Updated: Nov 14
It’s fair to say that your pregnant partner will do most of the work for the next nine months of pregnancy.
After all, your unborn baby has decided to camp in your partner’s uterus. She is the one who will be popping off to the toilet every two minutes, struggling to get comfy at night, and ultimately giving birth.
Your lack of a uterus puts you on the bench. You may be secretly happy about this, but it is still essential that you are still a team player and provide practical help during pregnancy.
How Do I Help During Pregnancy?
You are charged with the vital role of providing support, whether that’s emotional support or physical support. It’s a scary time in your partner’s life, and being a pregnant woman is no walk in the park. You are her shoulder to cry on and her legs to get snacks, drinks, and anything else she demands.
As your partner navigates through the first trimester, she will experience morning sickness and fatigue symptoms. During the second trimester, there will be the honeymoon period, where things plod along nicely. The second trimester is a good place to be. The waddling phase will appear during the third trimester. Yet again, there is a chance to prove what a godly husband or partner you are.
Of course, you’ve already proven this several times over. But pregnancy, especially for first-time mamas and papas, can bring many surprises, and you will be expected to prove this again.
There’s her ever-changing body, for example, and those unexpected pick-a-mix emotional health episodes, and let’s not forget those weird and wonderful cravings (Vaseline on toast, anyone?). There’s the baby brain and endless trips to the bathroom. In short, it’s hard to know what to expect when your partner is pregnant.
So, fellow dads to be. Here are 14 great ways to earn your stripes and help during pregnancy. Get ready to write your name into the history books.
Get Off Your As* And Do More Sh*t.
All pregnant women expend a shedload of extra energy when building a baby. This will make her want to climb into bed much earlier than your usual 11 p.m. bedtime.
Now’s the time to help during pregnancy and go the extra mile to pick up chores around the house. Execute the tasks she may have done pre-pregnancy (especially physically challenging ones like vacuuming, picking up dirty clothes, and cleaning the loo) and start doing them yourself.
This sounds like a lot more work, and guess what? It does not benefit you at all, so you’d best start cracking on.
Laugh On The Outside.
Keeping your sense of humour when living with your pregnant wife or partner would be best. You’ll just be getting on the road when she announces she needs to pee, even though she went twice before you left the house. Or she’ll flutter her eyelids at you and ask you to get her a drink just as you sit down, even though you were in the kitchen 90 seconds ago.
Practise the art of thinking ahead — obviously, yes to the toilet break (you don’t want p*ss stinking seats, trust me) and try and offer her a drink before you come in and sit down. That way, you won’t have to get up again, although there will probably be something else 5 minutes later.
You’ll be thinking ahead, and your good intentions will not go amiss. Doing this will make your life much easier and reduce unwanted surprises.
Comfort Is Key.
Buy her a pregnancy pillow. These pillows are usually around 5 feet long and are the best way to get comfy in bed or on the sofa. Purchasing one of these early in pregnancy allows her to get the maximum use out of it well into the second and third trimesters. This isn’t just to benefit your pregnant wife; you can also take full advantage of this pillow. Other tips include turning on a fan when she gets too hot and cuddling her before nodding off.
Medical Stuff? Completed It, Mate.
We suggest attending as many scans as possible with your partner; it is a fantastic experience. Do your best to go, but sometimes life can get in the way. This provides essential emotional help during pregnancy.
If you can’t make an appointment, make sure it’s a legit excuse, not because you don’t want to miss the football or beers with the boys.
If you can’t go, show interest and concern by asking questions.” So, what did the doctor say? Any advice on improving your posture, kicking the pulled pork ice cream habit, and going on to healthier food? “
Ensure you’re at the milestone appointments (when the heartbeat will be heard, for the ultrasounds and screening tests).
The rollercoaster of mood swings your pregnant wife will experience during pregnancy will undoubtedly take its toll. Expect to provide unlimited emotional support during conversations about how she won’t be a good mother or that your relationship will change.
No matter how ridiculous this sounds, it is an entirely normal topic of conversation. Try to listen without cutting her off and telling her to chill her beans. It’s also a great chance to talk about your feelings as well. Your feelings towards pregnancy, that is, and not which team will win the Premier League this year.
Rest assured, all these worries are entirely normal. Try not to lose sleep over them; you will have plenty of time for that once the baby arrives.
Supportive partners that communicate together stay together!
It Is The Perfect Time To Get Your Steps In.
