Before pregnancy, a couple is able to do so much together, and sometimes the roles between a husband and wife are separated only by a very thin, yet fine line. However, once pregnancy kicks in, a lot begins to change in terms of who does what, with some of the roles previously handled by the mom-to-be being taken up in bits by the husband, because she needs him to help even more at this time. Pregnant women have so much to deal with. There's the unborn baby, the hormones, the weird cravings, the fatigue, pressure from every other corner - its not just about her husband alone. While all this is happening, all eyes shift to the husband in terms of what he should and shouldn't do at this time, being the closest one to be the wife and the baby who is yet to be born.
The 40 weeks aren't a walk in the park, but there are some things that husbands or dads-to-be can do to ensure that both their wives and unborn children are the closest they can get to a stress-free time together. A lot of these things are hands-on stuff, which any husband can get done, but the most important is how they make their wives feel because her emotions are more or less on trial here, and her wellbeing is of utmost importance to the baby's health and development too. Here are just a few things husbands can do to make their wives happy during pregnancy.
20 Respond accordingly to the news that she's pregnant
Nothing touches the deepest part of a man's heart than hearing the words, "Honey, I'm pregnant" especially when that comes from his wife. There so many emotions that race through the man's body and mind, whether he shows it or not, and more often than not, his first reaction could make or break the wife's heart because she's expecting him to be over the moon about it. Unlike women, guys don't necessarily jump for joy without processing what it really means to be a dad, especially for the first time (because they've probably never been there). But for the dads to be, the best thing in this situation, even when you weren't planning on the arrival of the baby, is to respond in a way that you're happy about it. This means that breaking down and crying in agony, or making a face of disgust, or worse off asking why she didn't use birth control, are a complete no-no. Make her feel confident and secure that you're in this together for the full 40 weeks and you're going to step up and be the best dad.
19 Read About what to expect when you're expecting
There's no better way, at the very least, to understand and walk with your wife during the pregnancy like reading up about pregnancy in general. The more you know and understand what she's going through with each passing day and trimester, the better equipped you will be to empathize with her and know when and how to help her. There are so many books to pick on pregnancy, one of the classics is What to Expect When You're Expecting, as it guides you through each month and practically everything your wife will experience. There's also a special part just for dads with valuable information, so read books, look online, talk to your dad or her dad even, and make the pregnancy a great experience for all of you.
18 Accompany her to doctor’s appointments
This is perhaps one of the best ways men can say "we're in this together" to their wives, without using words. By going with her for doctor's appointments and clinic check up, she not only feels that you love her, but also that you value her and the little baby that you and her share together. As the father of the unborn, it also lets you understand what's going on at each and every stage so you can be more prepared to help her, plus you get to see baby with each scan and hear its heartbeat - what a way to create the first bond with the little one. No matter how crazy your schedule may be, make time for these appointments.
17 Make sure she has a stress-free 40 weeks
40 weeks is a long time to wait for something, especially one you are carrying within you - a baby. It may be easier on the man, but for the woman, there's so much more going on not just in her body, but also in her mind, as her whole system adjusts with each passing day to the life that's growing within her womb. As physically and emotionally demanding as a pregnancy can be, it can be made easier to handle if the husband is cooperative, caring, loving, and intentional about walking through the journey with his wife. What men should be cautious about during these weeks is not to burden their wives with unnecessary pressure. They can take on more chores around the home so she can rest, be her shoulder to cry on and listen to her, offer support and reassurance, and just take charge.
16 Help her get some sleep
Pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, usually comes with a lot of sleep - in fact you'd easily think you're sick or something because the body just wants to be at rest the whole time. As time goes by and baby gets heavier, its harder for the woman to carry the weight as it takes a toll on her body, which is where guys come in and allow their wives to rest, helping them get some sleep, massage and make them feel relaxed, because its not easy walking around with the extra weight everyday. Making your wife comfy doesn't just mean letting her lie down, but also propping up the bed or sofa with pillows, giving her some warm milk when she can't get sleep, or humming a tune to lull her to sleep, back rubs, cuddles, and some sweet words - all these help her feel rested and loved at the same time.
