Women

Pregnancy Can Affect Your Partner (part 1) - Ways to Reassure Your Partner

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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 pregnancy.

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.

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