Dads know that they have an essential role when it comes to raising their children. They are excited for the day they can hold their baby for the first time, teach their child how to do things, and just enjoy time together. Some dads are amazingly helpful to their partner during pregnancy, while others…well not so much. Many dads think their job comes later and that there isn’t much for them to do during the pregnancy.
If you’re a woman and you’re pregnant, hand this over to your man because we have some pregnancy tips for him.
Dads, congratulations on becoming a daddy! Now that you are expecting, there is so much you can do! As you become more involved in the pregnancy, you will find that by helping her out, both of you will have an overall better pregnancy experience. As you read the following advice, you are going to notice patterns. Being there for your partner or wife is all about showing that you care for her and the baby simultaneously.
Pregnancy Tips To Follow Throughout The Pregnancy
Go To Doctor’s Appointments: Try to go to as many appointments as possible. It is amazing to see the ultrasounds and hear the heartbeat firsthand. This is a great way to feel connected to the baby since you are not able to feel him/her growing and moving inside your body. Some men can change their work schedules around to go to some appointments, while others, like my husband, are not able to. If this is the case, just try to make it to the big appointments, like the first ultrasound, the gender reveal if you are finding out, and the more intensive anatomy appointment.
Listen, Listen, Listen: Your partner is going to be experiencing so many changes in her body, especially if this is her first pregnancy. It might get tiring and annoying, but just offer a listening ear when she talks about her tight pants, heartburn, swelling ankles, etc. She will need you to be supportive and wants to tell you how she is feeling. Pay attention to her needs and try to help her with them.
Be Sensitive: Typically men gain weight as their partner gains pregnancy weight. This is not the time for you to talk about how flabby you’re feeling or to go on a diet. There is a good chance that your wife is feeling incredibly self-conscious and annoyed with her physical changes, so talking about your body will only add fuel to the fire. Try as best as you can to read her moods and understand that she is experiencing a hormonal imbalance that she can’t control. However, there is a fine line with this. You are a team and your opinions, concerns; feelings deserve to be heard as well.
Compliment: Again, your partner may feel self-conscious and will want some extra compliments. There are days when pregnancy feels great, accompanied with a “glow” and the woman just feels so cute. Then there are days when the mama feels big, wide, unattractive, and did I mention big? She will need to know that you still find her beautiful and that you love her despite all of the bodily changes (but don’t word it like that!) Give her specific compliments and tell her how excited you are. Remind her that it will all be worth it.
Be Flexible: Understand that plans might change, her appetite might change, certain smells might need to be eliminated if they are making her nauseous, etc. Be flexible, and know that this is just a temporary season, and make the necessary changes.
Keep On Keeping On: If you are having to do things over and over again..like looking through baby name lists, looking at baby items in the store, or buying whatever items she is craving, try not to show that you are getting annoyed or that you would rather be doing something else. She needs to know that you are right by her side no matter what and that all things baby (like the name) are important to you too!
Go On Dates: Show your partner that you still enjoy being with her and that your relationship is important. Continue hobbies the two of you liked to do together before the pregnancy and find new things to do as well. Remember that as parents, your relationship together is not less important, but is even more so, because now your kids are counting on you.
Show Interest: Ask your wife how she is feeling, what the baby is doing, what she is thinking about the nursery, etc. Show her that you have been thinking about the baby as well so that she doesn’t feel like she is talking about the baby too much. If your partner is okay with it, feel the bump! You can even talk, sing, or read to your child. The more your baby hears your voice, the more he/she will recognize it at birth!
While those tips are useful for the early pregnancy symptoms down to childbirth, here are more specific pregnancy tips and tricks to help you during the different pregnancy trimesters.
1st Trimester Tips
1. Help Her
- Why? Your wife might not look any different, but she feels different, in fact, she is probably feeling sick. A lot. If she is not throwing up, she probably feels like throwing up. Besides that, she is going to feel SO TIRED!!! She will need another hand and more energy to finish tasks she normally does herself.
