5 things I wish my partner knew when I was pregnant
When your partner is growing a little person inside of them there are so many physical changes and emotional challenges, here’s some tips on how you can support them on the path to parenthood.
We asked new mums to tell us five things they wished their partner knew when they were pregnant, and how they could be more in tune.
1. Pregnancy hormones are real
No, it’s not an excuse to behave badly or boss you around. Pregnancy hormones are not only real they’re also quite powerful. Growing a little human can be an emotional rollercoaster. Aside from these chemicals running around affecting our mind and mood, the physical changes to a woman’s body can also affect how she feels physically and mentally.
Try to be patient and understanding during this time and don’t take things personally, the hormonal changes won’t last forever and are out of her control. Perhaps you could pick up some extra chores when she’s feeling exhausted. If you’re not sure what to say, maybe just be there to console her, and let her know she’s loved and you’re on the journey with her.
2. I’m not made of glass
There’s little more precious than a developing baby in your partner’s tummy. And while there are certain precautions that need to be taken during pregnancy, you don’t need to be wrapped in cotton wool. Some women feel their partners can be over zealous when it comes to food, safety and other restrictions in their pregnancy.
While it’s important for partners to know what is and isn’t safe during pregnancy, don’t go overboard. It’s a special time in your life so relax and enjoy the ride together.
3. Everything has changed for me
After conception a partner’s physical involvement in creating a baby is over and for the next nine months a pregnant woman’s body undergoes so many beautiful, but big changes. A pregnant woman may have to make changes to her diet, giving up a habit like smoking or drinking, and re-considering any physical or sporting activities with potential risk to the baby.
This can be hard for some women, particularly if their partner is still doing all the things they can’t. It’s important to acknowledge the sacrifices a pregnant woman is making and try to support her where you can. Perhaps you could cut back on alcohol or stop eating soft cheeses as a sign of solidarity? It will not only give you an insight into what she’s going through, it will probably mean a lot to her to know she’s not in it alone.
4. I want you to be involved
While your partner won’t physically be giving birth to your child, there’s still plenty of things they can do to be part of the pregnancy. A lack of involvement can come across as a lack of interest and for some couples it’s a source of arguments before and after the baby is born.
Instead of waiting to be asked, perhaps you could take some initiative and do some research so you’re armed with knowledge to help with the decision-making process. Help to organise appointments and try to be there as a support person. You might want to follow your partner’s pregnancy using an app to help track what’s happening in her body and how your baby is growing and developing. It’s fascinating stuff.
5. Late nights at the pub aren’t fun for me
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No one wants to be a party pooper, but being surrounded by people drinking when alcohol is off limits for you can wear thin after a while. On top of the need to avoid alcohol, pregnancy can make you feel very tired especially at night, so it’s important to be considerate of this if she seems anti-social at times.
It’s not about you and your partner becoming hermits. But it could be helpful to think outside of the square to try new and interesting things that don’t necessarily involve alcohol or late nights. It might be having a BBQ lunch with friends in a park instead of a late night dinner party. Or if taking a day trip, going fruit picking instead of to a winery.