This new generation has brought forward a different perspective ahead, helping women to forge their own strong identities. This means better job opportunities, equal pay, sharing of responsibilities in married life…including both partners being equally responsible during a pregnancy.
Gone are the days when bearing a child was just considered a woman’s responsibility, now it has become essential for both the partners to take an equal part in the whole process from pregnancy to childbirth to raising a child.
You might feel a bit perplexed. How can you ease your partner’s pressure and worries – both physical and mental – during those nine months? Here we have constructed a ten-step guide for you to start your journey from a confused partner to a responsible father-to-be.
#1 Keep learning
Pregnancy can be daunting. It is as much unfamiliar territory to your partner as much as it is to you. The first step you can take is to educate yourself regarding it. Read books, magazines, articles, talk to your mom, watch documentaries. Learn about the food habits, the changes in the body, the health supplements, the pregnancy clothes, the hormonal changes.
It is obvious that you won’t be able to understand everything. But by constantly trying to learn about it you’d be giving your partner a message that she is not alone. She would feel less overwhelmed and scared and both of you together would lessen each other’s burden.
# 2 Be more flexible
A few weeks into the pregnancy would be difficult. It would be like constantly adapting to a different aspect of your partner’s emotional and physical needs. Being a working father-to-be would be stressful. You might have to change your plans often to accommodate your partners’.
Don’t hesitate to shift your meetings, or ask your boss for some time off. Accommodate your clients to more flexible hours and spend more time with your partner.. This way you could help her and handle your work in a better way.
#3 Help her with the morning sickness
Morning sickness is an awful experience. It never gets easier to adapt to. I’m sure you would be feeling terrible, unable to help her physically. In times like these, it is important for you to be a bit more understanding and supportive.
Arrange a comfortable space for her to rest and cozy up in, make it easier for her to fall asleep, cuddle her before she dozes off. These little things would go a long way to ease her into a difficult circumstance that comes attached with the pregnancy.
‘Will our relationship change?’ ‘Do I have the qualities of a good mother?’ ‘Will our child love us?’ It is normal for a mom-to-be to experience some sort of self-doubt. Old insecurities might resurface or little things might induce anxiety.
Tell her it is okay. Reassure her. All the mothers would agree that these worries are the foundation of the future. It is completely normal to have doubts and anxieties and most of them are just a part and parcel of being a mother. But listening to her and being there for her would be more reassuring enough. It always is.
#5 Get involved
Visiting the doctor could be overwhelming. Even slight complications could bring a lot of anxiety. The biggest help you can do is to be present. Accompany her to the doctor. Be involved…but only as much as she wants you to be. Does she feel comfortable having you accompany her on every visit? Do you have time?
It’s best to set your schedule beforehand. This way you could be present without constantly worrying about the work deadlines. And it would be comforting for her to have you around too.
#6 Lend a hand
Your partner’s body for the next few months would get more tired than she is accustomed to being. A lot of her energy is being used up by the baby which leaves her with less for her own self. It is obvious that she won’t be able to handle the responsibilities that she used to do earlier.
It is time for you to go that extra mile. You can start slow, take up tasks that require more physical strength for her to manage. Vacuuming, cleaning, running errands around the house, doing the dishes are just some of the ways you could share the burden.
#7 Make some plans for the future
No, I do not want you to be stressed after reading the heading. It is not difficult, I promise. You don’t have to start by talking about the college funds yet…but maybe an insurance policy would be more relevant right now? It’s healthy to discuss different scenarios. Would enrolling in a childcare centre be more feasible or hiring a nanny? Will you stay at home for a few months or your partner?
While it is important to be more ready for the future, it is equally essential to be flexible. Circumstances could differ from what you have anticipated and the plans could change. It is okay to let them and adapt accordingly.
#8 Prepare for the delivery
It’s time to gather the resources! Keep a maternity bag ready with all the things she might need in the hospital. And it is also time to start preparing yourself for the baby. Learning about changing diapers, how to put a baby to sleep, how to take care of your partner right after the delivery, how to take care of her right before the delivery are some things that you need to understand more.
Believe it or not, the nine months would pass away so quickly, so It is better to start early so that you are well prepared and geared up when the time demands!
#9 Make a new, go-to contact list
Being pregnant is difficult and being a new parent even more so. There could be instances where you are unreachable, or just not around. In those times, it would be a great support to have trustworthy and supportive people around whom you and your partner could rely upon without any worries.
It is also important to have a list of contacts ready for you to share the news and joy whenever the big day comes! Keep your circle close and healthy. It will help you a lot in the future. Joy is much greater when shared.
#10 Take some time off
Sounds unexpected, I know. But as confused you feel, being a father-to-be could be stressful for you too. It’s not just your partner’s life that could change immensely, but also yours. It is okay to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. There would be a lot of instances where you won’t be able to help your partner because you yourself would be under too much pressure. Always remember, it is important to help yourself before you help others.
So whenever your life feels out of control remember to take a step back, relax, take a nap, go out for a drink and come back to a better, energized version of yourself. This is the best way you would be able to take care of your partner.
To sum up
Starting a new life phase could be overwhelming. For the mothers, life is taking a 360-degree turn both mentally and physically. The continuous hormonal changes could make it difficult for her to manage her emotions herself, and during this time you’d have to guide her along as a supportive and understanding partner.
All of us have learned how essential it is to share the responsibilities equally for a healthier relationship, but it is only those who are going through such tremendous changes in their lives to stay calm. Remember, as long as both of you have each other, even the difficult process would be.