It can end up feeling like everything is going on around your partner during pregnancy, and its easy to feel left out, or on the sidelines at times. Here are a few tips for staying involved and strengthening your relaionship....
1. Attending Apointments Together
They may seem rudamentary but Doctors & Midwife Appointments give you time together to focus on baby, and give you chance to ask questions and feel part of the process. Your partner may really appreciate the emotional support (even if she says she's ok) and you could use the time spent waiting to discuss different aspects of birth and parenthood. If your work just doesn't allow for this the 2 appointments which are the most useful are the very first Midwife Appointment, and the 20 week scan appointment.
2. Download a Weekly Pregnancy Guide APP
Then you can surprise her with your current knowledge of whats going on, as well as knowing when different appointments and tests are offered. You may want to discuss these options together and decide which ones are relevant to you.
Here is the best one around - funded with lottery money, and completely up to date with latest evidence, guidelines and NO COMMERCIAL INTEREST!!!
Learn how to massage each other if you don't already. Some women (and men) go off sex during certain stages of pregnancy - but massage is your best friend in keep intimacy in your relationship. Whether its a simple hand massage or a full body oily number - experiment and work out what you like best. Keeping in tune with each other is so important.
4. Take an Independant Antenatal Class
Antenatal Teachers are trained to support you in making your own decsisons and do not have hospital protocols (which may or may not reflect currect best practice) they will also vary the teaching methods to give you time to speak to other participants, and some one to one time to discuss the points covered and see how you feel about different aspects of birth.
But most importantly you'll get to practice a TON of techniques that REALLY make burth quicker and LESS PAINFUL - and all that you can do, and how to be her advocate during the birth, and what to expect from her, and from the health professionals. I can't stress just how important it is to prepare in this way!!
Please put that buggy / nursery / baby toy money back into your pocket for a moment and consider if your baby will notice any of this - or if your relationship with your partner, and the experience and journey you make together is worth more?
If you have any other ways that you've found help you to stay involved during your partners pregnancy please comment below and share with the other Dad's & partners who pop in here!