Why Is it Important to Support Your Pregnant Partner?
Although your partner is the one carrying, pregnancy is a team effort. Being able to support your partner during this time will be beneficial to you both—and the baby—in the long run.
You may not be meeting your child for a few more months, but your partner is already interacting with baby by making changes to their diet, feeling the baby kick, and experiencing symptoms of pregnancy on a regular basis. Being pregnant can be a stressful time, and too much stress can negatively affect the health of your partner and the baby.1 Plus, pregnancy can cause your partner to feel more sensitive and emotional than usual.1 By providing moral support for your partner and listening to their concerns, you can help them feel more at ease as they go through this process.1
We know that women with meaningful social support systems are able to adjust to the changes of pregnancy and early motherhood better than those without one.2 Being there for your partner can strengthen your bond with them and make them feel less stressed on this journey.3 Women who feel more social support during pregnancy are also less likely to experience postpartum depression.2
As you support your partner, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. The strain of pregnancy can affect you too. Allow yourself some time to manage any stress you feel and talk to a health care provider for extra support.1
What Can I Do to Support My Partner During Pregnancy?
Your partner will need physical and emotional support during the pregnancy and help with caring for the baby when it arrives.3 Here are some ways you can support your pregnant partner:
Attend Appointments Together
Try to attend prenatal doctor visits and birthing or parenting classes with your partner.3 By doing so, you can be more involved in the preparation for the child and learn important tips alongside your partner. If your family doctor or regular health care professional does not provide maternity services, you and your partner may need to find a doctor who does. You can help your partner choose the right doctor to care for their pregnancy and assist with making decisions about prenatal tests.1,3
Provide Emotional Support
As pregnancy can be a time of anxiety and new challenges, your partner may turn to you for emotional support. Try to provide reassurance and encouragement and ask them what they need from you when they are stressed or anxious.3 If your partner is an affectionate person, show affection by holding hands and giving hugs.3 Hormones can have an impact on a woman’s sleep needs during pregnancy, so let them rest and encourage naps when they are tired.3
Help Out However You Can
Doing chores around the house is especially helpful to your partner when they’re pregnant. Be mindful of foods that you consume around your partner as certain foods and smells can cause pregnant women to feel sick or nauseous. Hormones during pregnancy can change a woman’s energy level and make them more tired.3 If you are a smoker, avoid smoking around your partner or try quitting altogether.3
Encourage a Healthy Diet
What your partner eats during pregnancy can support a healthy pregnancy and help the baby’s growth and development.4 Plus, a healthy diet can ensure that your partner is getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients they need.4 Encourage your partner to drink plenty of water and eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods.4 It might also be helpful to try eating healthy foods along with them as a way to show moral support.3 After all, eating healthy foods is beneficial for everyone! Find some inspiration for your next meal with these healthy recipes for pregnancy from Enfamil A+. You can also support your partner’s diet by picking up some multivitamins that contain folic acid, vitamin D and iron to support their health.4
Start Preparing for the Arrival of the Baby
As the time grows closer, you can help your partner start preparing for labour by packing a hospital bag and stocking up on baby care essentials. If you’re a new parent, preparing for birth includes educating yourself on how to care for the new baby when it arrives. Supporting your partner doesn’t stop after pregnancy! By learning responsibilities such as changing diapers and feeding the baby, you can help your partner with parenting duties. Knowing how to care for the baby will also enable your partner to take breaks as they recover from the pregnancy.