- How? Ask how you can help her to feel better. Some ideas are grabbing a bucket, buying saltines, taking tums to her, massaging her, or making dinner.
- What does it communicate? Helping her shows that you do not expect her to have to do things when she doesn’t feel good and that you want her to feel better. It shows that you genuinely care for her.
2. Know What’s Going On
- Why? It will be helpful for you to understand the changes your partner is experiencing so that you can be there for her. It will also inform you about what is happening to your baby, and it will cause you to start bonding with him/her.
- How? Read parenting blogs, books, websites, or emails.
- What does it communicate? This will show that you care, love, and are interested in both your love and the baby. You can surprise your partner by reading ahead (set the due date a week ahead in apps/emails) and tell her what to be expecting or what the baby is about to experience.
3. Make Lifestyle Changes Together
- Why? This may not apply to all couples, but only to those who have to change a habit. If your partner smokes, drinks, uses drugs, or drinks a lot of caffeine, it is going to be hard to stop. There are also certain foods to be avoided, such as lunch meat, certain teas, soft cheeses, under-cooked meat, and fish. She may need help staying strong, and it could be even harder if you are still eating/doing the habits around her.
- How? It will help if you make changes as well so that you can encourage each other. Try not to eat the avoided foods (at least while around her) and tell her she is doing a good job if the habit has been hard to break.
- What does it communicate? This shows that you want both your wife and child to be healthy and you will do whatever it takes to help it happen.
2nd Trimester Tips
1. Help Around the House
- Why? Since the first trimester may have been filled with nausea and the last trimester brings about uncertainty and a big belly, this trimester is the prime time for prepping and cleaning the house. Help is needed even if your loved one is feeling better than before because she will still be tired (and moody) from growing a human.
- How? Ask her what she would like help with. Offer to put together furniture. Clean high or low places for her. Help with everyday chores. Prep all things for the baby.
- What does it communicate? Offering to help (without being asked) shows her that you’re in this together and you care for her needs.
2. Go To A Childbirth Class
- Why? Unless your partner has no interest in going to a class, you will probably be asked to go to one. It can be so helpful for dads to see how their wife might be during labor and how she will want to be soothed. Practice will not make perfect in this case, but it’s better than going without any preparation at all.
- How? Go to the class without complaining about it. Turn it into a fun date night.
- What does it communicate? It shows that you understand labor is going to be challenging and that you are right there with her every step of the way.
3rd Trimester Tips
1. Plan Ahead
- Why? The stresses that come from the approaching due date can be overwhelming. Your partner may not feel ready, may feel like she’s running out of time, or may just feel sick of being pregnant. Details are bound to slip her mind.
- How? Cook (or help cook) some extra meals and freeze them for when the baby arrives; buy a diaper stockpile; pack your hospital bag (yes, you DO need one!); make a contact list with phone numbers of people both of you want to contact once the baby is born, etc.
- What does it communicate? This shows her that you are excited for the big day and that you want to help with all the little things, ultimately showing that you care for her.
2. Surprise Her
- Why? Do I really need to say why? Gifts and surprises are enjoyed by most women and can always be a little “pick me up.”
- How? Buy little gifts for the hospital such as non-perishable treats she loves, new flip flops for the shower, new slippers, or a special gift.
- What does it communicate? Surprises will show that you appreciate what is about to happen and that she deserves something special.
3. Dream About Parenthood
- Why? Now that the pregnancy is coming to a close, the reality of parenthood should be hitting you. It is a good idea to talk about the parenting styles each of you has along with philosophies, rules, and traditions you want to keep.
- How? Have discussions with each other and read up on parenthood.
- What does it communicate? This shows that you are taking fatherhood seriously and that you want to be prepared. Women fall more in love with men if they see that they will be good fathers.
In conclusion, be there for your partner. You’re in this together, so find ways to show her you are. She does not feel good, and she really does need your help. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be special only for the woman. When men are more involved, it creates a happier experience for both. This is such a special time to experience, and every part of it is a miracle. Be involved. Show you care. Make memories. And enjoy!