First time expectant fathers have some serious stuff coming their way! Handling a woman going through the nine months of uncertainty and fear is certainly not easy. There is a lot more than doctor visits and medications. The life is going to change and how!
Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the expectant father needs to take an appointment with an expert doctor. It is advisable that both partners go together for the first consultation and briefing. This gives them an idea as to what to expect and how to be geared up for it.
It is good to clear all the doubts with the doctor. The nine months journey is not easy but timely and regular visits to the doctor will make things easy and clear for both of you.
The mom to be goes through terrible nausea, mood swings, backaches, headaches, body pain and other emotional and physical changes. They have to be there to support her through it all. There are routine jobs that need to get done, pregnant or not. They can pitch in to lessen the load. This will relax the woman as well as give her the confidence that she is not in this situation alone.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy
In case of a pregnancy, it is the woman who will be getting all the attention from family and friends. The man often tends to feel left out. In such cases, it is good to be handy around the house and involved in every aspect of the pregnancy. This gives the man a sense of purpose and involvement. It is good for both partners because it feels like a true partnership.
The first trimester: This is the period during which the woman will have nausea and morning sickness. She will feel tired and irritable and will not want to eat anything. There will be times when the woman will want to sleep the day away. It is good for the man to be accommodative of these changes in the woman. The first trimester is also emotionally the most difficult because the woman will still be adjusting to the fact that she is pregnant.
She will be fussed on by family and friends. All elders will give advice on dos and don’ts during this period. It is good for the man to be party to all the action. Women generally become adverse to smells of cooking in the initial weeks of pregnancy. So it is good for the man to help out in the kitchen.
Also women are advised not to carry heavy things during the period of pregnancy and especially in the initial stage. So it is important that the man be around to lift groceries and heavy duty stuff for the home.
The second trimester: This period is the most comfortable in a pregnancy. The nausea would have subsided and appetite returned. She will start feeling happy and start looking forward to the baby’s movements inside her body etc. Expectants fathers need to ensure that the money involved in the delivery of the child is planned for and kept aside. As the baby grows, the woman starts feeling bulky and gets tired easily. It is a good idea for the man to pitch in and help out with chores.
Also it is important that men become vocal about what they are going through as the pregnancy develops in the woman. There is a strong emotional bond which develops which helps the baby’s well being.
The third Trimester: This is a difficult trimester for the woman because the baby is growing to its full size. There is breathlessness and exhaustion that the lady will feel in this phase. Men need to be around to ensure that she is cared for. It is also better to keep those things separately packed, which will go with her to the hospital. It is good to accompany the woman to prenatal classes. It prepares the men too, mentally for childbirth.
It is a good idea to get the place ready for the baby. Also, keep communicating with the woman because during this stage, frustration will start creeping in. She would want to just deliver the child and be done with the act. It is good to lend an ear so that she can vent out her feelings.
During and after labour: Attending prenatal classes during pregnancy helps men learn how to recognize symptoms of labour and what to do in such a case. It is quite common that women panic as the pains start. So it is good to be around and advice them to relax and reassure them that all will be fine. She might need you around to help her walk the hospital corridors when in labour. Men can help monitor contractions and their frequency so that they can call for the nurse when really needed. Also, they can massage the woman’s feet when required and help her relax. When in the final stages of labour, they can help her push. Once the baby is born men need be there to hold the baby and savour the moment with the partner.
The complete experience is exhilarating. It is a very proud moment for the dad when he holds the little one in his hands. Get ready to cherish and lock these moments forever!