Diaries of a new dad: 6 ways to help your wife have a smooth pregnancy
Pregnancy can be very stressful period for your wife. As a dad-to-be, follow these steps to help her sail through pregnancy
I still remember that day. My wife and I were having dinner, and she felt a little nauseated. We had been trying to conceive for some time, but the nausea was a bit early by any standards. Nevertheless, I coaxed her to take a pregnancy test, and we saw a faint pink line appear! Our lives were going to change forever.
Pregnancy was one of the best things that happened to us. My wife and I had a good discussion about the best time to start planning a family, and fortunately, we conceived. To see the additional line on the UPT is a feeling that can be hardly described in words. However, pregnancy itself is not a breeze. Stressful situations do arise. Here are a few things that worked for me, and I guess, would work for you too!
Breaking the news
Unlike the films in the 90s, the husbands of today come to know about the big news together with our wives. I was super excited about the whole event and wanted to let the close ones know right away. My wife had entered into the nesting mode and had become more protective about the information that we would give out. This was our first disagreement after the big news: whom to tell and when to tell.
For me, seeing my wife in stress was not worth it, and we agreed on the time and audience of the announcement. The discussion is the key here, and agreeing upon the outcome is the solution. Don’t rush into declaring. People understand.
Managing the emotions
My woman is badass when it comes to facing the world. So, to see her start sobbing while watching the ICICI Prudential TVC ‘bande ache hai’ was very strange. Followed a series of surprises where her reactions to situations were new.
The hormonal cocktail her body is experiencing would increase her sensitivity. To add to this, there are changes in her body that are not always comfortable. Nausea and breast tenderness can cause much distress early in the pregnancy. Stray comments, insensitive remarks can trigger an emotional outburst. The thing that worked for me was being careful about what I said, prepping my parents and in-laws about the taboo areas of discussions and having some fun with her. Encourage her to exercise and join her. This gives you some quiet time together along with some stress busting.
This is going to be an emotional ride for her. The best way to deal with it is to be there for her, and shield her from moronic comments.
Scans, scans, scans.
With pregnancy come the scans and doctor visits. Choose the right doctor for you, the one that complements your wife’s temperament. There are two critical scans in the early few weeks- the Nuchal translucency scan around 12 weeks and the foetal abnormality scan around the 20 weeks. Make a point to attend both with her.
You may find out that a vaginal delivery is not possible. Though it may be a sensitive topic for your wife, assure her that there is nothing 'abnormal' about a C section. Encourage her to research it more and discuss it with recent mums. Same goes with opting for an epidural pain relief during labour. I would not see my wife go through pain, and I am sure so wouldn't you.
Read on to know more about sailing through pregnancy
Preparing for the parenthood together
Women respect a man who is an equal participant in this. If this is your first child, both of you may have a lot of questions, about the delivery, what to eat, what to avoid, how to change diapers, how to bathe the baby and so on. Even nine months seem to be less for all the preparation. As a husband and a dad-to-be, the responsibility to research may fall on your shoulders. When in doubt, watch videos. But choose the ones from authentic sources than what other parents have to say. Go for scientifically accurate content.
When I declared my intention to purchase the baby stuff early on, I got a lot of advice about postponing it till the baby is born. I feel that preparing early reduces the stress later. Obtain a checklist of things you need in the first week after delivery. It is worth preparing your nest than running around later.
Restructuring Social engagements
Pregnancy is the time to prove right your wife’s decision to marry you! The timeless association of masculinity has been with making your woman feel secure. This is the time to reduce your social engagements slowly and give more time to your wife and your child growing inside her. Cut down on the Friday pub crawls. IPL may have to take a back seat. Take your woman out on dates. This is the only quiet time both of you are going to get for a long, long time. Make it count.
Caring husband to awesome dad!
As the pregnancy advances, she is going to tire more easily. Her thermostat would be tweaked, and she may feel hot even in good weather. Take some work off her hands, especially the kitchen stuff. This is the time to learn how to make chapatis softer (my wife ate maps of all the continents for the last couple of months) and make her favourite soups. She would be hungry more often, and may match the portions you eat. Encourage her to eat better. Better yet, prepare her favourite things once in a while. You would be one popular dude in her circle!
Sleeping becomes more difficult with the growing belly. She would also be concerned about stretch marks. A soft tummy rub using oil would do the trick. Start doing this right after 20 weeks. Feeling your baby kick while you rub the tummy is a feeling that you need to experience! The father-son/daughter bonding starts right from there.
In addition, she may have swollen legs and tired feet. It is an excellent idea to give her a good foot rub every night, just to release the kinks in her legs. After all, the maturity of the relationship is said to be reached when sedative foot rubs replace seductive backrubs!
If you are in the pregnancy boat, congrats! There is nothing more joyful than this. This is the time when you understand the true meaning of taking care and being there. Just take care of your queen, and you should be good!
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