If you’re like most men, one of the feelings that overcomes you when you first find out your partner is pregnant is fear. It’s not necessarily that you’re afraid you’ve made a mistake, especially if you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for a while. It’s fear that you won’t be a good dad, fear that you won’t be a good companion to your partner and fear that something will happen to your partner that could harm her or your developing baby.
There’s good news, however: she’s not going to break. In fact, a woman’s body is designed specifically for this purpose. She has everything she needs to have a normal, healthy pregnancy and a happy, healthy baby.
Here are some of the worries men often have about their pregnant partners, and what you should know about them:
- Mood Swings: The changes happening to your partner’s body include significant hormonal changes. This can affect her mood and makes it likely that she will have mood swings. It doesn’t mean she’s not still in love with you and it doesn’t mean you have to walk around on eggshells. It just means you need to be understanding if she seems sad or irritated for no reason at all.
- Daily Activities: She can continue to do most of her normal activities. There are very few things a pregnant woman shouldn’t do in terms of daily activities. She can still go to the gym. She can still play sports. She can fly in a plane through most of her pregnancy. She’ll need to watch out for activities that could cause abdominal injury, of course, and there will be some normal activities that will get harder as pregnancy progresses.
- Morning Sickness: Her morning sickness is going to go away. Listening to your wife wretch each day can be a bit disconcerting. As long as she’s keeping food and liquid down and not in danger of dehydration, morning sickness isn’t going to have an adverse effect on her pregnancy. By the end of that first trimester, morning sickness will disappear altogether in most cases.
- High Risk Pregnancy: A high risk pregnancy still has a very high probability of a happy ending. Problems like preeclampsia (high blood pressure due to pregnancy), gestational diabetes and even just being over 35 can put your partner in the high-risk pregnancy category. That means there are things your doctor’s going to be watching out for, but it certainly doesn’t mean things aren’t going to go smoothly.
- Labor: Labor is going to hurt her, but she’ll get through it. Women have been having babies since the dawn of humanity, and most of the time they haven’t had access to pain killers. You might feel a little bit helpless during labor and delivery, but part of coping with that feeling can be overcome simply by attending childbirth classes with your partner, and understanding how you can best help her through the process.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be wonderful experiences for both you and your partner. While you shouldn’t ignore potential concerns, keep in mind that you’re both likely to make it through with flying colors.