Congratulations! Your partner is pregnant and you’re about to become a father or the other mamma. Or maybe you are a birthing partner or family member living with a mum-to-be through lockdown. It’s a life-changing event and one that should be shared and enjoyed as much as possible. However, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to navigate pregnancy when you’re not the one who’s carrying the baby. Here are some early pregnancy tips for dads and partners out there, including what to expect and how to help.
1. Adjust to her hormones
Pregnant women deal with a lot of hormones. While you might find this overwhelming sometimes, just imagine what it’s like for your partner. Cravings, changing emotions, and even nesting are all to be expected. So be prepared to comfort, love, and see her through all these emotional upheavals. Your support and TLC will mean a lot to her, especially during lockdown when everyone’s emotions are running high.
That means going along with her cravings. You could well find that the foods that she used to love now make her ill. She’s unable to control these cravings, so it would be really helpful if you could indulge them... within reason, of course! We know getting hold of some foods is pretty tricky right now – you might need to get creative in the kitchen to help your partner out.
2. Support her through morning sickness
Morning sickness is no joke either. It may be called morning sickness but it hits at any hour during the day or night. Imagine the worst hangover of your life extended for three months or more. Hopefully, morning sickness will be over when she’s out of the first trimester (although this isn’t always the case) but until then, do what you can to make your partner feel more comfortable. Some foods can really help to quell queasiness. Ginger can make a real difference – encourage your partner to drink ginger and peppermint tea or even indulge in the odd ginger biscuit. There are lots of other tips to help with morning sickness, ranging from eating little and often to drinking plenty between meals. Why not check out this earlier blog of ours – it’s packed with helpful suggestions on how to fight off morning sickness.
If nothing much helps, remember to empathise with your partner. If you were sick for three months, you wouldn’t see the funny side either, so don’t expect her to.
3. Put in some extra effort
Pregnant women expend more energy than most. Your partner is doing a lot to build a healthy baby which means she’ll be more exhausted than she has ever been. She’ll be producing more blood to carry nutrients to help your baby grow. Her blood sugar levels and blood pressure will be lower and hormones, especially progesterone, will make her more sleepy.
We like to think you do a lot for her already, but now’s the time to go that extra mile. Do the laundry, wash the dishes and cook the meals. Don’t add to her stress levels. Encourage her to have some much-needed rest and relaxation. Now might even be a good time for you to learn some gentle, pregnancy friendly, massage techniques. After all, she has a person growing inside her that is entirely dependent on her. Taking care of her means taking care of your baby, so do your part when you can.
4. Treat her so she feels special
One of our biggest early pregnancy tips for partners is to enjoy things while it’s just the two of you. Of course, in lockdown you won’t be able to do the usual things that you like to do when out and about together. But that shouldn’t stop you treating your partner, so they feel special. Set up a home-made cinema (don’t forget the popcorn) or cook a special meal. You could even order a meal in from your favourite restaurant if they’re still delivering.
5. Encourage her to keep active
The first few months is the time when your partner will be the most mobile. When she hits the second and, particularly the third trimester, it won’t be quite as easy to move around. Keeping active throughout pregnancy is very important – it will help your partner sleep better, feel less anxious, help with backache, reduce her risk of gestational diabetes, blood pressure, leg and feet swelling, pre-eclampsia and encourage blood flow and strength in your baby.
We’ve written a blog about keeping fit in pregnancy, why not read it together. We’ve also uploaded a whole host of quick and simple pregnancy exercises onto our website. And better still if you head over to our facebook page every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11.30am you’ll find trimester specific exercise classes created just for our customers by pregnancy fitness expert Natasha Brown. Each routine is just as good for all the family so there’s no excuse not to join in!
6. Watch what you say
Around three months, the foetus starts making its presence known. For many women, “showing” can be a fear that they are becoming larger and the last thing they want is for that fear to be confirmed. This is one of the huge early pregnancy tips for dads or partners. Once the bump starts becoming more apparent, don’t use the words ‘big’, ‘round’ or ‘large’ around your partner. You can run your hand across that swell and say how much you love the little miracle growing inside her. It may sound a little corny but it’s the emotional support that she’ll be thankful for.
If it’s stretchmarks your partner’s upset or nervous about, there’s always our Stretch Mark Prevention Kit. It was invented by medical scientists at University College Hospital, London, is clinically proven, endorsed by doctors and midwives and loved by our customers. With 82% of women who use our 3-step system coming out of pregnancy stretch mark free, our Kit will really help take one worry off your partner’s mind.
These early pregnancy tips for dads, partners and carers might seem self-explanatory, but sometimes all that’s needed is just a simple reminder. The biggest pregnancy tip for dads and partners is to be there for her and support her and, especially in these unusual times, let her know that she is not alone.