Pregnancy is a delicate time. A woman's hormones are raging and she might even feel a little bit crazy. She suffers morning sickness, she's at the doctor all the time (especially at the end), and she's often exhausted. She needs her husband (or partner) to help!
Here are 5 tips on how to be a supportive partner during pregnancy:
1) Don't expect her to be the same
Right now, she's not the same. Her body might feel out of control, especially if this is her first pregnancy. And she can't help it, either. If she tells you that she just cannot stand to eat her favorite food, don't make fun of her. If she wants to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon, let her. If she cries, just hold her. She needs your support and understanding right now, rather than bewildered criticism.
2) Let her rest
She needs extra sleep right now. She's growing a baby, and her hormones are all over the place! Women tend to be especially tired in the first trimester and in their last few weeks. Let her sleep in on weekends and let her take naps if she can. When you're both home, let her rest more than usual instead of expecting her to keep her usual pace with chores. Don't be afraid to pitch in on those chores, either!!
3) Understand her food cravings - and aversions
Pregnant women do not do this on purpose. Something that sounds delicious one day may sound completely disgusting the next. That is normal. Don't be upset with her or ask her why she wanted it in the first place if she won't eat it now. Quietly finish the leftovers yourself, or put them in the freezer if you don't like them. She may decide in a week or so that she wants it again! And never ask her to eat something she is averse to. It could literally make her sick right now. If she's really sensitive, don't eat it in front of her, either, because just seeing and smelling it can make her sick, too.
4) Listen to her
Naturally, you should do this all the time. But she's extra sensitive and emotional right now. Something that might not bother her ordinarily might make her break down in tears now. She has a lot of worries and fears - is the pregnancy normal? Will the baby be normal? Will labor and birth go okay? Will the baby love her? Will she be a good mom? These are legitimate and real worries. Let her talk to you and share these thoughts and fears. She may also want to share her excitement, over finding the perfect bedding, getting an ultrasound, or feeling the baby kick for the first time. Let her share that too!
5) Attend her doctors' appointments…or at least ask about them
If you can, attend doctors' appointments with her. Try to attend at least a couple of them - when you hear the baby's heartbeat, when you get the "big" ultrasound at 20 weeks, if she's getting major blood work, etc. Sometimes it's just for emotional support, but if she's getting blood work (especially if she's prone to sickness or fainting), she may need you to drive her. If your work schedule makes it impossible for you to go with her, ask her about the appointments after she's had them. Ask how they went, if everything's okay, if she learned anything new. Show an interest in what's happening!
For 5 more tips on how to be a supportive partner, visit Babble.
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