Supporting your partner can help increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Women whose partners make the same healthy lifestyle choices she does, attend prenatal appointments and educate themselves about pregnancy are more likely to have a healthy pregnancy and are less stressed after childbirth. Here are some tips for you to help your partner throughout this journey.
- Attend your partner’s prenatal appointments, if you can. It can be helpful to have you there for support, to take notes or help fill out paperwork, and ask questions.
- Show your solidarity with your pregnant partner by eating healthy with her. This will help her make good food choices and reinforce healthy eating.
- Help your partner get a good night’s sleep. When she’s trying to sleep, avoid disruptive behaviors like watching TV, turning on lights, playing music, etc. so she can get a good night’s rest.
- Exercise with your partner. It can be a great and healthy way to spend time prior to the arrival of your baby. Plus, you’ll also reap the benefits of exercise! Any increased energy and endurance may be useful in your new role as parent. Encourage her to talk to her doctor to understand what types of exercise are okay for her during pregnancy.
- Support your partner by offering to look for a doctor for the baby. Make sure you are both in agreement about the doctor. Create your lists, make the calls and schedule the appointments. This can help reduce some of the stress she may be feeling and help you feel more involved.
- Pack the hospital bag. Double-check to confirm that everything that your partner, you and baby will need is included. Ask a friend or family member to be on-call in case something is needed when your partner is in labor. You won’t want to leave your partner’s side during that time, and she most likely won’t want you to leave either!
- Download a contraction timer app. There are many apps to choose from! An app will make it much easier to support your partner by keeping track of her contractions.
- Take a test drive to the facility where you will be having your baby. If your partner is agreeable, bring her along as a “dress rehearsal” so you both know what to expect on the big day.
- Be attentive and supportive during labor. Her job is to focus on helping your baby have a safe and healthy entry into this world.
- In the year after the birth of your baby, it is important that you pay close attention to your partner’s emotions and behavior in case she is suffering from postpartum depression. You may recognize the signs of postpartum depression before she does.
Do everything you can during this time to make both you and your pregnant partner’s lives easier. Seriously. There are a lot of both fun and exciting things coming your way with the arrival of baby, but your physical stamina and mental wherewithal are going to be tested. Give your partner, your baby and yourself the best start on this new journey by helping out and showing up. It will mean the world to your partner and make a positive impact on the growth and development of your baby.
For Health Advocate members
- If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to our EAP+Work/Life Program, consider speaking with a Health Advocate Licensed Professional Counselor to learn more about supporting your partner’s emotional needs during and after pregnancy.
- If you’re a Health Advocate Member with our Advocacy services, contact us to speak with a Personal Health Advocate for assistance locating physicians, resolving insurance issues and helpful tips to for a healthy pregnancy.