- April 28, 2020
- Rai Cornell
- Posted in Resources
When couples announce, “We’re pregnant!” dads can sometimes feel like bystanders, wondering how to help with the pregnancy while watching the calendar click toward the due date.
The natural focus is usually on Mom-to-be during the wonderful adventure of a new pregnancy. After all, it’s her body that's undergoing miraculous changes as a new life grows. Having said that, although your partner is carrying the baby, you can very much be part of the experience.
Here are four ways that you can participate in your partner's pregnancy and give her the support that she needs.
Be Present During Pregnancy
Your physical and emotional presence is a much-needed contribution to the pregnancy. Most importantly, communication is key. The best communication begins with a question and the most helpful question you can ask your partner is: “What can I do to make your life easier?”
Listen. Then, support her as best you can.
Being present in conversations about glider rocking chairs, wet wipe warmers, crib bumpers, and wallpaper patterns may not always be exciting, but actively engaging in these discussions communicates to your partner that you share her priorities.
Whether you're planning nursery decor with your partner or listening to her worries, there's no substitute for simply being there.
Be aware that a normal pregnancy will include about 15 doctor visits. These appointments can include blood tests (for type and to test for infection), ultrasounds, and genetic screening tests.
Being present for prenatal medical appointments is an excellent way to share the pregnancy experience.
Be Proactive During Pregnancy
Everyone likes to feel productive. When dads get to proactively take care of pregnancy-related tasks, they feel helpful and part of the process, while moms feel supported and loved.
A great time to be proactive is during "nesting" – the process of preparing your home for the baby’s arrival. Help Mom out by decorating the new bedroom to keep your partner away from paint fumes, assembling the crib and changing table, or purchasing the car seat.
Parent Tip: Never buy a used car seat. Buying new ensures the seat is safe and reliable.
Be proactive in checking your and your partner's employee maternity benefits. Do your employers allow time off for prenatal appointments? Does your employer offer paternity leave?
Research your partner's maternity leave allowance and what your medical insurance will cover.
Be Prepared During Pregnancy
One of the best ways you can support your partner through pregnancy is to always be prepared. Think about the movies in which expecting couples rush to the hospital as Mom's water breaks. They usually grab a pre-packed suitcase on their way out the door.
Yes, your partner needs to have a bag packed, but you should pack one, too. Prepare a bag with sundry items: toothbrush and toothpaste, razor, iPad, chargers, extra batteries, books, magazines, a deck of cards… Anything you'll need while waiting in your hospital room for the baby to arrive.
Once your partner has packed her bag, add some surprises to it. Toss in some of her favorite chocolates. If there's room, add a new robe to wear in the hospital. Most importantly, include a handwritten note from you telling her what a great mom she is going to be.
Be prepared with a list of who you will call with the good news when the baby arrives, and save their contact information in your phone.
If you have young children, have trusted family members or friends on call to babysit when you go to the hospital.
Be Patient During Pregnancy
Every pregnancy is different. As your partner copes with her body’s physical changes, her emotions and energy levels can swing widely.
On some days, she will feel she can conquer the world. On other days, she may barely have the energy to get out of bed. Your steady physical and emotional presence will bring an air of calmness to these anxious moments.
Supporting Mom while she's going through pregnancy contributes greatly to your participation. Your support is more important than trying to make sense of every variable. Additionally, being in tune with your partner's needs and responding with kindness will strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Yes, pregnancy can seem like it's all about Mom, but when you look for ways to be present, proactive, prepared, and patient, you can look forward to the delivery of your special gift together. From the first doctors' visit to the big day, you're a vital part of the pregnancy.
Have questions? Ask away in the comment section below!
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Pregnancy Week by Week. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20044882
- Consumer Reports. (2017). Are Secondhand Car Seats Safe? Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/car-seats/are-secondhand-car-seats-safe/
The information provided represents the general opinions of NTD Eurofins and is not intended to be used as specific advice for any one individual. Individuals should always consult with a physician to obtain specific advice and to receive answers to any and all questions or concerns related to health, wellness, pregnancy, and birth.
Pursuant to applicable federal and/or state laboratory requirements, Eurofins NTD, LLC has established and verified the accuracy and precision of its testing services. Tests are developed and performance characteristics determined by Eurofins NTD, LLC. The methods and performance characteristics have been reviewed and approved by the New York State Department of Health.