- July 28, 2020
- Rai Cornell
- Posted in Resources
A first-time pregnancy is full of wonder, excitement, and anticipation. Will you have a boy or a girl? What about twins? How will you decorate the nursery?
A first-time pregnancy is also full of constant change. Especially for the mom-to-be as her body adjusts to the new life growing inside her. The focus is naturally and rightly on Mom. Dads can sometimes feel like bystanders, just watching it all happen.
Here are four ways dads-to-be can help make life easier for their partners during a first-time pregnancy, and in doing so be an active participant in the adventure.
1. Be Her “Guy Friday”
The best question Dad can ask Mom is, “What can I do to make your life easier?” Listening carefully to her answer will provide a game plan for the months leading up to delivery. Rather than assuming you know what she wants or needs, asking for specifics helps Dad customize the task list to Mom's preference.
Assuming the role of her “Guy Friday” goes a long way in Mom’s happiness level. What tasks around the house does she hate to do? Becoming an expert at dusting, vacuuming, and doing laundry creates a clean, fresh environment for Mom to enjoy.
There are also tasks that may be unsafe for Mom to do during pregnancy—like cleaning the litter box. Why is this dangerous? Toxoplasmosis is an infection that is spread in cat feces. It can cause birth defects such as mental disabilities and serious eye problems. Scooping kitty litter is definitely a job for Dad while waiting for the baby to arrive.
But that's not all Dad can do. Even little things can make a big difference. Bringing in the mail, gassing up her car, and running those random errands to the post office and dry cleaner allow Mom to relax a little and focus on other aspects of preparing to bring a new baby into the world.
2. Be Her Personal Chef
Some men learn to cook during their partner’s first pregnancy. Assuming the role of chef can be a win-win. Dad expands his culinary skills while giving Mom a break in the kitchen.
The way food tastes and smells can change for a woman during pregnancy. Foods that were enjoyed before getting pregnant can now make Mom feel sick. Mom might also have strong cravings for specific foods that can quickly change. Tailoring the menu to these cravings and aversions is another way Dad can help with a first-time pregnancy.
3. Be Her Pampering Prince
Dads have an opportunity to be the prince when they pamper the mom-to-be. There are plenty of creative ways to be her hero.
Pregnancy is a tiring experience. As the baby grows and Mom’s body adjusts, energy levels change and sleeping can be difficult. Buying her a pregnancy pillow can help her find a comfortable position and get the rest she needs.
Grocery delivery is now a wallet-friendly and readily available way to get your shopping done. Dad can hand Mom a laptop or tablet to place her order online, then watch her smile as the bags are delivered to right to the door. Dad can also go the extra mile and be there to put the groceries away.
Relaxing in a freshly cleaned house is a wonderful feeling. Hiring a professional house cleaner during your first-time pregnancy is money well-spent for both Mom and Dad. It frees up precious time they can spend together to plan for their new baby.
“Self-care” days are special anytime but are even more appreciated during pregnancy. Arranging a spa day for the mom-to-be is an excellent way for Dad to pamper her. Manicures, pedicures, massages, and facials will help Mom feel relaxed and refreshed.
4. Be Her Patient Partner
Mood swings are part of being pregnant. Perhaps the best way Dad can help during a first-time pregnancy is to be steady emotional support for his partner.
While most couples can laugh about it after the baby arrives, mood swings in the nine months leading up to delivery day are a real thing. Going along with the “mood du jour” and accommodating Mom's wishes when her hormones bounce back and forth is an act of kindness that will certainly be appreciated.
Pregnancy is a life-changing experience for both parents. When Dad offers his help and shows kindness in tangible ways, both Dad and Mom feel like partners in the process.
Moms, what special things have your partners done for you during your pregnancy? Share in the comments below!
- American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Mood Swings During Pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/mood-swings-during-pregnancy/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Parasites – Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma Infection). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html
- Gardner, A. (2016). Pregnancy: Why Your Favorite Foods Gross You Out. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/pregnancy-food-cravings-aversions#1
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