10 Rules to follow during your partner's pregnancy
1. It’s cool if you gain some sympathy weight
Few of us actually need to gain any weight at all (ladies: bless your hearts for loving us as we get older and stop caring so much about the gym).
However, if there is ever a time to be open to adding a few extra pounds – NOT go crazy - it’s during your partner’s pregnancy.
Hear me out – 1) A little sympathy weight can be seen as supportive – brownie points! 2) Monitoring your weight too closely means you may be being too restrictive – your pregnant partner can’t afford to do the same 3) You can get it off together once the baby comes, yet another opportunity to bond/show support.
2. Tell your partner they are beautiful more often than you used to
This one shouldn’t need explanation, but here it is: there is another human being growing inside of your partner. This human being is changing how she looks, feels, and the type of attention she gets from strangers. Women (especially) in this society are scrutinized for how they look and subjected to differential treatment based on their physical characteristics.
The least you can do is let her know she is still attractive to you and that what she is doing is beautiful (and brave). Open your mouth, do better…
3. If you have kids already, take the lion's share of the attending duties
Again, human being growing inside of her…that takes energy. The one on the inside gets to do whatever it wants, when it wants. The ones on the outside should not, which means you should help out more. Look at it as the joy of spending more time with your loud energetic annoying precious kids
4. Suck it up and learn (go to the classes, read the books)
I get it, for the time being you only have a supporting role in this production. While this is by nature and not choice, you can choose to be the best supporting cast mate possible and show your love for the baby by getting just as ready as the mom. This is meant to be a two-part dance (your part doesn’t end at conception), so learn the steps. Here's a good book to get started with (Link)
5. DO NOT comment about pregnancy weight
Really??? Do I really need to say anything more here… If I must, I’ll say this – your partners pregnancy weight is a matter that her and her doctor alone should discuss (they have the training and the insurance that you will likely need if you are ever stupid enough to go here)
6. Be protective in public, supportive in private
Yes, it’s your partners belly and not yours, but therein lies the point. It is your partners belly – not the stranger's on the street, not your buddy's from college, not the sweet looking old lady's at the grocery store.
Your role is to make things easier (and show those protective instincts for your family) by ensuring that she isn’t being stressed out or having people touch her when she is not comfortable. It’s okay to be assertive to protect your partner – she may even come to appreciate you more for doing so.
7. Acknowledge your partner's journey is something you can’t understand
This one is VERY tough for me…I want to be as involved as I possibly can and hate to feel like there is something I can’t understand or do. But I can’t…I just can’t get what it is like to be pregnant. Sure most guys wouldn’t want to anyway, but just acknowledging that can help.
It’s not like a stomach ache, being too full, or bad gas, it’s a small person. Just be there along the journey and forget trying to be a story topper/scene stealer…
8. Birthplans change, change with them
Let’s start by agreeing to some ground rules:
#1 – you both want what’s best for the baby
#2 – a healthy birth for the mom is good for all involved
#3 – pushing out a child has got to be painful!
Everyone is doing their best to determine what’s best to pull off the birth for all involved. This is a noble and responsible undertaking. Just remember that no one knows what will happen until it does – if something has to change, be supportive and flexible. Hopefully, you two have discussed this before the time approaches, so you should have a procedure that you want to follow if things get a little hairy, but just remember that plans can change if necessary (this includes birth plans).
9. Take parental leave from your job
I don’t even understand this one – why wouldn’t you, if you can/are allowed by the job? Look, there’s even been some media buzz about this recently – with the Mets player missing a game at the beginning of this year’s Major League Baseball season – but I have to be honest, I think not taking this time is nonsense.
Your life, and that of your family, just changed forever. Take a day or two to be there and help start the journey together.
10. Bring something to the table!
Lastly, I leave you with this – make a contribution! Seriously, you don’t have to invent the light bulb, get a promotion, or bring frankincense and myrrh, but your partner is having a baby so figure out some way to uniquely contribute.
Grand gestures are nice, but sometimes the little things – learning about pregnancy on your own, doing something thoughtful that shows you’re engaged, becoming her “go –to” during this time – make the most difference. A recently popular thing to do is to give a “Push Present” to your partner, which is a gift to mark the process that your partner has gone through to bring a child into the world.
