Expecting a baby is both a wonderful and harrowing experience for a couple. But while the woman experiences all these new sensations, hormones and watches her body change over 9 months, it can often leave the partner helpless and unable to understand as he watches the changes which he can only imagine.
Luckily for me, I had an almost textbook pregnancy with very little incident apart from the hormones, falling asleep on the couch mid-sentence and the fatigue. I remained very happy for most of my pregnancy. So my husband didn’t have to contend with mood changes, tears or any other emotional upheavals. But for those of you menfolk who aren’t that lucky and currently feel they are cohabiting with a dragon, read on for some tips which will hopefully help you navigate the treacherous road of pregnancy.
Tip no 1: Do not offer solutions only sympathy
If your partner complains of morning sickness, backache or sore feet don’t offer solutions. Instead ask what you can do to make her feel better. Options include; offering crackers, heating up a heat pack for her back and massaging her sore feet.
- Avoid saying, “it can’t be that bad”, after you saw her slumped next to the toilet seat.
- Don’t share her pregnancy experiences with your family, colleagues and friends.
- Read up on the different things she’s experiencing by subscribing to baby websites. Just one newsletter will do so don’t panic! Make sure you choose an informative website – get recommendations from friends who already have children.
Tip no 2: Pick up the slack in household chores
The first 4 months are terrible on your partner’s body and affects everything from moods, to energy levels to sense of smell. She may not feel up to doing her share of the household chores so you may need to pick up the slack here including cooking and laundry.
Tip no. 3: Plan ahead
It’s not a good idea to leave things to the last minute so sit down with your partner and make lists of what needs to be done; furnishing the baby’s room, buying clothes and equipment, packing the hospital bag. You don’t want to be buying stuff or be stressed when the baby arrives, you’d much rather use that time to bond with your son or daughter. It will be a busy time and you will find yourself rushing to the supermarket more often than usual, so remember proper planning will keep these trips to a minimum.
Tip no.4: Be involved in your partner’s hospital appointments
Accompany your partner to her doctor’s or midwife’s appointments and read up beforehand so you are well prepared. I spoke about the importance of research and this will help both of you to ask the right questions. Sign up for antenatal classes, they are a good source of knowledge and will answer all your queries.
Tip no.5: Be patient and calm
This is probably the most important tip of all. Your spouse is undergoing dramatic changes both emotionally and physically and you need to be sensitive, patient and understanding. Be very attuned to your partner’s feelings and indulge her cravings. If she wants to sleep at 7pm, let her do so!
What did your partner do for you when you were pregnant? Do you have any more tips to add to the above list?