Expecting fathers? It sounds weird but it’s not. When a woman is pregnant, men shouldn’t just say “But I’ve played my part, am I not done?” Far from it – you’re just getting started. It’s time to ‘step up’ the support you are giving your partner and you can start by adopting the ‘we are pregnant’ approach.
Many men, especially first-timers, find the pregnancy exciting yet bewildering and even a little overwhelming,
We get it. While the woman will spend nine months nurturing this new life inside her, you are left to watch from the outside. Although your biological contribution might be over, you still have a very important role to play. Here are some of our favourite tips to help dads-to-be and even old-timers navigate this wonderful, life-changing experience.
It’s obvious. Why else would you be reading this article? The more you know about the changes your partner’s going through, the better equipped you will be to empathise and support her. There are tons of materials to choose from – blogs, videos, books… name them. The book, ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ is a classic and guides you through what your wife is experiencing during each step of her pregnancy.
Pregnancy is both physically and emotionally demanding, with hormones all over the place and morning sickness to contend with (the worst – well, besides labour). Your partner is carrying a life inside her and doing a lot of things for two so help her ease some of the pressure. There are studies to show that constant stress can affect the baby. If you can, take on more household chores or get someone to help drive her around
Some days, she’ll feel amazingly peachy; on others, she’ll be like a great white shark ready to bite your head off as soon as you open your mouth. Other days, she’ll break down and cry for no reason at all. Pregnancy can toss a woman’s hormones all over the place so it’s important that you’re very patient with her. Also, be understanding when it comes to your love life. As a result of her hormones, her sex drive will rise, fall, bob and weave: often plummeting in the first trimester, bouncing back in the second and falling again in the third.
Let her pee peacefully
Pregnant women pee, a lot! Like every 30 minutes (okay, maybe we’re exaggerating but you get the point). It might sound funny but put yourself in your wife’s shoes and you’ll see just how much of an inconvenience it is having a baby taking up that much space inside you. Become the textbook definition of sensitivity and remember whenever your wife asks you to pull over into a petrol station or pause a two-hour movie four times so she can use the bathroom, the baby may be pressing on her bladder.
Act like you’re pregnant
LOL! Calm down, we’re not encouraging wild mood swings or asking you to eat bananas dipped in ice-cream (those weird cravings). It’s far simpler, just add or drop some of the habits your partner has to add or drop because she’s pregnant. It’s a way of showing moral support and helping her follow the doctor’s orders. If she has to quit coffee, alcohol or carbonated soda, try quitting too (or at least don’t indulge in front of her). Exercise can be incredibly beneficial to mom and baby to be, so help her get in the habit by going to the gym together.
Pregnancy, while being a wonderful experience, can be quite demanding when just one person feels she’s going it alone. Playing an active role will not only ease your partner’s burdens but will strengthen your bond and make it a worthwhile adventure for you both.