A Mom-to-be has a lot coming her way from day one and the journey ahead can be a lot more fun and enjoyable if dads can share the load! Its much more fun with both of them together, being involved through the terms.
Research shows that when dads are actively involved during pregnancy, the overall experience is much better for both parents. Here are some ways the dads can make a difference for the moms-to-be.
Listen and talk.
For first time parents, pregnancy can be a lot to taken in. Make sure your partner knows that she can freely and comfortably vent about any and all changes that are going on within her, anxiety about an upcoming procedure, worries about what kind of a mom will she be, or irritation at her puffy feet and morning sickness! You may think everything she is saying is illogical or over dramatised, but please make sure you don’t tell her that (unless you want a bruised head)! The words ‘stop worrying’ or ‘chill out’ might not go down very well either.
Listen to her, offer to help find information, go to the doctor appointments with her, take some time off to just be with her and have some fun! You both are a team! Don’t throw back on sharing your fears too! Sharing your worries will make things go a lot smoother.
You are going to be feeling a bit mystified by all the changes that are happening in your partner’s belly. So make sure you go try and go with your wife to her doctors visits when you can, attend childbirth lessons together, and make that effort to learn about your wife’s body and your baby’s development by reading up! You can impress and surprise her by the facts that you learn, for example, knowing the day your baby is as big as an avocado and telling her that day! The more information you have, the more relaxed* you’ll feel about your wife’s health, what you can do to help when the baby arrives and sex during pregnancy (no, you won’t hurt the baby)!
*There is such a thing as too much information. You’ll want to study up on the basics, but try to resist the urge to find out about every little thing and possible complications that could arise during pregnancy.
Every mom needs her hospital bag, but dads need one too. Fill it with things you will need! A razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, iPod, iPad, camera, magazines or books, or cards or a small board game to play (if mom’s willing to play and the baby is taking longer than expected to arrive). Don’t wait till later, have your bag ready weeks in advance just in case you need to rush out the door - not likely but it can happen. While you’re at it, you might want to put in some goodies and surprises in her bag too… hint, Chocolates!
Make your contact list and second in command friend.
Dads are often in charge of txting and bragging about the big news when the baby makes its debut, so get organised from before. Talk to your partner and make a ‘must tell contact list with your family and friends’ email addresses or cell phone numbers. If an email blast or social media posts are not your style, make sure you get a friend on duty to help spread the word over the phone (everyone loves to hear about the good news)! Make sure you involve mom in these decisions and plans, make the place together and share the good news!
Most importantly, be a good ‘wife’ to your wife!
She is tired, emotional and vulnerable too, so make sure you go that extra mile and pitch in more than you usually do with household chores. Don’t forget that her bum is not her best friend when she is trying to sweep the floors or make the bed. Think about ways to lighten her load, maybe you’d like to cook some food and make extra and stash it in the freezer for later, maybe spend a little extra on house help so that she does all the work and takes the load of mommy dearest and remember, she’s a woman, you must tell her how good she looks, pay attention to her belly, offer shoulder massages or foot rubs - you will ALWAYS get browinie points for all of those things!
There are many more things one can do to be able to make the pregnancy smooth and happy, but this list should be a good start for you to surprise your wife and have a wonderful 9 months together.