The moment you first discover that you're pregnant is one of the most exciting times of your life! But, as any first time mom knows, it can start to feel overwhelming, quickly. Ideas of how you're supposed to prepare for your pregnancy begin running through your head. Worrying about what you'll need and if you'll be ready in time for baby, all while handling the intense physical changes to your body is a lot to handle. No one should have to go through this by themselves!
You'll find that by communicating needs with your partner and supporting each other throughout the pregnancy process, you'll strengthen the relationship and help you both to be more prepared for the arrival of baby.
"A woman who feels supported by her partner during and after pregnancy may feel happier and less stressed. Lower stress in moms during pregnancy may help infants too."
C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
Your partner is pregnant - how can you support them?
Hey new moms and dads! You want to support your pregnant partner; you want to be a part of the pregnancy journey, but sometimes it's hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes, right?
- One great way to understand what your significant other is physically experiencing is by reading up on the pregnancy process. Educating yourself is one of the best ways to sympathize with your partner, lend support and know what to expect. Take it trimester by trimester, even week by week, and talk together about how their experiences relate to what you are reading about in each developmental stage.
- We cannot stress this enough... go to all her prenatal tests, doctor visits and childbirth classes!! Everything baby related, you need to be there. Showing up is a huge way to prove you're in this together, and you'll be able to make better decisions as a team.
- Pregnancy can change women's energy level and take a toll on their bodies. Encourage them to take breaks and nap when needed while you help out with chores and responsibilities. Ask them how you can help!
- Support her healthier lifestyle. You might decide to take a break from drinking, quit smoking, consume less caffeine and eat healthier foods to encourage her with the same changes. Walk around the block together and do light workouts, this is a great way to spend time together as well!
After the baby arrives, "help feed, change, and bathe your baby. You can bring the baby to your nursing partner or do bottle-feedings, depending on your choice for feeding the baby. It creates a bond with you and the baby and gives your partner time to sleep or take a walk. If you have other children, you may want to handle more of their care in the early weeks and months after the baby arrives. Give the new mom breaks so she can exercise, work, or do other activities." C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
Empathy & Active Listening
Active listening is a great way to better communicate with your partner and even your children! To practice active listening:
- Give your full attention
- Make eye contact and stop other things you are doing
- Get down on your child’s level
- Reflect or repeat back what they are saying and what they may be feeling to make sure you understand CDC
Reflecting your partners words and emotions lets your partner know that they have your attention, and you are trying to understand what they mean and how they feel. It is a great way to facilitate good communication and practice empathy for one another.