Things You Can Do For Your Partner

[Adapted from The Joy of Pregnancy, by Tori Kropp, R.N. Copyright © 2008, used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.]

Here's a short list of things you can do immediately for your partner

  • You may enjoy attending prenatal and prepared childbirth classes more than you think you will. You'll meet other expectant fathers who are experiencing the same feelings, doubts, excitement, and concerns that you are. You may also want to take a class just for expectant fathers.
  • Eat right: Mother needs to begin eating well right now, so try and support her by joining-in. Expectant fathers need energy, too! Establishing healthy eating patterns will one-day become a good example for your child.
  • Don't smoke: Second-hand smoke can cause health problems for babies and mothers. Try to quit if you can, or cut down. If you must smoke, do it outdoors...away from your partner.
  • Be patient: Your partner's moods are powerfully affected by the change in hormone-levels, and this is perfectly natural. Understanding, patience and tolerance from you will aid both of you in managing these changes more successfully.
  • Reassure her: An expectant mother is often concerned about how welcome her baby is to the father. Show her that you're excited! Letting her see your excitement can be very reassuring.
  • Make plans: Big, big changes for in store for you both. Listen to her ideas about the upcoming year, and share your own.
  • Take time off: Some Dads are able to temporarily alter their work hours to spend some extra time with baby and mom during the days & weeks after the birth.
  • These are especially good times for the baby to spend together with both of you. New babies have a way of interrupting the sleep patterns of their parents, so try to work together on this!

More Things You Can Do for Your Partner

First Trimester

  • Surprise her with some flowers "just because."
  • Offer to take over the grocery shopping, especially if she is sensitive to smells.
  • Take out the garbage and empty the cat litter box before she asks.
  • Encourage her to sleep as much as she feels necessary.

Second Trimester

  • Be involved. Go along on a prenatal checkup. If you have concerns or questions, write them down, even if they seem trivial, and bring them with you. Your partner's body is doing things that are mysterious to both of you, and the more you understand intellectually, the easier it is to connect with her emotionally. Most moms are delighted when their partners show interest in the pregnancy.
  • Learn. Spend as much time as you can with BeBeVu and the additional resources recommended herein. Seek out advice from family and friends, and invite them to share their experience. You may even find some special "baby-programs" on TV! Your partner will love it!
  • Help your partner and your baby stay healthy. Help her to eat healthy foods and to exercise. Take walks together, go for a bicycle ride, play tennis, or go dancing.
  • Help plan for the baby. Talk to your partner about what both of you want for the baby. Decide where he will sleep, and help arrange the room. Shop together for the baby's things. It may seem early, but now is the time to buy any new furniture, because it could take several weeks to arrive.

Third Trimester

  • Make a music CD for her. You might include only soft music, perhaps for her to practice relaxing to, or just combine her favorite tunes.
  • Take your partner swimming. Water can really take the weight off her feet. Be sure to choose a place where she is comfortable, like a friend's private pool or a community pool with few people are around.
  • Give your sweetie a massage. You might even locate a massage therapist for her that specializes in prenatal massage. Your health club may have such a person on their staff, or one of her friends may be able to suggest someone.