, even if it’s not your turn to cook tonight. Going to the supermarket, vacuuming or doing the laundry – there are many ways you can help and allow her to get some rest.
Listen and talk
Going through pregnancy and becoming a parent can be a scary process, not only for the expectant mother but for the dad-to-be as well. The situation can be even scarier when it is your first time! It’s important that both of you talk and share your concerns, whether they be about the delivery or everything that comes after. Remember, it’s perfectly normal to have these worries. Additionally, listening to your partner’s fears and discussing any negative emotions she might be experiencing will help you to understand things from her perspective. After all, you’re in this together!
Inform yourself as much as possible
There are many books and magazines you can read to help you know more about pregnancy, the baby’s development, delivery or becoming a dad. You’ll also find lots of information on the internet, for instance, on blogs. Don’t forget to gather advice from family or friends that have also had a baby. This will show your partner that you’re truly involved! Furthermore, the more you know about the topic the more you’ll understand her feelings and what she is going through.
It’s important to go with her to antenatal checks and any medical appointments. She’ll see that you’re fully committed to the situation and that you really care about your future child. She’ll also feel more comfortable and reassured just knowing that you’re here with her. All these tests and appointments can be stressful!
Additionally, these moments are essential for gathering information which will enable you to be more prepared to help your partner during the pregnancy. Seeing your baby’s picture and listening to her/his heartbeat is also essential for bonding with your child.
Show solidarity by adapting your lifestyle too
Being pregnant may involve lots of lifestyle changes, such as giving up alcohol and cigarettes or being extra careful with what you eat. The mom-to-be has to make many sacrifices to ensure that the baby stays healthy and sometimes her new diet can be quite restrictive!
If you’re a smoker, you can show your partner support by quitting smoking (or at least avoiding smoking around her). This will prove beneficial to her and to your little one, as well as to you. Help her do a little exercise too. Why not start with some regular strolls together?
As for food, start eating healthy like your partner. You don’t need to follow her diet to the letter, but at least avoid enjoying her favorite meals in front of her if she is not allowed to have them. It’s easier to stay healthy if you see your partner making an effort too!
Make her life less stressful
Along with the body aches and nausea, being pregnant can be stressful. She also might be moody and emotional because of the pregnancy hormones. Try to make her life easier and avoid getting into arguments if possible. Listening to her feelings is also a great way to help her release tension.
The mom-to-be needs to relax and soothe any pain she might be experiencing. To help her unwind, you can, for instance, run a bath and light some candles to create a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Give her lots of massages on her feet, back or anywhere else they are needed.
Tell her she’s beautiful
Seeing your body changing quickly can be quite confusing. There’s a good chance that she may not feel happy at gaining weight or getting stretch marks. Maybe she will miss her former body. Reassure her and tell her often that she is beautiful. Also, don’t forget to say “I love you” as much as you can!
Help prepare for the arrival of the baby
Your little angel will be here soon. Welcoming newborns home involves lots of planning, time and energy. Decorating the future bedroom, getting a crib, buying baby’s clothes or choosing a stroller are just a few things to do to prepare for your baby’s arrival. With your partner, choose what to get and then go collect the crib yourself from the shop or offer to paint the bedroom while she puts her feet up.