Just about anyone who has ever been pregnant will know that it brings about some significant physiological, mental and emotional challenges. These run the gamut from tiredness and nausea, to feelings of excitement and trepidation, and everything in-between – sometimes all in a single day!
With so much going on, it helps to have someone to support you, and to go through the ups and downs of pregnancy with you. While the obvious choice might be to turn to your mum or other women who are or have been pregnant, as valuable as these supports are, it’s important not to overlook the enormous value of involving your partner in the journey.
Encourage your partner to:
* Attend appointments with you. Make appointments at a time when your partner can come, or at least be aware of appointment times well in advance so that your partner can apply for time off work if necessary.
* Join in the antenatal classes so you can participate in the breathing and other exercises together, and give and receive support from other parents-to-be.
* Get all ‘touchy-feely’! Encourage your partner to feel your bump and the movements the baby makes.
* Take over some of the tasks you normally do, when you are feeling tired.
Ways your partner benefits
Some dads report feeling left out in the ‘women’s business’ of childbirth. By encouraging your partner to be a part of things, it will help him feel needed and useful. A partner who has seen the baby through ultrasounds and who is involved during the pregnancy is also likely to get a head start in the bonding process.
What you can do to help your partner stay involved
We ladies can be a bit notorious for doing everything for everyone else and not asking for help for ourselves. So communicate your needs, and ask for help if you need it. Make sure you show appreciation for the support and help you get from your partner. This will encourage him to keep doing what he’s doing. And have a little patience and compassion – after all this is an exciting but daunting time for your partner as well.
Involving your partner in your pregnancy can be a great opportunity to draw closer together and prepare for the future. Be sure to make the most of it!