15 Be patient with her
Support, support, support - this is the keyword during pregnancy, because that's what women need for the full 40 weeks, and even after baby is born. During this period, men need to practise patience as much as they can, because pregnancy takes a toll on the woman's hormones. One moment she's super happy, the next she doesn't want to talk to or see anyone, she can even delete all the numbers off her mobile phone yet, it isn't what she really wants to do - its just the fluctuating hormones in her body - at least you have something to put the blame on. Be patient with her mood swings, and give her a break when she needs it. Her sex drive will also be affected during pregnancy, so try and be understanding and patient even in your love life.
14 Act like you’re pregnant
There are body suits that allow men to have a feel of what it is to be pregnant, but this isn't what acting like you're pregnant means, neither does it mean eating unhealthy or encouraging wild mood swings. What men need to do in this regard is working the pregnancy with her. If she has to drop some habits, drop them too at least for this time like if she has to stop taking coffee or alcohol, give it up too, for her sake and that of the baby's. If you can't, then at least don't do those things in her presence, because she needs your full support. If she needs to exercise, be her gym partner or walking partner, do it together.
13 Remind her that you love her and she's beautiful
Your wife's body is undergoing a lot of transformation during pregnancy. Some women get much bigger than they were before pregnancy, some feel uglier, others actually manifest the changes from their faces like the skin, the nose (sometimes gets wider or feels bigger), some it could be losing teeth or hair cutting off, there's just so much going on. Your wife needs the reassurance from you that she is still you're number one, that you love her immensely, and you think she's really beautiful. Do this with unwavering dedication each and every day, knowing what strikes her romantically because women are different. Let her feel loved and cherished.
12 Help her through the nausea
No one likes nausea, especially pregnant women, it is one of the horrible moments during pregnancy, possibly even the worst. In fact, Artofmanliness.com says it "strikes about 75 percent of all pregnant women, with symptoms such as headaches, excessive sleepiness and of course feelings of nausea and sometimes vomiting. Most women will start feeling the symptoms of morning sickness about a month after conception, and it will typically last until the twelfth to fourteenth week of pregnancy. Some women will experience morning sickness their entire pregnancy." But just because it is referred to as 'morning sickness' doesn't mean it only happens in the morning, some women experience it the whole day. Men need to help their wives by trying different remedies and see what works and what doesn't, which is why its good to read up on pregnancy.
11 Be her errands guy
Being your wife's errand guy means you've got to be at her beck and call, literally, as and when she needs something. What you'll come to understand, as you walk through the pregnancy journey with your wife, is that it isn't really her demanding these things, its just her body that brings all these cravings up and they can range from a cold Coke, to a juicy beef burger, or a rare ice cream flavor, and sometimes you may not have the time or money, but its good to always be prepared for any eventuality. But it isn't only food that she'll need you to move around and get for her, it could be something at the office that needs to be delivered, or she needs the doctor to come see her at the house, there's just a lot you need to be there for and be on stand by.
10 Keep yourself clean and smart
This ties with the point on acting as if you're pregnant. For pregnant women, anything can tick them off, as much as a perfume scent, or someone she sees on television. As her husband, this is the time you'll need to be super sensitive as well, to all her needs and whatever makes her comfortable because its about her and baby. What she feels affects the baby, so if she's not happy about something like a scent she doesn't like and its coming from you, or how you're dressed, whatever it may be, this is a good time to change - if only for 40 weeks.
9 Be her shrink and allow her to vent
Emotions tend to take center stage during pregnancy, especially for first time moms. They can get overly concerned about the baby, the upcoming events especially when labor begins, whether they'll push through with a normal delivery or have a c-section, and even post pregnancy in terms of being a good mom. This is where husbands come in to provide reassurance of their love and support, to be the shoulder she can cry on and lean on whatever time of day or night it is. Its also a good time to let her know you understand how the emotions are affecting her, and even explain how they work and what you'll do together to work it out. Listen to her concerns, because she's at a point where she is happy, nervous, scared and uncertain all at the same time, so be her sounding board and encourage her also to share what she's feeling.
