Congratulations! The two of you are expecting! That’s right; this is a journey that the two of you are embarking on, and while it may take a bit to figure out what your role is as your partner is growing a human (no small feat), with these helpful tips for offering mental, emotional and physical support, you’re likely to rock her world and make life more manageable for the both of you.
The Beauty of Pregnancy
A pregnant woman is one of the most beautiful people to behold; her skin is glowing, her belly is round and beautiful, and she is full of life. Though she may feel bloated, uncomfortable and unattractive, your job as a supportive partner is not to comment on her cankles, but to emphasize that you find her more attractive than ever before. Still, the ups and downs of pregnancy hormones can throw both of you for a loop. Follow these tips for smooth, calm waters right up to delivery day.
1. Be Patient
Pregnant women go through a lot, both mentally and emotionally. Excess hormones needed for growth and development during pregnancy can really wreak havoc on feelings and emotions, and unfortunately, you may bear the brunt of some of this volatility when it becomes too much to bear. Breathe deeply, try not to take anything personally, and know that her logical mind will once again see the light of day.
2. Resist the Urge to React—Listen Instead
As your partner may have a few more pet peeves at this time, just listen. Try not to pass judgment or find a solution—that drives pregnant women crazy! Put that phone away, look into her eyes, and be completely present with her. Sometimes, all we need is a listening ear.
3. Let Her Have Those Cravings!
Also because of those raging hormones, a pregnant woman can crave the most interesting food combinations. Pickle and peanut butter sandwiches, strawberry ice cream with sardines or fried bologna may make your stomach roil, but it is what she wants, and there are biochemical reasons behind those cravings. It is theorized that cravings help a pregnant woman compensate for nutritional deficiencies that may exist, so let her have them!
4. Read Lots of Material!
You need to know just as much as mama does what to expect—the sights, sounds, smells, moods, cravings, physical issues and other aspects of pregnancy that will inevitably affect you too. Not to mention, pregnancy is just plain cool in the way that it completely alters the body for the purposes of growing another human! Our advice to you? Read everything that you can, and then read more. You can’t be too prepared when it comes to making this time an enjoyable experience for both of you.
5. Take a Vacation
The truth of the matter is, it will be a rare event to get a vacation that involves just the two of you after your baby is born. Why not take the time now, when you are in early pregnancy, and pamper each other? A little sun, some great meals, some relaxation and rest will set the stage for a relaxed and appreciative mama when it comes time to hunker down and prepare for your baby’s birth.
6. Compliment Her Regularly
Pregnant women have insecurities and fears—they fear “gaining weight,” circumstances that are beyond their control, and most of all, they fear that they won’t be adequate when it comes to “momming.” Compliment her well and often, and not just on her appearance. A confident mom is a healthy mom, and she is more likely to tackle the enormous task of motherhood with gusto when she feels good about herself.
7. Go to Those Appointments
Going to the doctor can be scary for a pregnant mommy. There are so many uncertainties, so many questions that need to be asked, and the aspect of the unknown that she must face when approaching labor and delivery. Why should she go it alone? She didn’t get here by herself, and you can show your support during this exciting time by indicating that you are with her through thick and thin.
8. Put Social Life on the Shelf for a While
As time draws near for labor and delivery, the greatest thing a dad can do for his partner is to be available in time of need. Telling the boys to wait for a while as you get your home, your wife and your life ready for parenthood is a small sacrifice to make to experience the joys and richness that come with welcoming a baby into the world.
9. Help Her Nest
Your partner will inevitably go through a time when nothing will seem to be clean enough—the garage will need to be cleaned, the bathroom tile is never going to be white enough, and the nursery will have to be done to her specifications. She cannot do these things by herself, and she would be endangering both herself and the baby by doing so. Help her complete some of these nesting projects as you get closer to delivery, and she will be more relaxed and self-assured as she embraces all aspects of motherhood and providing for her little one.
Riding the exciting wave of pregnancy is exhilarating, but exhausting, for both mother and father. The more you know what to expect, the more effectively you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the little moments as you prepare for the imminent arrival of one of the most important people you will ever know—your child.