As a dad or partner of a mom-to-be, you play an essential role in providing support, care and encouragement throughout the pregnancy journey. Even if fathers are increasingly present in their children's lives from an early age, this does not imply that it is always simple. Participating during pregnancy can be just as, if not more, of a challenge for fathers as it is after the baby is born.
Although it may still feel like the pregnancy is focused on the mother, father (or partner) involvement is still crucial. According to studies, expecting mothers, including babies, benefit more from having supportive partners. Being your partner's number one support system throughout pregnancy will make you both happier and provide her with much-needed reassurance and calmness if you also show that you can be counted on as a responsible co-parent.
To help you better navigate this exciting and challenging time, we have compiled a list of top things you can do for the expecting mother.
Attend prenatal appointments
Accompany your partner to the prenatal check-ups, giving emotional support and making sure to ask any questions you have about the pregnancy. Do you need to accompany her to every prenatal appointment? If so, you should try to make it to each one, but if your work schedule won't allow it, talk to her honestly about it. If you can't make it to every appointment, at least ask thoughtful questions to show that you care:
“How was your doctor’s appointment”
“What did the doctor say about your morning sickness?”
“Did the doctor change your prenatal vitamins?”
Learn about childbirth
Most men have just a vague idea of what it's like to give birth, based on depictions in the media. It's not possible to have a baby in a matter of minutes, although it can happen to some very lucky women! While quick labor and delivery is possible, put in mind that it can actually take a while in reality. This is especially true if she is expecting her first child. Labor can leave men feeling helpless and unsure of how to support their partners during this crucial time. Educate yourself on the different stages of labor and birthing options so you can be knowledgeable and supportive during the delivery process. So, what can you do? Attend a birthing class with your partner so you’ll know what to expect during labor. You’ll be more calm and know what to do, especially when the mom-to-be starts experiencing contractions.
Help with household chores
Moms-to-be often experience fatigue, so take up more responsibilities around the house—doing chores, picking up groceries, and cooking meals. A pregnant lady might seem like she’s got everything under control. But she’ll truly appreciate an extra hand, especially when it comes to household chores. She is not only physically exhausted, but also emotionally fragile. Since her growing belly isn't ideal for the usual household tasks, you should go above and above to help out around the house. And please consider different ways to ease her stress as well! If you're able to save up the money, consider hiring a cleaner to help out in the months leading up to the birth of your child.
Assist with baby preparations
Be involved in decisions related to pregnancy and preparing for the baby's arrival. Participate in everything, from taking your partner to doctor's appointments and baby shopping to painting and decorating the nursery and putting together the crib. You'll start to feel like a part of things when you actively participate in the process. You should have an insight on nursery necessities like furniture and car seats, even if shopping for baby products in physical stores and on the internet isn't your thing. After all, once your little one arrives, you'll both be using it!
Offer massages and encourage self-care
Pregnant women often experience physical discomfort such as backaches or sore feet. Offering gentle massages can provide some much-needed relief and relaxation. The release of feel-good endorphins are believed to be an immediate advantage of getting a massage. Because of the calming effects of endorphins, gentle massage during pregnancy and labor can greatly lessen a mother's anxiety. As their bodies go through the changes of pregnancy, many moms endure lower lumbar pain. The body's natural painkillers, endorphins, are released during a massage, which is a welcome side effect.
One of the things you should also do to help your pregnant partner is to motivate your partner to take care of herself by ensuring she has time to exercise and engage in various relaxation techniques like meditation or prenatal yoga. Don't dismiss her worries because you find them excessive or silly. Don't tell her to "calm down" or "stop stressing." Let her talk, offer to figure things out together, or even take the day off to do something enjoyable together. Allow your partner to express her feelings, concerns, and thoughts without judgment throughout her pregnancy journey.
Plan a vacation
We’re not trying to discourage or scare you, but it might be a little while before you can go on a vacation after the baby's arrival. It's normal for life to become chaotic amidst the chaos of preparing for the birth of a child. Because pregnancy is so challenging, it's crucial to take a break and reconnect with your partner. A well-deserved vacation for moms before giving birth, also known as a "babymoon," has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and is among the many pre-birth rituals chosen by expectant parents. Plan a weekend getaway as a couple for relaxation and quality time together. Before you and your partner get too excited about booking a trip before having a baby, it's important to inform your healthcare provider. Your doctor may give you the green light to travel, depending on how far along your partner is, as long as you take the necessary precautions for her health and safety.
Help Her Fall Asleep
One of the many unpleasant surprises of pregnancy is the inability of many women to sleep soundly and enjoy a restful night's sleep. Wondering how you can help? Help her relax by giving her a maternity pillow or going shopping for one together. When she starts to feel too hot, turn on the air conditioning or a fan. Holding her close will also aid in getting her to sleep more quickly.
Develop a strong emotional bond with the baby too
Talk to your unborn child, feel when they move or kick and share these experiences with their mom to strengthen your bond with them before they're born. Even at a week old, babies recognize familiar voices. Your baby's language skills will develop more rapidly if you talk to them frequently. So, just like you would with any other family member, make small talk with your little one throughout the day. Just talk about whatever is on your mind: what you're doing, where you are, and what even what you see around you. Try reading a book or singing a song if you're not sure what to say.
Being an engaged and supportive partner during pregnancy can make all the difference to a mom-to-be’s experience. Keep communication open, stay patient, and remember to enjoy this incredible journey together.