Pregnancy is one of the most delicate times of a woman’s life. During this period, a woman’s hormones continue to rage and there’s a good chance that she will start feeling a bit crazy at some point. Often exhausted, she suffers from morning sickness and has to be at the doctor’s office every now and then. She needs support – she needs her husband to help her out.
The simple fact of the matter is that women do most of the work when it comes to pregnancy. After all, it is your partner’s uterus in which your baby has set up camp, so it will obviously be her who has to pee every twenty minutes, want to throw up each time she eats or drinks and well, eventually give birth. Although the lack of a uterus will put you on the bench, there are quite a few things you can do to take a ‘team player’ approach to pregnancy.
From now on, consider yourself charged with the vital role of providing support to your pregnant wife, offering her a shoulder to cry on and of course, being the one to get her snacks. To be able to be a part of the pregnancy process, here are a few things that you should do to help out your wife as she struggles with morning sickness and fatigue:
7 Give an Appropriate Response to Pregnancy Announcement
Even if you weren’t planning on the arrival of a baby, you must not respond to the news of her pregnancy that shows you are not excited about or dread the news. What sort of inappropriate responses am I talking about? Well, to put it simply, there is no need for you to break down and cry those tears of agony, make a face of disgust at her or even ask her why she wasn’t using her birth control pills.
It’s your duty to make your wife feel secure and confident that you will be there for her no matter what – that you will keep her strong all through the next nine months of her pregnancy and you will do your best to be a great dad.
Learn, Learn, Learn
One of the best things to do after finding out about your wife’s pregnancy is to read some books on pregnancy. The more you know about what’s going on in her body, the better equipped you will find yourself to empathize with her and know how to help out. There are countless books for you to choose from, but What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a true classic that will enable you to learn about what your wife is going through during each step of her pregnancy.
There’s even a section dedicated solely to dads, in the book mentioned above, so make sure that you acquire lots of useful information from it. Through the book, you will also be able to learn about your baby’s development and most of all, reading up on the wacky things that are happening in your wife’s body will help you empathize with her even more.
6 Show Your Interest by Accompanying Her to Doctor’s Appointments
Believe it or not, but this initiative of yours is going to serve three different purposes at the same time. To begin with, it’s going to prove to your wife that you will be with her all through her pregnancy no matter what happens or how grouchy she gets. Next, it will help you learn exactly what is going on with her pregnancy, thereby enabling you to help out better if and when the need arises.
For this, you will have to pay utmost attention to what the doctor says during these appointments. Remember, your wife’s memory might take a bit of a dive during pregnancy, so she may rely on you to remember things like the cheeses she’s not supposed to eat and the fruits that she must have.
Last but not the least, getting to see your baby when she looks like just another lump and getting to hear her heartbeat will go a long way in creating a bond between you – daddy- and her. So no matter how busy you are, make sure you take out time for your wife’s appointments.
Make sure you’re there
Just so you know, you have a legal right to take unpaid time off from work to accompany your wife to at least two of her doctor’s appointments. With that, there literally isn’t a reason why you cannot or should not accompany your wife. The best part is that during these visits, it will be possible for you to get a glimpse of your developing baby in her mother’s womb during an ultrasound.
Yes, you particularly need to be there for your wife if she has to go through procedures like amniocentesis etc. While you’re at it, attend antenatal classes with her as well and work alongside her through the breathing and relaxation exercises. Be there for her when she’s getting the house ready for your child’s arrival. Head out on a shopping spree with her for baby clothes – just enjoy the experience with her to make things more bearable!
5 She Can’t Stay the Same – Don’t Expect Her To
Your wife just isn’t the same anymore. Right now, her body feels totally out of control, particularly so if she’s pregnant for the first time. The worst part is that there isn’t much she can do to make herself feel better. Don’t make fun of her when she tells you that she just can’t stand eating her previously favorite food. If she wants to take a short nap in the middle of the afternoon, let her take one without teasing her about it.
If you see her crying, give her a hug and tell her it will all be fine. As her husband, she needs you to support her instead of throwing bewildered criticism over her crazy needs and mood swings. The fact of the matter is that your wife has probably had to make quite a few lifestyle changes ever since she got pregnant. Because of her pregnancy, she may have given up drinking alcohol, smoking and may even have switched to a healthier diet.
You can make the same changes in your life just to make her feel better about it all. If you smoke, this is the best time to quit or at least cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke every day. The best part about this initiative is that you will be able to provide a smoke-free home to your baby when she arrives. While you’re at it, have healthier meals with your wife and reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
Let her indulge
Your wife may become a bit demanding during pregnancy and it is highly recommended for you to go with the flow. Don’t ever overlook the fact that she is doing all the hard work in this pregnancy and will appreciate your help with things like organizing the grocery list. Oh and, on the way back home from work, buy her flowers and make sure her cravings for cheese and jam sandwiches are satisfied!
