1. Your Partner Can Help You
Let your partner know there are things
he can do for you during pregnancy. Tell him how important he is to
you. Be specific about what you want so he can help you effectively.
Some helpful things your partner can do are listed below.
•Keep stress to a minimum.
•Communicate about everything.
•Be patient and supportive.
•Promote good nutrition.
•Encourage exercise, and exercise with you.
•Help around the house when possible, and do the strenuous chores.
•Attend prenatal checkups when possible.
•Plan for the baby’s arrival.
•Learn about the birth process.
•Read, study and prepare together.
Marta thought her pregnancy
couldn’t have come at a worse time. She had just been promoted, with
more pay and greater responsibilities. She came to her first visit
feeling unhappy and discouraged. She wanted a baby, but not right now.
I told her that her reaction was not unusual; many of my patients have
“accidents” or unplanned pregnancies. I encouraged her to look at the
positive things about her pregnancy. She admitted that her husband was
thrilled; he had assured her things would be fine. Later in the
pregnancy, Marta expressed amazement about how she felt early on and
about how well things were working out. I think she felt guilty about
her earlier feelings and the time she lost feeling down about her
2. Ways to Reassure Your Partner
You can reassure your partner and help
him grow more comfortable with your pregnancy and the idea of
fatherhood. We have spoken with many pregnant couples, and they have
passed on the following suggestions.
Reassure your partner about the impending
birth. Let him know you’re comfortable with whatever level of
participation he is willing to give. Appreciate his help. He’ll
probably be more willing to offer his help if he knows it means
something to you.
Listen when he talks. Encourage him to
express his hopes, fears and expectations about the baby’s birth and
being a father. Be as supportive of him as you can be. Let him know you
have faith in his abilities.
Talk about how you will divide
responsibilities. List what you can do and what your partner can do. If
possible, practice before baby’s birth!
Help your partner learn about what it may
be like living with a new baby. Together, take childbirth-education
classes and other classes that are offered.
Encourage your partner to be as involved
with the baby as he can be. If he wants to take paternity leave from
work, encourage it. Help him learn about diapering, feeding, bathing
and living with a new baby.
Time-Saving, Energy-Saving Tip
An occasional mishap occurs in
every home. Your kids (or you or your partner!) may accidentally spill
a soft drink on your carpet. When this happens, try to take care of it
while it’s still wet. Dampen a paper towel, then blot the stain until
it is dry. Mix 1 teaspoon mild hand-dishwashing liquid in 1 cup warm
water; apply to the blotted stain. If you can still see remnants of the
stain, apply a mixture of 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar and 1
cup water. Blot with a clean paper towel.