Marriage brings two people together, who then take their lives ahead as one. Every responsibility, irrespective of what it is, in a marriage should be shared by both partners. This is also applicable to raising up a child.
It is factual that the roles and responsibilities between a husband and wife can change according to the dynamics of each couple, both are equally responsible during a pregnancy. After all, we agreed to the for better or for worse until death does us part vows.
Pregnancy is that time in a woman’s life that brings joy and happiness to all and sundry in the house. It gives one the aura of being complete and can bring forth one’s own replica.
The feeling is quite magical and heavenly- most women can not even match words of how they feel at this time. At times, it is a mixed feeling of anxiety and excitement, other times is just pure bliss as they expect that bundle of joy!
Yes, it is primarily the woman’s ‘burden’ to carry the baby all through the pregnancy period but as men, we also contribute immensely in situations like this, to make the pregnancy process seamless and more enjoyable until the very last day of delivery.
The bond and sense of teamwork are strengthened when the husband and wife support each other. A partner’s support is especially important for the mother and baby during this busy time.
There is no gainsaying the fact that a woman who is adequately supported by her partner during and after pregnancy may feel happier and less stressed. The baby also is less- stressed in this regard.
So as men, what are we expected to do or not do during this pregnancy process, in other words, what are the “Do’s and Don’ts” we need to adhere to religiously? The do’s and don’ts are not farfetched as we need to start them from the very first day the pregnancy is confirmed:
- Education is key – educate yourself about things that happen during pregnancy.
If the pregnancy is your first, you need to learn as much as you can about pregnancy. Read about what trimesters mean, what to expect during each trimester, how to take care of her and her cravings, her food habits, clothing’s (of course, you would not want her to wear tight fitting dresses), supplements etc.
- Does she struggle with morning sickness?
Yes, some women do struggle a lot during this period and it is the duty of the husband to see their wives through this period by regularly checking up on them as well as creating that resting space for her to rest whenever the symptoms hit hard.
- Mood Swings
It is imperative that things will change in the next few months. There will be mood swings, emotional struggle, pain, etc. During this time, these shifts are natural, so learn to be patient when your wife goes through these changes.
Be sensitive to her requests and always respond with kindness. This will make her feel grateful for all your troubles.
- Encourage your wife
At this point, your wife needs all the support and encouragement from you to see her through the process. Pregnancy is a time of several ups and downs – on the one hand, she is happy and excited; on the other hand, there are physical changes, uncertainties, and fear.
Try as much as possible to make her see the positive narratives surrounding pregnancies and make sure you are at her beck and call always. In order words, you are her first ‘doctor’ in every situation until you get to see the real doctor.
During the journey that is her pregnancy, it is important that you encourage her and remind her that you are with her all the way and that she need not worry.
- Go with her to doctor visits
This is very important and as the saying goes two are indeed better than one. Visiting the doctor can get stressful if there are complications, and you should not leave your wife to face it all alone.
You could help take notes or listen more attentively as your wife could inadvertently take some naps intermittently while at the hospital. You could then (when you know she is calmer and more relaxed) relay all the doctor’s advice and instructions while working with her to follow them judiciously.
- Do not forget to help with the household chores
Aha! this is the time to take responsibility for household chores, very important. It will soon become harder for your wife to take care of the house as well the chores. It is your house too and it is time to take care of it!
Carrying a baby is not an easy task at all. Hence, it is imperative that the two of you share responsibilities at the least.
- Monitor her food and water intake
Make it your sole business to know what she needs to eat to keep your wife and the baby healthy. Being pregnant means always being sure that the woman is eating and drinking correctly. You can see why you are her first doctor as you need to give her a rehearsal of the doctor’s instructions-
What time does she have to take her pregnancy supplements? Is she eating the right food at the right time? What food does she dislike eating? What are her cravings? What food is good for the baby, and what is not? Is she drinking enough water?
Most importantly, be sure she avoids that food especially heavy proteins that could cause preeclampsia. Get all answers to all these questions during your wife’s pregnancy, as her health is of utmost importance.
- Cook with her
Yes, you heard. Cooking could be a herculean task during this period as it is important you assist her accordingly in this regard. Get involved in the kitchen and make the things she would make.
She will appreciate the gesture and it will lighten up her load too, thus making her well-rested and calmer. Do not hesitate to take up the duty fully either!
The role of a husband during pregnancy is absolutely necessary and it will change the way your wife completes the 9 months. So, make sure that you do everything possible to enrich this journey of pregnancy.