Hormones. Emotions. Feeling exhausted. Vomiting. Being pregnant is no picnic. Sure, there’s lots of excitement and joy too, but growing a baby in your body is hard work.
While your partner does the biological part of bringing your baby into the world, what can you do to support her?
Carry the load
While you can’t carry her actual load (i.e. the baby), you can carry everything else- shopping bags, the rubbish bags out to the bins etc. Plus, when she’s exhausted with throbbing feet, she would certainly welcome some chores being done for her and maybe dinner cooked as well.
Be a good listener
While pregnancy is a happy time, it can also be marred by worries- perhaps of miscarriage, or fears of giving birth. Being a listening ear for all of your partner’s feelings helps share the mental burden, and your reassurance can help calm those worries.
Go through the process together
As well as attending scans and appointments as a couple, you can also help her feel supported by learning all you can about the stages of pregnancy, and what to do after the baby comes. There are a number of great books such as ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ which explain each stage fully, including the size of your growing baby, and their development.
Help her rest
Carrying around a growing baby means a sore back and hot feet. Help her take a load off by encouraging rest and relaxation. Perhaps a takeaway and a movie with her legs up would be appreciated, or a tv marathon while sitting in bed. It can be tempting for mums-to-be to get everything done around the house and put off resting up, but they’ll feel much better for it, and baby will appreciate it too.
Encourage healthy eating
For the benefit of the baby and mum, it’s important to eat well during pregnancy. There may be foods she can’t stomach right now, or foods she has cravings for. But outside of that, try and aim for balanced meals with lots of vegetables and water to drink. The water and extra fibre can also help with pregnancy constipation.
Get ready for baby
Researching baby car seats, prams and other necessary purchases shows your partner that you’re supportive and eager to help. Enjoy choosing baby items together, and make sure you have everything ready for your little arrival.
Familiarise yourself with the birth plan
Chat through the birth plan with your partner so that you’re aware of her wishes and can support her on the day. Your knowledge of the plan regarding pain relief and where the baby should be born is important.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too!
Becoming a dad is a huge, life-changing event. Despite being incredible, it can also be hard at first- babies don’t come with a manual! Make sure you get lots of rest and talk about your own feelings with your partner too. Above all, try and enjoy this magical period- feeling the baby move in your partner’s tummy, and choosing baby clothes.
Your feelings and wellbeing are just as important as your partner’s, and if you’re overwhelmed or want to chat, come and join our friendly forum.