Husband's support during pregnancy: A guide for all expecting fathers
Having a baby can be challenging for an expecting mum. But the process can be made easy if she has her husband's support during pregnancy.
It is safe to say that your husband's support during pregnancy can ease much of your anxiety. With raging hormones, emotional outbursts and countless physical changes, you need him to be your rock in this journey.
After all, when both of you support each other, you not only strengthen your bond, but learn a lot about your baby through these nine months. And even though you work together, both of you have your own set of responsibilities. You may be carrying the baby, but your husband can carry you through these difficult times.
Why do women need their husband's support during pregnancy?
While you carry the baby and are responsible for him, your husband can also contribute in his own way.
He has many roles, from helping you take care of your health, to spending time with you, to taking you to doctor's appointments. There are many little things that your husband can do that are instrumental in having a healthy and happy pregnancy.
So ladies, pass this post on to your hubbies, because they need to read it! Husbands, keep an open mind, and take notes! This is a guide for all expecting fathers.
1. Read up on pregnancy
Our first suggestion is to read up. Yes, hubbies, that's correct.
If you are about to start a family or already expecting, then you can begin by learning more about the pregnancy. Read about what you can expect in each trimester.
For instance, you may not know this, but expecting mums feel quite tired during their first and third trimester. On the other hand, they can be quite energetic in their second trimester.
Armed with as much knowledge as possible, you can help your wife make informed decisions about many important things, such as prenatal tests.
2. Expect your wife to change
Pregnancy not only brings about physical changes in a woman, but it also takes her through an emotional rollercoaster. She is not the same anymore. She might feel like a completely different person, especially if this is her first pregnancy.
If she tells you she cannot eat the food you made or sit in her favourite spot anymore, the least you can do is sympathise with her. If she she wants to nap in the middle of the day, let her. Give her time to rest and rejuvenate.
Pregnancy can be a very sensitive time for a woman. She needs your support and love now, more than ever.
3. Give her time to rest
A recent study reportedly confirmed that women need more sleep than men. It shared that women do a lot of multi-tasking, so they use more brain power than their male counterparts. Well, if that's true when a woman is not pregnant, think about how much rest she will need when she is pregnant.
So husbands, listen up. Let your woman sleep as much as she wants. As the baby grows, her energy levels will go down, especially during the first and the last trimester, and she may need more rest. If possible, take on her share of the household chores.
4. She will have food cravings and aversions
You may need to understand that your expecting wife will have food cravings and even aversions. So for instance, your roast chicken that she so loved before, might not figure in her 'favourite things to eat' anymore.
But she is not doing that on purpose. As hormones fluctuate, pregnancy cravings and aversions become part of her new 'normal.' So respect her choices of food. If she doesn't want to eat a particular item, do not force it on her. It might make her feel nauseated.
If she cannot tolerate the smell of a particular food, be considerate! Don't make it at home or eat it in front of her.
5. Hear her out
Of course, you should do this all the time. But if possible, you must be especially considerate to her during the pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes, a woman can become quite emotional and sensitive. So her husband's support during pregnancy can be quite important for her.
She might be worried that something is out of the ordinary. "Is my baby healthy? Does he have any problem? Will I have a normal birth? Am I going to become a good mother?" she might wonder and ask you. All of these are real worries.
Instead of dismissing them, you must be sensitive to her worries and give her the assurance she needs.
You can share her excitement and go shopping for the baby together. Feel the baby's kicks if you can catch the right moment. And go to the doctor together. All of these will help her feel that you are always there for her.
6. Attend the doctor's appointments together
Or at least try to. If you accompany your wife to all her doctor's appointment then you are certainly doing the right thing. But if you can't, at least attend the important ones. Read up on which ones those are. The ultrasound at the 20th week where you hear your baby's heartbeat is a big one.
There's more than doctor's appointments. Also accompany her when she needs blood work. Your presence will boost her morale and make her feel loved and supported.
This will also help you know the progress of your baby as well as the health of your wife. After all, a husband's support during pregnancy is not limited to the mushy stuff. Your interest in your wife and baby's health is equally crucial.
7. Make future plans together
Your expecting wife has a lot on her plate, from selecting the baby name to preparing the nursery. And if she happens to work, she will also have to think about the day care and nannies when she eventually gets back to work. So help her make all these decisions.
In particular, she may need your help with physical tasks like setting up the nursery or moving the furniture around. Believe us, you want to be a part of these preparations. One day, they will be great memories for the two of you. So do it together.
8. Make her feel loved and pampered
Husband's support during pregnancy also means pampering and loving your wife. Take her out on special date nights or for a movie. You can even buy her new clothes so she feels sexy (even though the protruding belly is making her feel otherwise).
There are many more things you can do together. You can take her for special prenatal massages and some good old salon time. Take her out shopping and do things that she loves to do with her girlfriends.
At this time, she needs you the most and would love to have your company. So spend as much time as possible with each other.
9. Attend birthing classes together
Apart from reading up on pregnancy, you may also attend birthing classes together. Most of these classes require the expecting mum to be accompanied by a partner. In case you're wondering, that partner is you.
These classes not only help your wife prepare herself for the big day, but also help you learn how to cope with it. Birthing can be an exhausting experience not just for the mum, but also for dads. And both of you need support.
Birthing classes help you understand how to do exactly that. As you go along, you will learn that a husband's support during pregnancy is not just emotional but most importantly physical.
10. Prepare a birthing plan together
A husband's support during pregnancy also entails helping your wife come up with a birthing plan. Discuss how you want your kid to come into this world. Are you both on board with the same plan?
In case your wife needs to have an emergency cesarean section, how will you support her? When your wife goes into transition (active labour where she pushes the baby out) she will not be able to speak. So you will have to do that on her behalf.
If the decision of an emergency cesarean is to be taken, you will have to deliver that message. Therefore, you need to be familiar with the birthing plan beforehand.
11. Helping her during labour
Most hospitals allow the husband to be inside the delivery room. And if you have that opportunity, you must utilise it to help her relax. A husband's support during pregnancy comes to its fruition during the final hours of labour.
You may have to rub her back, hold her hand, help her with her clothes, or sometimes leave her alone. Yes, you might have to do all of these.
This is also a sensitive time, and she may not be extremely appreciative of you at this juncture. So do not take it all too personally. Know that she cannot control her emotions or her body at this time. So try to be as supportive as possible.
Once your baby is out, she will be much more relaxed and more herself. Give her space and time. But also stay on the wings, in case she needs you.
It is crucial to know that a husband's support during pregnancy — and of course after — can positively impact the baby too. Your child will also feel the love you share with his mum. And that will further strengthen your bond. So it's a win-win situation.
Remember, all you need to do is support and love your wife as you embark on this beautiful journey together.
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore