What you need to know:
- For an expectant couple, it can be difficult to communicate when faced with a challenge.
- Consult your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider for more information and help.
Pregnancy is a time of immense physical and emotional change for a woman. You may find that you are not always in sync with your partner because of emotional changes she has to deal with, or because bodily changes are making her uncomfortable around you.
For many women, a partner helps reduce stress and is a great source of support.
Here are ways you can support your partner during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum recovery, and beyond.
- Offer to help with house chores, which can be tough on her during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy comes with unpredictable emotional changes and mood swings. Be patient and understanding.
- Listening is an important part of the support process. Make sure you are fully engaged when your partner is speaking to you.
- Visit the doctor or OB/GYN together.
- Watch for signs of postpartum depression or anxiety, and be proactive in getting help.
- If you have other children, do things with them occasionally so that your partner can have time alone.
- Encourage healthy eating during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum periods by providing nutritious food.
Communicating effectively with each other
For an expectant couple, it can be difficult to communicate when faced with a challenge. Here are some suggestions to help you navigate:
- Share your feelings, thoughts, and needs. Let them know when they need to do something differently.
- Ask for what you want or need instead of complaining about what has not been done.
- Choose polite words, such as "I" to describe feelings and needs, not "you” which can come off as accusatory.
- Make statements instead of demands.
- Speak in a non-judgmental manner.
- Communicate your thoughts as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for both of you.
Have fun as you navigate this experience
The pregnancy journey can be challenging but also rewarding. Talk to each other and plan activities you can do together such as:
- Going for a walk, take up a dancing class, cooking, or gardening
- Dinner dates and shopping
- Watch a comedy show together
If you are already doing these things, make it your goal to do them even more going forward, and make every day special.
Consult your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider for more information and help.