The importance of a father’s role in the journey toward parenthood and beyond is often overlooked. Dads are usually the ones who know the expecting mother best and how to best serve her and care for her. They know when she isn’t feeling well and the best way to lift her spirits. My goal with this post is to encourage and empower dads to be an active partner in this amazing adventure by giving some helpful tips and thinking points.
1. Tell your wife she’s beautiful… every day.
As our bodies are changing and stretching in places we never knew could stretch, it can sometimes be hard for us to embrace them, especially in the first trimester when it isn’t obvious we are carrying a child. Take the time to tell her often that you love her and that you think she is beautiful.
2. Exercise together regularly.
Staying active is important for pregnant moms, and it will only benefit your health, too! Go on walks, take a swim, or head to the gym together to keep each other accountable.
3. Help out with meals if possible.
When a woman conceives a child, the hormones and muscles and ligaments in her body begin to shift immediately. This change in hormones can create nausea and significant food aversions. Be sensitive to this and offer to bring home meals so the house doesn’t have an overwhelming scent. Encourage her to eat often and try to include protein in every meal and snack. And, if she is craving pickles and peanut butter in the middle of the night, lovingly get them for her. The cravings can be unusual, but her eating what she feel like eating when she feels like eating it is important, too.
4. Schedule her a massage or a pedicure.
Allow her the freedom to feel like she can pamper herself. She will thank you for it!
5. Read books, watch movies, and take classes that give you information about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and beyond.
This is your child, as well, and parenting decisions start at conception. Your spouse will appreciate your interest, and you will feel empowered having a broader understanding of what she is experiencing and what to expect. Fear is significantly diminished with knowledge, and there are few things in your life that will be more important than your children and raising them. (I highly recommend watching The Business of Being Born together.)
6. During labor…
Make sure she is drinking, eating, and going to the bathroom each hour and changing positions regularly (every 30-60 minutes). Rub her back and/or squeeze her hips and massage her shoulders and scalp if she is okay with touch. Together, create a playlist of music ahead of time and put it on during labor. Tell her how amazing she is and how great she is doing.
7. Consider getting her a “push present.”
Never heard of these? I’m sure your wife has. 🙂 This is a gift you present to her shortly after your child is born. It can be a beautiful new pair of earrings or a mother’s ring, or it can be something as simple as a picture frame or thoughtful book or journal.
All in all, know that this isn’t just your partner’s journey. The both of you together are creating a family and becoming parents. You can be involved and showing her you are thinking about her and interested in what is happening to her body, and your baby will be such a blessing to her!
Enjoy the ride – it all goes too quickly!