8 Help her with the house chores
This just can't be stressed enough, pregnant women need help, support and every form of assistance they can get - especially from their husbands. Take some load off her shoulders and share chores around the home like dishes, or anything that makes her strain both her body especially her back because it supports the pregnancy weight. Cook if you can, if not, try and help her cut up the cooking accessories needed. Take over most of the domestic responsibilities, and if you can hire someone to be with her while you're out, do it for her. She and baby will have you to thank and praise after the pregnancy.
7 Pamper her daily
Now this is where all the good feelings lie, when you pamper your pregnant wife. But, to do this, as her husband, you've got to always keep your romantic side alive, no matter what - even with the mood swings - and this goes together with patience. Sure, you'll get it right sometimes, like when you get her a box of chocolates, or plan a nice candle light dinner, go for a movie, or even take her shopping for maternity clothing that'll make her look gorgeous. There's a world of ideas you can use to pamper her, and she'll love it despite the moments when she may get on your nerves once in a while.
6 Read to her or hum a calming tune
Like a little child, your pregnant wife also wants to be held and spoken to softly, and reading her a nice story is one way to make her feel loved, cared for and appreciated too. As her husband, and soon to be dad, you can get fun stories or read to her about pregnancy and childcare, stuff that can help the two of you as parents and walk together through this journey. You can also read up on your own from books or blogs about pregnancy and babies, then while you're together, share with her some of the new things you picked up like fun facts or other important information.
5 Go for a babymoon
A babymoon is just a vacation you go with your wife before the baby comes, and most couples go on this during the second trimester. The idea behind it is to take time off and get extra rest and relaxation before the baby comes into the world, because after that, its more of a roller coaster and all the time and attention will be on baby more than the two of you. Parenting can be exhausting, wonderful, and still very tiring, so a babymoon will allow you to recharge as a couple in many aspects of your life and relationship. This is the time to rejuvenate your romance, sleep, adventure and so much more then get back ready for the final lap - the last trimester - ready to welcome baby into your wold with open arms.
4 Talk to the bump
The little person growing in your wife's womb is your child too, so don't be shy when it comes to talking to 'the bump'. In fact, your wife will love the feel and warmth of your hands caressing her belly, and Healthsite reports that "studies say that in this way you bond with your unborn baby and as expectant parents too", and "gives your woman a feeling that you are a caring and affectionate parent." It may also help the baby recognise your voice as Aptaclub notes that "unborn babies can remember and recognise different noises, so it’s likely fathers can start building their relationship with their children before they’re born." It also helps you as the dad to feel more involved in the pregnancy.
3 Be vigilant all the time
This is more of a manly role when it comes to protecting and looking out for your wife, whether she's pregnant or not. But, it becomes even more important now that she's pregnant, so wherever she may be, at home, out shopping, taking a stroll on the streets, you need to keep a tab on her movements. This helps because with pregnancy, the risk of a slip or any accidents is heightened, so as her husband and father to be, your protective arm needs to watch out for her always so you can grab the help when its needed. Its also good to be around when she needs some stuff lifted around the home, because she shouldn't do any heavy lifting.
2 Create colorful memories for each pregnancy
Creating memories of the pregnancy before baby comes is a great way to bond with your wife and keep her happy knowing that she's going through a very important stage in the history and heritage of the family. Very soon, the family will be made up of three (or more if they're twins, triplets, or more), so it will never be just the two of you again. Every cool and crazy thing you did together like lazing about in bed in teh mornings, or the impromptu weekend getaways, those will be scarce for a few years. This is why now is the best time to create special memories together. Document each moment and capture whatever you can about each stage of the pregnancy. You can go out on a trip together, or walk in the sunset, just make sure to do it together.
1 Gas up the car for her
The car always needs to be in a good state from the mechanicals, to the lights, and especially fuel. This is probably the time when the car will be used the most, and after delivery too because you never know when your wife needs to go somewhere, or when there's an emergency. If the car isn't gassed up, it becomes a risk when someone needs to dash somewhere and pick up a few things for her, or when her water breaks and you're not there, but there's a car and someone who can drive her to the hospital. Otherwise, on a lighter note, she'll pat you on the back for it because gassing up the car is the last thing on her mind really.
References: thehealthsite.com, artofmanliness.com, ldsliving.com,