Pregnancy is an exciting and scary time in a woman’s life, and it helps to have the loving support of a husband. There are so many huge changes that will come with a new baby, and involving your husband divides up the work while giving you both a chance to bond over this shared experience. Here are some of the things you should do to prepare your husband for pregnancy and beyond.

First of all, be sure to tell him as soon as you can. There are all kinds of cute and clever ways to tell your husband that you’re pregnant. The most important thing is to make a special event out of it, because it’s a big deal that you’ll both want to remember. After he’s adjusted to the news, take your husband to some childbirth classes that teach how to deal with pregnancy, birth, labor, and parenthood. You might also have to take the initiative on gathering pregnancy reading materials, both online and offline, but at least share what you’re learning about pregnancy and childbirth with your husband.

With the need to focus on the baby in just a short time, it’s a good idea to set aside relationship time and have earnest conversations with your husband about feelings, emotions, concerns, and triumphs. Some of these talks will likely include money.  Pregnancy will have its own challenges when it comes to careers and finances. You should have a serious talk about how it’s going to work, both during pregnancy and after the birth. For the ultimate learning experience, and probably the scariest, get your husband ready for when you go into labor. It helps to find out what you can about the process. That includes watching videos of live birth, if you both have the stomach for it.

Depending on the plan, you might benefit from hiring a doula or dedicated labor support person to help you. Talk it over with your husband to see how much he wants to be involved in the labor process and what his opinion about labor support is. Involve him in prepping for that delivery as much as you can. Have him attend your most important doctor visits, especially if you decide to get an ultrasound and find out the gender of your baby. To maximize your bonding over the arrival of a new baby, take your husband shopping for maternity clothes and items for the baby, such as cribs, clothes, paint, or toys. Finally, prepare for what you’ll both do when you go into labor. Have him rehearse the process with you so that you’re both ready for the big day.

Not all of the items are must-dos on the checklist, but it all boils down to sharing the journey. It’s not the same without having both partners emotionally invested in the pregnancy and the birth, so you should do what you can to involve your husband any way you can. For his part, he should try to meet you halfway and lend his support. Together, you’re entering a whole new chapter in your lives and marriage, and hopefully, the experience will only strengthen and deepen the bonds between you.

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