4 Keep Listening – Keep Talking
Pregnancy and childbirth are hard pills to swallow, particularly if it’s your wife’s first time. For this reason, you need to let her know that she can vent to you about any and all changes going on in her life or even things like her anxiety about being a good mother, annoyance at her puffy feet and nervousness about upcoming procedures. At times you may think that the things in her head are rather illogical or outsized, but make sure that you keep it to yourself.
Don’t tell her to ‘chill out’ or ‘stop worrying’ – listen to what she’s saying and offer help. In order to make her feel a bit better, take an afternoon off work and spend some time together doing something fun. Considering that the two of you are working as a team, make sure that you share your fears with her too. It is completely natural for the ride to feel a bit bumpy and it is recommended for you to share your worries with her to make it smoother.
A few more tips
Make time each week to sit and be present with your partner and your baby. Talk with your baby together. Feel your baby in her belly. Read a baby development book or website together to see how your baby has grown this week and share the wonder, joy and excitement of that.
It’s a great way for you to feel more connected to the pregnancy journey and a great way for your partner to see how you’re becoming a dad and a family man – she needs to know you’re there now and going to love this baby and her as a mum when you get there.
3 Tell Her She’s Beautiful
For most women, it’s extremely hard to keep up with the changes that occur in their body during pregnancy. At the moment, your wife maybe feeling worried about her stretch marks, concerned about all the weight that she has gained or may simply not be feeling as good as she did before getting pregnant. Whenever she looks good, make sure that you tell her so you make her feel beautiful and confident. Compliment her bump every now and then and just make sure you tell her how much you love her.
All of us expect that a pregnant woman will go about life as normally as possible – just the way she used to before getting pregnant. But the one thing for sure is that irrespective of whether they show it or not, pregnant women do a whole lot more during this period of their lives. Being pregnant makes them tired and sore and can actually take a toll on their body. For reasons such as these, it is highly recommended for you to pamper her a bit.
Her body’s changing – love it
Draw her a bath with essential oils in it (but make sure you use the ones that are pregnancy-safe). Prepare a romantic dinner, rub her feet yourself, and basically just do anything you can to make her feel good.
With your wife’s pregnancy progressing every day, it’s fairly understandable for her to feel unattractive. If, for some reason, you don’t think she’s looking her best these days, do not let her know. She’s going through a lot already and she deserves to hear loving things, not how she can improve her looks.
2 Give Her Lots of Massages
From foot rubs, to lower back rubs to all over body massages – your wife needs and wants it all right now. Use lots of massage oil and give your wife a relaxing massage to ease her aching body as it adjusts to the changes brought on by pregnancy. Believe it or not, but knowing how to give a good massage is an amazing skill to have. Not only will it make her appreciate you more, it will also be a tool that you can use during labor to help her between contractions.
Particularly in the third trimester, women’s pregnant bodies can become hard to live in. She’ll have pressure, joint pain, aching muscles, a baby punching her organs, and stretching skin that make sleep and normal activity very difficult. As the father, one of the most loving things you can do for the woman carrying your child is to offer a massage right before bed.
A foot massage can help with swelling and discomfort all over, and a leg and lower back massage will help get the blood moving and lymph system draining. If she doesn’t want massage, offer to bring her a heat pack for her back or to draw her a foot bath with epsom salt. If you can, the perfect gift for an expecting mother is a gift certificate for a pregnancy massage.
The benefits of massage
There are countless changes that a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy. Some of these are rather uncomfortable and stressful and a massage can make it so much easier for your wife to deal with them. By aiding circulation, the massage you give to your wife will ease the load on her heart and thereby help keep her blood pressure in check.
To be honest, the benefits your wife will be able to reap through a massage are countless, which adds to the reasons why you should give her one every now and then.
1 Understand Her Food Aversions and Cravings
Pregnant women do not do this on purpose. To them, what sounded totally delicious yesterday may sound completely disgusting the next. This is totally normal and natural. If anything, you need to refrain from being upset with her – and in no way should you question her as to why she wanted something to eat in the first place if she doesn’t want it now.
If your wife doesn’t want to eat something, just finish the leftovers yourself or keep them in the freezer if you don’t feel like eating at the moment. There’s a good chance that she may want to eat it the next morning. Also, NEVER ask her to eat something that she is averse to at the moment. Believe it or not, just the thought of such a thing can make her sick – and that’s not what you want, right?
In case she is really sensitive, don’t eat something she is averse to in front of her either because just seeing or smelling it can make her sick too.
Help her sleep
As your wife’s pregnancy progresses, she is going to find it more and more uncomfortable to sleep. The baby’s weight is going to put pressure on her spine, back muscles, intestines and blood vessels. Because of this, she will experience pain, decreased circulation and consequently, an inability to sleep. To help her sleep, get her a full body pillow so she may sleep on her side instead of her back. Give her a back rub before sleeping and cuddle up with her as she sleeps!