Dear dads-to-be: 3 things your pregnant partner actually needs right now
To all the future fathers,
Maybe you don’t feel changed yet in these months leading up to the birth of your child. In fact, you might feel like you’re waiting around and the real work starts once the baby arrives.
Although your life has not yet changed very much (yet), I can almost guarantee that your partner feels entirely different. They might be sick, they might be tired, they might be really excited, they might be insecure and they might be afraid. Everyone is different and every pregnancy is different. What is hardly ever different: how much your partner needs your support right now.
If you want to be there for your partner but don’t know where to start, here are some words of advice, from a mom who’s been there.
3 ways to support your pregnant partner
1. Support, support and more support
Support can take on a variety of forms. It can be helping out before you are asked or asking your partner, “Hey, what can I do around the house that would be really helpful right now?” It might be going easy on your partner by rolling with their emotions. They are doing their very best and balancing a lot of changing hormones. Or support can be complimenting her and saying something as simple as, “I think you are doing great with everything that comes along with pregnancy”
Related: 6 ways to help ease your partner’s morning sickness
2. What she says (right now) goes
Repeat after me: you are the supporter. Examples of this: your partner thought hamburgers for dinner sounded ok, but as they are made she suddenly thinks they smell awful. Your role is to say, “No problem, let’s have something else.” Or, maybe she doesn’t feel like having your mom over for brunch today. Take your mom out just you and her—it will be great! She wants the nursery gray and you were hoping for yellow. Perhaps, let the little things go (you most likely won’t be the one admiring the walls as you pump at 2am.)
3. Advocate for her
You are her advocate at doctors appointments, with family and during labor. At all these important moments, it may be you who people look to for answers. If you go to a doctor’s appointment, talk over some questions before with your partner because she might be nervous or preoccupied when you get there. Uncle Joe really wants to be at the hospital first thing after the baby is born, but is that what SHE would want? If not, it’s up to you to convey that kindly. All labors are different—she might be in pain, she might be sick, she might be scared, she might be overwhelmed with joy. It’s up to you to be rational and her advocate during these pivotal moments.
Related: To my husband: When motherhood gets tough, you make it easier
You might think you are doing these things—and maybe you are! But remember that asking her what she needs and listening goes a long way.
We know that it might be hard for you to empathize with all she is going through. We know your role as a supporter is not easy, but it’s second to none. We need you more than ever. We would love your help.
Moms (and moms-to-be) everywhere