It’s fair to say that women do most of the work when it comes to pregnancy. This new generation has brought forward a different perspective ahead, helping women to forge their own strong identities. This means better job opportunities, equal pay, sharing of responsibilities in married life…including both partners being equally responsible during a pregnancy. 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. You might feel a bit perplexed. How can you ease your partner’s pressure and worries – both physical and mental – during those nine months? And guess what? It’s a lot more fun that way.
Here we have constructed a seven-step guide for you to start your journey from a confused partner to a responsible father-to-be.
- Help her with the morning sickness
I’m sure you would be feeling terrible, unable to help her physically. In times like these, it is important for you to be a bit more understanding and supportive. Morning sickness is an awful experience. It never gets easier to adapt to. Arrange a comfortable space for her to rest and cozy up in, make it easier for her to fall asleep, cuddle her before she dozes off. These little things would go a long way to ease her into a difficult circumstance that comes attached with the pregnancy.
- Lend a hand
Your partner’s body for the next few months would get more tired than she is accustomed to being. A lot of her energy is being used up by the baby which leaves her with less for her own self. It is obvious that she won’t be able to handle the responsibilities that she used to do earlier. It is time for you to go that extra mile. You can start slow, take up tasks that require more physical strength for her to manage. Vacuuming, cleaning, running errands around the house, doing the dishes are just some of the ways you could share the burden.
- Keep learning
The first step you can take is to educate yourself regarding it. Read books, magazines, articles, talk to your mom, watch documentaries. Learn about the food habits, the changes in the body, the health supplements, the pregnancy clothes, the hormonal changes. Pregnancy can be daunting. It is as much unfamiliar territory to your partner as much as it is to you. It is obvious that you won’t be able to understand everything. But by constantly trying to learn about it you’d be giving your partner a message that she is not alone. She would feel less overwhelmed and scared and both of you together would lessen each other’s burden.
‘Will our relationship change?’ ‘Do I have the qualities of a good mother?’ ‘Will our child love us?’ It is normal for a mom-to-be to experience some sort of self-doubt. Old insecurities might resurface or little things might induce anxiety. Tell her it is okay. Reassure her. All the mothers would agree that these worries are the foundation of the future. It is completely normal to have doubts and anxieties and most of them are just a part and parcel of being a mother. But listening to her and being there for her would be more reassuring enough. It always is.
- Get involved
Visiting the doctor could be overwhelming. Even slight complications could bring a lot of anxiety. The biggest help you can do is to be present. Accompany her to the doctor. Be involved…but only as much as she wants you to be. Does she feel comfortable having you accompany her on every visit? Do you have time? It’s best to set your schedule beforehand. This way you could be present without constantly worrying about the work deadlines. And it would be comforting for her to have you around too.
- Make some plans for the future
It’s healthy to discuss different scenarios. Would enrolling in a childcare centre be more feasible or hiring a nanny? Will you stay at home for a few months or your partner? While it is important to be more ready for the future, it is equally essential to be flexible. Circumstances could differ from what you have anticipated and the plans could change. It is okay to let them and adapt accordingly.
- Prepare for the delivery
The nine months would pass away so quickly, so It is better to start early so that you are well prepared and geared up when the time demands!
Keep a maternity bag ready with all the things she might need in the hospital. And it is also time to start preparing yourself for the baby. Learning about changing diapers, how to put a baby to sleep, how to take care of your partner right after the delivery, how to take care of her right before the delivery are some things that you need to understand more.