Is your partner pregnant and expecting a child soon? If yes, then it’s natural for you to feel excited, nervous, along with a mixed bag of other emotions. After all, you would be starting the beautiful journey of parenthood soon. But for expecting mothers, handling pregnancy is not a walk in the park. They have to battle the hormonal shifts and many other associated issues that accompany pregnancy. Not to mention, the severe pain in joints and back from carrying the fetus in their body. And to top it all, the moment of childbirth can be one of the most painful experiences in a woman’s life. As a partner or husband, it’s your responsibility to support and provide care to your pregnant partner. A little effort on your side will go a long way in providing some much-needed happiness and respite, which are very important for the health of the mother as well as the baby.
When partners offer their support and take care of each other, dealing with the challenges gets a little easier. With love and care, partners can even learn to enjoy tackling the many challenges. There is a sense of accomplishment and you can pat each other on the back every time you solve something you never thought you would be able to. Studies also suggest that a husband’s support induces a “positive feeling” among expectant mothers. This leads to overall satisfaction with the quality of life, improves the mother’s physical and mental health conditions and her ability to take care of her child (1). Regardless of whether you carry the child or not, pregnancy will leave an impact on you too. Wondering what role you can play in supporting your partner while you anxiously count days for the baby to arrive? Here’s what you should know:
How Can A Partner Keep His Pregnant Wife Happy?
Childbirth is not an easy process. The pains are unfathomable and the doubts and fears are incomprehensible. Just show up, communicate and act. Your partner will never forget the efforts you made, especially in these sensitive times when she needs you the most. If you’re unsure of how you can offer support to your partner, the following tips should be helpful:
1. Encourage Her
Compliment, appreciate and admire her. If she displays a dip in confidence, remind her of her strengths and uniqueness. If she is in the habit of self-deprecating or beating herself up hard, don’t let her. Your support will give her a good boost of positivity to go through those days of uncertainty. Pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s physical and emotional health. Show her that you believe in her. Remind her that she can always find you when she needs you. Such reassurances are essential for your partner to navigate through the stresses of pregnancy and motherhood.
2. Stay Alert And Accompany Her To The Doctor
It always helps when you improve your awareness of what pregnancy does to a woman’s body and her expectations from her loved ones. Educate yourself on the week-by-week changes happening to your partner and, of course, your baby. There are resources available all over the internet or your nearest bookstore. Also, doctor visits to hospitals can be scary for many expecting mothers. Be there with your partner when an appointment is planned. Make a list of the do’s and don’ts, just in case your partner forgets. She can do things independently, but your support will positively influence her and help her deal with challenges along her pregnancy journey. You decided to bring the baby in this world together, so sharing the responsibility is something you shouldn’t neglect or shy away from.
3. Share The Household Chores
Set the intention to be there for her. Take it one day at a time. You’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed. As she battles intense storms of emotions, offer her a break. Just be involved as she manages the household chores and her work if she is a working woman. This will tell her that you care, that you worry about her health and her pains also affect you even if you don’t physically suffer from them. Help her by doing the dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the room, or organizing the clutter. She’ll be relieved, more than you can imagine!
4. Show Your Affection
The mad rush of hormones can make your partner extra-sensitive and even depressed. Be patient with her. Make her laugh. Call her by those cute names that she adores. Gently give her a foot rub or a massage on the back and shoulders. Shop for her and gift her something nice. Pregnancy can trigger some cravings for foods she may have not even liked before. So, pamper her as much as you can. Help her get the much-needed rest she’s been skipping for days. Ensure that she gets some peaceful sleep while you tuck her into bed each night. While these may seem pretty insignificant at the moment, they are significant to reassure your partner of your love and care every day.
5. Tend To Her Need For Intimacy
Not every woman expects intimacy the same way. The frequency will vary as the moods play a great role in regulating the sensations she experiences. Pay attention to her desires and cravings during the time of pregnancy. Pregnant women may suffer from body image issues or feel sluggish and fatigued to initiate an intimate moment. She may also avoid getting physical as she battles a negative self-image since she is growing bigger each day. On the other hand, some women may crave it more and expect a greater interest on your end. Look for the signs that are suggestive of her needs and express yourself accordingly.
6. Spend Quality Time With Her
No matter how busy it gets, set aside some time in your schedule to talk to each other. This is a great way to understand and keep up with the changes happening in your lives. After all, you are a team. Communicate with compassion and keep the blame game away. There is no point in being critical and focusing on what went wrong and who contributes more. You are in this together. Ask her for genuine feedback. You can spend some quality time with each other by going out for a morning or evening stroll, planning lunch or dinner at her favorite restaurant, or simply choosing retail therapy. Experiment with different routines, you’ll find the one that works for both of you!
7. Be Patient With Her
The most important expectation of a pregnant woman is that her partner be present and support her throughout those months. She’ll get tired quickly, become cranky, and have unexpected emotional outbursts. She may also get quite demanding and want more attention. All of these require that you keep your cool, stay grounded and listen. Pay heed to her calls and cries. Just let her know you are there, and she can lean on you. A few kind words can make a huge difference.
While you support your partner, take time out to relax and rejuvenate so that you aren’t emotionally taxed or depleted. When you are healthy and happy, you can take care of your partner better. If all of the changes in your home environment overwhelm you or cause you to be anxious, seek help. You can use these months as a brilliant opportunity to bond with your partner and get closer to each other. The difficulties and challenges are not forever. Once the baby arrives, all you’ll remember is the joy. So, relax. These tensions will be over even before you know it. How did you support each other during pregnancy? Do share your stories with us in the comments section below!
- The effects of social support on women’s health during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period