For the duration of the pregnancy, as a partner you might feel a bit left out of things. You played a crucial role in the conception, but now there’s very little for you to do until the baby arrives. You might feel sidelined as your partner’s bump grows and her body changes to accommodate the growing life inside her. It’s important to remember that dads should enjoy pregnancy too.
While she feels every kick or hiccup, you may be unaware they happen most of the time. Mum-to-be has a constant, huge reminder of the pregnancy, but you may find yourself momentarily forgetting throughout the day. It’s easy to start to feel a little left out and uninvolved with the pregnancy. You may feel there’s little for you to do, but you’re wrong. Here are some easy ways you can play a vital role in the pregnancy:
- Be there for her – your partner might be the one carrying the physical weight, but it’s easy to leave her carrying the emotional weight too. She’s on a hormonal roller coaster and may be suffering from extreme emotions. Be there to support her throughout the emotional ups and downs. Make sure she knows she can rely on you.
- Ease the pain – pregnancy causes a lot of aches and pains. From foot rubs, to back massages, there are plenty of ways you can help to ease the pain of pregnancy. Small gestures like running a bubble bath, or offering to take care of the weekly shop, can also help to take the burden off your partner.
- Always be prepared – while you can’t help grow the baby, you can prepare your home for the new arrival. You have a nursery to decorate, and you’ll want to finish any last minute DIY jobs around the house before the baby arrives. Finishing odd jobs, and putting up the cot, are great ways to get involved in the nesting period before the birth.
- Back to school – accompany your partner to antenatal classes. In past decades, men had little to do with pregnancy and birth. Birth often happened behind closed doors, while men passed round cigars. These days, you’re likely to play an active role in the birth. You’ll get to witness the amazing event of a life being brought into the world, so make sure you’re clued up and useful in the birthing room. Antenatal classes will give you the information and confidence you need to support your partner through the birth.
- Keep talking – communication is key to a healthy relationship. Pregnancy can be a scary time. Neither of you are that sure what to expect, and you are both probably apprehensive of the future. Your partner might be worrying about the birth itself, and whether she’ll struggle breastfeeding. You might be worrying about financially supporting your new family, or whether you’ll be a natural father. All of these thoughts are completely normal. Make sure you talk through all of your concerns together, this will strengthen your relationship and allow you to prepare for parenthood as a team.
- Bump bonding – you might not be getting kicked in the bladder at 3am, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on bonding in utero. Newborn babies recognise familiar voices from the womb. Talk to the bump to familiarise the baby with your tones.
- Take care of yourself – with a heavily pregnant, hormonal mum-to-be, and a to do list the size of the M1, it’s easy to forget about your own needs. If you’re exhausted and stressed, you’re unlikely to be much use to anyone, so make sure you take some you-time. Give yourself time to unwind and relax, so that your batteries can recharge.
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.