I won’t weigh in on what you should do or how you should do it, but my personal opinion is that you should find a way to acknowledge your partner that is 1) meaningful to them 2) lets them know you have been paying attention and 3) communicates you care. Just ask yourself how much your growing family means to you…the answer is a lot, so figure out a way to acknowledge that and you’ll be backing up your feelings with actions.
Slehan Really great ideas. #2 is wonderfulSeptember 16, 2014, 10:42 pm | 0 likes
Ardy22 Great rules to make that pregnancy journey smooth!September 16, 2014, 08:09 pm | 0 likes
Anelw4 Great rules! I agree with a lot of them, especially number 2!September 16, 2014, 07:01 pm | 0 likes
Tcrane No kidding, especially on the taking care of previous children. Can I say "Yes, Please!"September 16, 2014, 06:49 pm | 0 likes
Rosannepm I am proud to say that my son did just these very things you suggest when his wife just gave birth to twins. My own husband went to the gym, got his hair cut, went out with the guys and his mother fully supported that. I am proud that I raised my son better. RosanneSeptember 16, 2014, 12:50 pm | 0 likes
Fionpu thanks for the 10 rules.September 16, 2014, 05:16 am | 0 likes
Dougpig If only all men would read this huh! lolSeptember 16, 2014, 03:22 am | 0 likes
Cookienewf These rules are just great,thanks for sharing.September 13, 2014, 01:35 pm | 0 likes
Msjamesteagall "9. Take parental leave from your job"...this is huge partners. My husband only left work for the birth of our first, and it was SO difficult for me after we got home and he was working 60 hours a week and I was on my own with this sweet baby I knew absolutely nothing about in regards to caring for (I knew how to love her, and by nature I picked up everything on my own- but still, it was hard). My post-partum depression was out of control that time around, and I blame the fact that I was solo. With our second, my husband (because of the severity of my depression the first time around) took 2 days off to spend home with us after leaving the hospital- still, that didn't cut it...those two days were amazing as we spent all our time switching duties and sharing the sleeping time and cat naps. It was wonderful- I wished for more time when he left us to go back to work. We're not on our 3rd (and last) child, and he's already planned to take a full week off- I'm SO excited to know that he's going to be here for us and even more so for me mentally. I need that support, I think everyone should have that support. Keep that in mind partners, even if your partner doesn't say they need you- they really do.September 11, 2014, 01:18 pm | 0 likes
Jenniferhiles My husband gained a few lbs during my pregnancy. My brother and his wife were a whole other story. During her 2nd pregnancy he must have gained at least 30 lbs.September 11, 2014, 10:44 am | 0 likes
Neoh42f These are such beautiful tips that I can only wish that I would have had during my pregnancy. I wish that he could have read this then.September 11, 2014, 05:39 am | 0 likes
Yomama606 Great stuff, my husband wonderful and I know he would do all of the above.September 10, 2014, 12:11 pm | 0 likes
Eralight555 i love the idea of Take parental leave from your job during your partner's pregnancy especially when it is in the final trimester.September 10, 2014, 08:25 am | 0 likes
Momtofiona I did my best to make hubby feel included. I think it was even more difficult once the baby was born. With me breastfeeding it seemed like she and I were always busy doing that.September 09, 2014, 02:54 pm | 0 likes
Andisueks My husband does really well at most of these! He really doesn't like it, though, when he complains about something, like a headache or sore feet, and I say "You don't even know!"September 07, 2014, 09:04 pm | 0 likes
Citysiren hehehehe.... so loved this. my partner sucks at supporting my pregnanciesSeptember 04, 2014, 09:12 pm | 0 likes
722smith Love how the partner assist in the pregnancy. Men do show symptoms and learn to be very supportive. Love how my husband does little gestures to make me feel comfortable throughout my pregnancy.September 03, 2014, 03:28 pm | 0 likes
Cstone412cs My partner wasn't that great when I was pregnant...I wish he would've read some of these lolSeptember 02, 2014, 09:32 pm | 1 like
Amberlavine I love your post! So true. After two pregnancies these are 'the law' if we ever have a #3!September 02, 2014, 08:17 pm | 0 likes
Elizabeth I like your rules, afterall, we are in this together! :)September 02, 2014, 02:29 pm | 0 likes
Kayl1021 Great rules!September 01, 2014, 11:27 pm | 0 likes