Pregnancy is a time of great change, both physically and emotionally, for a woman and her partner. As a soon-to-be father, there are many things you can do to support your partner during this special time.
But in order to be a strong supporter of her, it is important to understand the hormonal changes that occur during the various stages of pregnancy.
Physiological Changes During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a complex process that involves many changes to a woman’s body. These changes begin as soon as the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus (1).
In the first trimester, the woman’s body begins to produce hormones that support the pregnancy and prepare her body for childbirth. These hormones can cause a variety of symptoms, including morning sickness, fatigue, and mood swings (2).
In the second trimester, the woman’s belly begins to grow as the baby develops. She may also experience other changes, such as heartburn, constipation, and back pain (3). Often, the mood swings present during the first trimester will subside during the second trimester.
In the third trimester, the baby continues to grow and mature. The woman’s belly becomes larger and heavier, and she may experience more discomfort. She may also have trouble sleeping and breathing. Her body is changing yet again, this time to prepare for childbirth and breastfeeding.
Tips to Help With Hormonal Changes
Pregnancy hormones can cause a variety of mood changes in women. She may feel happy, excited, sad, anxious, or angry all in the same day. It is important to be understanding and patient with her during this time.
Here are some tips for supporting your partner through her hormonal changes:
- Be a good listener. Let her talk about her feelings, even if you don’t understand them.
- Reassure her that her feelings are normal.
- Offer to help her find healthy ways to cope with her emotions, such as exercise, journaling, or talking to a therapist.
- Be patient and loving. It is important to remember that these hormonal changes are only temporary.
How to Support Your Partner During Pregnancy
Here are five ways you can support your partner during her pregnancy:
- Be there for her. One of the best things you can do for your partner is to be there for her emotionally and physically. Listen to her when she needs to talk, and help her out with chores and errands around the house. If she’s venting about something, there’s a good chance she just wants you to listen – not necessarily try to solve the problem.
- Learn about pregnancy and childbirth. There are many resources available to help you learn about pregnancy and childbirth. Take childbirth classes with your partner, or read books and articles on the subject. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to support her during this time.
- Help her take care of herself. Encourage your partner to eat healthy foods, get enough rest, and exercise regularly. You can help her by cooking healthy meals for her, giving her massages, and accompanying her on walks.
- Be understanding and patient. Pregnancy can be a challenging time for a woman. Be understanding and patient with your partner as she deals with the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy If you have a disagreement about something, for example, it may be more beneficial to try and see things from her perspective rather than trying to be right.
- Be excited about the baby! Show your partner that you are excited to become a father. Talk to her about your hopes and dreams for your child. Tell your partner that will always be by her side and support her with whatever she needs for your family to thrive.
Here are some specific things you can do to support your partner during each trimester of pregnancy:
- Help your partner deal with morning sickness by cooking bland foods and keeping crackers and ginger ale on hand.
- Give her massages to help relieve her fatigue and nausea.
- Be understanding if she is not feeling up to sex or other activities.
- Let her know that you love and support her, even though she may not be feeling her best.
- Go to prenatal appointments with your partner.
- Help her choose a maternity wardrobe and baby furniture. Yes, go shopping (pretend to enjoy it if you have to).
- Start thinking about baby names.
- Talk to her about her birth plan and encourage her to write it out.
- Continue to be supportive and understanding.
- Help your partner get ready for the baby by washing clothes, setting up the crib, and packing the hospital bag.
- Give her massages to help relieve her back pain and other discomforts.
- Take her on walks to help her stay active.
- Be prepared to help her with labor and delivery.
We’re Here to Help
Pregnancy is a special time for both the woman and her partner. By being there for her, learning about pregnancy and childbirth, helping her take care of herself, being understanding and patient, and being excited about the baby, you can provide her with the support she needs during this journey.
We here at Women’s Resource Medical Centers of Southern Nevada are here to help you and your partner thrive during this exciting time. We provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds for women in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. Click here to make an appointment.
We also have services for fathers!
The level of involvement of a baby’s father in pregnancy and parenthood has a direct correlation with the health of both the mother and the infant. Women whose partners are involved and supportive throughout the pregnancy engage in fewer risky behaviors and they carry healthy babies to full term more often than women whose partners are uninvolved.
Additionally, children whose fathers take an active role in parenting achieve greater academic success, exhibit higher levels of self-confidence, and are less prone to depression and delinquency than children whose fathers are absent.
In our culture, it has been found that individual, family, community, societal, and policy factors play a role in barring or diminishing the involvement of fathers during pregnancy. To this end, WRMCSN works to remove those barriers to active fatherhood in the lives of our male clients.
Our goal is to empower the father of the baby by mentoring him through the role of fatherhood. Our team of trained volunteers assesses the concerns and needs of the father of the baby; fathers receive support and guidance to promote spiritual, emotional, physical and economic health.
Every father who participates in our counseling and education program can earn points which are used in our boutique to purchase baby supplies; thus, families in which both parents participate in the educational program are incentivized through double the accumulation of shopping points.