While pregnancy and giving birth is Mom’s job, there are a number of
ways that you, as her partner, can share the load, too. And guess what?
It’s a lot more fun that way. After all, it took two to start this
Research shows new moms have a better overall pregnancy
experience when dads are actively involved. In your role as your
partner’s number one pregnancy partner, you’ll enjoy the experience more
and give her some much-appreciated relief by sending the message that
you’ll be a reliable partner in childcare as well — not just a
partner-in-reproduction. Here are five ways you can make a difference
that she’ll really notice and appreciate.
Listen…and talk. Pregnancy and childbirth can be a lot to handle — especially for first-timers. So make sure your
partner knows she can vent to you about all those little (and big!)
changes going on now: nerves about an upcoming procedure, anxiety about
what kind of mom she’ll be, annoyance at her puffy feet. Even if you
think her concerns are outsized or illogical, keep the thought to
yourself. Don’t tell her to “stop worrying” or “chill out.” Instead,
listen to her, offer to help her find information, go to doctor
appointments with her, or take an afternoon off to have some fun
together. And since you’re a team, don’t hold back on sharing your
fears, too. Remember, it’s totally normal if the ride doesn’t feel quite
as carefree as usual: Speak up, and things will go a lot more smoothly
for both of you.
Pitch in. She’s not only dog-tired these days, she’s emotionally vulnerable too. So go the extra mile — pitch in more than you usually do with household chores, especially since her bump is not her best friend when she’s trying to sweep the floors or make the bed. And think about other ways to lighten her load (and blow her mind with your superhero-like foresight): Maybe whip up a double batch of chili and stash half in the freezer to enjoy later on so she can nap or just put her feet up. If you can plunk down the extra cash, look into hiring a housekeeper now through the first few months after baby comes. And by all means, don’t forget she’s a woman: Tell her she looks good when she leaves in the morning, give her tummy an affectionate pat when she walks by, or offer her a shoulder massage or foot-rub — you’ll always get brownie points for that.
Get packing. Sure, mom needs her hospital bag — but
you need one, too. Fill it with gear like a razor, toothbrush,
toothpaste, iPod or iPad, camera, extra batteries, magazines or books to
read, and cards to play with Mom during labor (if she’s game, of
course). And don’t wait till the last minute — have your bag stocked
several weeks before the baby is due in case you need to rush out the
door. (Not likely, but it happens.) And while you’re at it, get a few
surprises to put in her bag: some fancy towelettes she can use to wash
her face when she wakes up in the recovery room, or new slippers or a
robe to wear in the hospital. (Chocolate never hurts, either.)
Make your contact list and choose a wingman. Dad is often in charge of texting, tweeting and otherwise bragging about the big news when baby makes his debut, so get organized now. Talk to your partner and make a must-contact list with your family and friends’ email addresses and cell phone numbers. If an email blast or Facebook post isn’t your style, recruit a friend to help you spread the news over the phone (that’s a call everyone loves to make!). And on that note, make sure to involve her in these decisions, too. Some moms would love an Instagram of themselves and new baby just after birth; some would rather the world never, ever see them without makeup. Make the plan together and share the joy of sharing the joy.
Stay informed. Of course you know how you got pregnant — but you likely still feel a bit mystified by all the changes that are happening in your partner’s belly. So get the lowdown: Go with her to her doctor visits when you can and attend childbirth classes together. Learn about her body and her baby’s development by signing up for the WhatToExpect.com newsletter. Or download the WhatToExpect.com Pregnancy & Baby App, which gives you personalized, day-by-day and week-by-week detailed information tracking every step of your journey. You’ll be able to impress her when you tell her you love the new dark line on her stomach and even know its name (FYI, it’s linea nigra). Or you can surprise her when you announce that your baby is the size of an avocado today. (Tip: Create your own profile and enter baby’s due date a week ahead so you’ll be in-the-know before your partner about what to expect from her pregnancy). The more information you have, the more relaxed you’ll feel about issues like sex during pregnancy (no, you won’t hurt the baby), your partner’s health and what you can do to help when baby’s big birth day finally arrives.
Culled from What to Expect
You need to read these too