Finding out your partner is pregnant can bring about a whole raft of feelings such as joy, surprise, fear, excitement and worry – all of which are normal and to be expected.
The voyage into fatherhood can feel scary at times, but it’s important to remember that however hard you’re finding the adjustment, your partner is facing an even bigger challenge. Not only is she dealing with the same emotional tumult that you are, she’s doing it with a cocktail of pregnancy hormones in her system and a combination of unpleasant symptoms.
If your partner is exhausted, emotional or suffering from morning sickness, you might be feeling helpless or even guilty about her current state, but there are things you can do to help ease the strain.
Show an Interest
It’s fair to say that women do most of the heavy lifting during pregnancy (physically and emotionally), leaving men feeling somewhat useless. However, by showing an interest and educating yourself on the pregnancy process, you’re relieving some of that burden and providing some much-needed support. So, read the pregnancy books, go to the antenatal classes, and show up to her ultrasound scan.
Another way to support your partner is to get clued up on the baby’s development. For example, if you’ve just found out your partner is 7 weeks pregnant, you can learn all about your baby’s growth at this time using an online pregnancy tracker. You should also sign up for email updates so you can keep track of your baby’s size, development and any symptoms your partner might be experiencing. Not only will you surprise her with your knowledge, but you’ll also get to learn a lot about the pregnancy process and be prepared for any surprises down the road. The more involved you are now, the easier you’ll find the transition into fatherhood, so get reading.
Many women experience brain fog during pregnancy, and it’s no surprise given everything they have to contend with. If your partner is more forgetful than normal, help her out by keeping track of her antenatal appointments and pre-pregnancy classes. You can also lighten the burden of other organisational tasks like ordering her prenatal vitamins, doing the food shop and taking care of other household tasks.
Help Without Being Asked
Don’t wait to be asked for help. Even if she says she doesn’t need anything, that doesn’t give you a free ride or an excuse to put your feet up. Pregnancy takes its toll on a woman’s energy levels, and growing a baby is exhausting so she will need more rest than usual. Take on extra jobs around the home, cook her nutritious meals and do small things to make her life easier or show her you care, such as running a bubble bath or bringing home her favourite ice cream.
Go Easy on the Booze
Now that she’s pregnant, your partner has probably had to give up alcohol and switch to a healthier diet, so it’s only courteous for you to make some changes too. If you smoke, give up now before the baby’s born to avoid putting him or her at risk, and try to curb your alcohol intake. Your partner needs you to be on top form right now, so take the opportunity to be your best and healthiest self.
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