As a father twice, I can tell you from personal experience that there are many joys to being an expectant dad, like seeing your first ultrasound, or feeling your baby kick for its first time. However, it is probably difficult to really understand what the mother of your child is actually going through during pregnancy. Having never been through pregnancy, you feel like you might not connect with your wife and know exactly what you can do for her. Being prepared for some of the issues and stresses that are facing your partner is a great way for you to become connected to her and to your child. Many times it is easy to concentrate on the physical changes that a woman is going through during pregnancy, and not the emotional and hormonal changes. If we prepare ourselves to be aware of all of the changes that are occurring, we can develop a closer relationship with her and possibly help to alleviate some of the stress she may encounter.
During those first few months of pregnancy can be a roller coaster for moms, as well as for dads. The hormonal changes alone can bring on different personalities that we may have not encountered before. Your partner may be more prone to crying, and can be agitated at times and not even really understand why. These emotional changes are all very normal, and you can help by just being understanding when they happen. Try to be open and receptive to her needs and give comfort when she needs it. Firm hugs and an “I Love You” can go a long way to soothe your wife. Showing affection and love is a great way for you to show you understand that she is going through a lot of emotional changes.
If for some reason your wife is agitated or upset, really listening to what she has to say is a great way for you to show support and gain her confidence. Ask her why she feels the way she does, and when she tells you, repeat it back to her so that she knows you are really listening. This confirmation will help her to share more and more with you how she is feeling and help your relationship grow. One of the best things you can do for your partner is to build her self-confidence and self esteem. Pregnancy is a time when many women feel unattractive, bloated and irritable. If she knows that you are listening and attentive to her needs, you will give her the reassurance that she needs to help her feel like herself.
This should be a no brainer, but one of the nicest things we can do for our wives is to help out as much as we can with the daily routine of life. Your wife is probably tired and could use an extra pair of hands around the house. If this is the case, pitch in and help with the laundry or the cooking. During those first few months she may not feel like cooking if she has “morning sickness” and you stepping in will help her to know that you care. Anything you can do to help her through the day will be appreciated. If you wife likes to do those things and doesn’t feel overwhelmed by them, then of course you should let her do them.
As the months go by and your wife begins to show more and more, she may be extremely self-conscious about her looks. It is important that she realize that you don’t think she is overweight. Most husbands think that their pregnant wife looks wonderful. They see the glow in their faces and know that they are beautiful. It is essential that you communicate these feelings of attraction to her. Let her know how great she looks. Let her know that you still find her attractive. Show your love to her by bringing her flowers, or a book that she would like to read. You now your partner better than anyone, and whatever it is that she would appreciate as a sign of your devotion to her is a step in the right direction!
Whether or not you are a hands on type of person, try getting involved with the decorating of the baby’s room. This is a great time to bond with your wife and your child. Making decisions about the baby’s room will give you some much needed time to spend together. Once the baby is born, you will have less time alone as a couple, and now is the time to take advantage of your couple time. Not only will you enjoy each others company, but you will be preparing the special place where the child you created will sleep and play. After the room is painted and the crib assembled, you and your wife can visit the room together and share your thoughts and dreams for this new child.
As your wife draws near to the end of her pregnancy, she may want to attend child-birthing classes. These classes are designed to help your wife to cope with the pain, and the excitement of childbirth. Although these classes do help your wife, they are also intended to help you, the father during this precious time. They will empower you to be able to help your wife during this transition period. They will teach you to become her “coach” during this process. The best thing about these classes is that they will give you the tools needed to keep your wife calm during the delivery. Childbirth classes are intended to give you the confidence you need to help your wife bring this new bundle of joy into the world.
Not only should you be prepared for the pregnancy and delivery of your child, but you want to be equipped to help your wife as you begin to care for your newborn. During the childbirth classes you will also have time to learn about newborn care. Your wife will be tired and emotionally drained after giving birth and will need all the help you can give her. Her body will go through hormonal changes as she returns to her pre-pregnancy state. Helping her to take care of the baby when you can, will give her the rest and recuperation time she needs. Even if your child is being breastfed, you can be a big part of this process. You can change diapers, hold and rock your baby. As your wife will be tired during this time, take some extra time and pamper your wife. A great way for you to do this is to prepare a meal for her, and if the baby cries during the meal, take care of the baby so that she can finish eating. She will have years of interrupted meals, and any help you give her in this area will not go unappreciated.