The last thing your partner thinks about is getting out for walks and keeping up her general fitness. Her body is working overtime, and having little energy will be consistent. Getting her sweat on is the least of her priorities.
By becoming her workout buddy, you can help her by stepping out for a brisk weekend walk or a stroll around the local neighbourhood in the evenings after dinner. You can help each other with this, so your dad-bod doesn’t develop quite as early.
If you can’t be bothered to do this either, it’s best to skip this step and pretend you never read it, although I’d suggest you give it a go.
Shop ‘Til You Drop.
Even if shopping or researching baby gear online isn’t your jam, you’ll want to get your hands on all those essential baby items. Make sure to keep close to the expenditure as well. As we know, mums-to-be can get rather excited.
Know what you’re buying, as you’ll use it once your baby arrives.
Take your time getting your new stylish nursery completed straight away. When my son was born, he only moved in there nearly five months later and slept in our room until then.
Discuss Future Plans.
There’s a lot to discuss about your baby’s future. It may seem premature to talk about things like if your unborn offspring needs a brother or sister, but it can help get your plans together further down the line.
Child care is essential. Will one of you stay home after the baby is born? If you both are going to work, do you want to do daycare? Have you looked into maternity leave and pay? What about paternity leave, childbirth classes, and antenatal classes? Lots to think about and discuss.
Thankfully, you can wait to make a final decision, but do some legwork now to avoid getting caught short later. Just remember that plans can change, so discuss the contingencies, too.
Compliment Her On Literally Everything.
Even though you think she’s got that famous pregnancy glow in the second trimester, your partner may feel less enthusiastic about her looks.
Take time to tell her she’s a beauty. She is fit as f*ck, stunning, an absolute banger, and her hair has never looked this good. Shower those compliments down on her, and don’t hold back.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should maintain your grooming and make an effort to your appearance. You can’t start pulling off your best homeless look just because your pregnant wife has been wearing her pyjamas for three days and hasn’t showered. Continue to be that piece of eye candy.
Rub her back before she goes to sleep. Give her massages foot squeezes, stroke her hair, run her a bath, and make her dinner.
All that stuff, unfortunately, is compulsory for you during pregnancy. It may be a pain in the ass at times, and trust me, there will be times when you want to relax and not have to squeeze your partner’s sweaty hooves, but they’re the ones carrying your unborn offspring. We still received the best part of this deal, as I’d squeeze her foot instead of a baby out…
Do Your Research
Get your head into books, and find articles online (like this one)to maximise your help during pregnancy. Get dirty by swatting up about everything from early pregnancy to techniques on patting a cool flannel on your partner’s head.
You have the encyclopaedia of the world at your fingertips. Spend time understanding the stages of pregnancy and what excellent snacks you can pack in your hospital bag nearer the time.
Please note that hospitals frown on you packing beer in your hospital bag.
See Your Mates
This is always and should always be a good idea. Sometimes, you need another man’s perspective. There will be times when your missis gets on your nerves, and being able to vent some of that frustration down the pub with your gang is essential.
Make sure to plan the time. Stay out the door for the next 4 hours and keep everybody from knowing where you are. That won’t look too good on your part.
Save For A Rainy Day.
Building a baby budget is an excellent opportunity to save a chunk of money in the run-up to the birth of your baby. Try to put some money aside each month, as having a baby is expensive. Having a buffer of money you can call upon will be helpful when the time comes.
Speak to your company about financial help during paternity leave. Some companies offer more than the statuary, and there is no harm in asking for a little extra for the few weeks you take off. They can only say no.
Professional help can be sought, and plenty of companies can help you with your finances to ensure you have enough to support yourselves when the time comes.
The journey you’re about to embark on will be stressful. Your partner will be absorbed in the pregnancy over the next nine months, and all the attention may be on her.
You may feel rejected if you’re not included in her medical appointments or fed up because you’re up again, holding her hair back during her morning sickness. You may also feel she is more interested in the baby than you.
Depression and anxiety during pregnancy and early parenthood are possibilities that shouldn’t be ignored. Financial stress, changes in your work/life balance, and the reality of parenting can all make coping during and after pregnancy more difficult.
It’s essential to look after yourself to look after your family. That means taking care of your physical and mental health and talking to others in a similar situation. Your partner may be doing all the heavy lifting, but you’re just as important on this pathway to meeting your little one.
This article was written by Chris over at www.dadstoolshed.co.uk