Pregnancy is often talked about from a women’s perspective, with a man’s voice often missing. This is probably true because while you’re the woman will have to do the hard work of growing a new person, being a man there’s relatively little work we have to do during pregnancy. However, if you’re a man reading this, don’t rest on your laurels. Because during pregnancy is exactly when you can work hard to create a setup for the rest of your relationship. Sow the seeds now to reap the benefits in your relationship and family-life later, so to speak. So here’s some things you could do to support your wife or partner during pregnancy.
Prepare the nest. Having a baby is a very taxing and personal thing for women and so they may want to feel especially safe during such a time. No matter whether you plan on having the baby at a hospital or at home, you should make your new family’s home feel like a place in which she feels safe and comfortable in. While a home should arguably feel this way anyway, the pregnancy may be the perfect excuse to do some extra sprucing up or finish those DIY projects. My wife had me clean and paint the bathroom – because she felt like she wanted to have the baby in there. We ended up having our baby in another room at home, but she felt better anyway because the bathroom was prepared. Make the nest comfortable for her and your family. Furthermore, protect the lair. During birth or just after you return home, you can make her feel protected by standing guard. For example, if she doesn’t want visitors then turn them away, politely, until things are ready.
Be a “flagpole”. For fear of offending someone by perhaps oversimplifying things, one way I’ve heard the gender roles described is as if they were a flag flapping in the wind – the male’s role is to be the flagpole of being strong, unshakable and an anchor point for the flag to attach to, which is the female’s role of being free to blow in the winds of emotion yet having a base to return to. While this is of course an over-simplification of genders, it could be used as a model to apply to a heightened state such as pregnancy, in which emotions, hormones, and stress can be overwhelming. The Father’s role during pregnancy could thus be to be an anchor point for which your wife can latch onto when she feels overwhelmed by the changes happening in her body and around her. Let her go through them, but be the support point for her to feel safe with.
Leading on from the above point: don’t take things personally. This is the advice my wife gave me before giving birth to our baby – that if she were to, for example, yell at me to get away from her or get out of the room, with a few swear words likely added, then I should do it but know she doesn’t mean it as a personal insult. Rather, it may be the stress of the moment that makes her act that way.
Fortunately, nothing like that happened during our birth, but it was good preparation to keep in my mind. Don’t take anything attributable to the stress of pregnancy personally.
Be there. Perhaps the most important way you can support her is just to be around if things need doing. The fact that you’re willing to go the extra mile, even if you fail, will be meaningful to her.
Furthermore you can also be there emotionally for her by doing things such as celebrating her, praising her on her effort, telling her you love her – one of the main things she wants to feel is supported and you can do this by being there and reminding her you love her. Remember to sow the seeds now to reap a better family-life later on.
Question: How did your husband/partner support you through your pregnancy? Comment below and let us know.
Author Bio: Max Bell is the Father of two young children, a small business owners, and a student studying a Bachelor of Business Studies at Massey University. He also writes online at obstaclemethod.movementunleashed.com.
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