Men and pregnancy: we often get left out of the discussion because all the attention is on the mother. Why should that be? We’ve got a hand in this, too. Shouldn’t someone be telling us how to cope with it? Well, hang on for a bit and I’ll try to do just that. As a father-to-be, here are some tips that I’ve picked up for surviving the turmoil.
One: Hold Her Hair (Unless She Doesn’t Want You To).
If she’s going to be miserable, then be miserable together, provided she doesn’t tell you to get the heck out of the bathroom while she’s busy retching up a turkey sandwich.
Two: Clean Up After Her.
Seriously, it’s just easier. When the sickness strikes — and it will at the most inopportune times (e.g. 20 minutes before the 7 p.m. movie when you’re just about to walk out the door, when you’re heading into a restaurant on date night, etc.) — take care of it. If she has to clean up after herself, it will just launch into a cycle of endless sickness and vomiting.
Three: Join Mom In Taking Ownership Of The Child.
If you’re a deadbeat dad — if you think it’s just her responsibility and don’t want to be a father because it’s too inconvenient and a lot of work — if you don’t go to the pregnancy classes with her — if you don’t rub her back or legs or whatever part of her is swelling — if you don’t talk to the baby while it’s in her stomach — then who do you think you are, because you’re not a man.
Four: Her Appointments Are Your Appointments.
As WebMD contributor Martin Downs writes, you’ll have about 15 routine prenatal visits if all goes well: “once a month until 28 weeks, three or four times up to week 36, and once a week for the last month,” he states.
Start planning for them from the beginning. Join her on these days, and it’ll help her sanity knowing she has your support. If she’s sane, chances are you will be during the home stretch.
Five: Take On More Housework.
Your partner’s body is being terraformed to support life. She’s carrying around 20 extra pounds at all times of the day. Her stomach is being pushed up towards her throat by an expanding uterus. To get any release, she has to pass something the size of a watermelon through something the size of a garden hose. (And you probably couldn’t do it.)
That concludes 36 to 40 weeks of discomfort. She’ll get to the point where she can’t bend over without it being a huge production. So take on the dishes, laundry, and any other housework that needs doing, okay?
Finally: Do Not Complain In Equal Or Greater Portions As She Does.
It’s not easy going through what you’re going through, but it’s a lot tougher on her. If you have to complain, do it to a close friend or start talking to yourself.
Men, what pregnancy tips helped you survive? Share yours in the comments section!