EDITOR’S NOTE: City Dads Group is working with longtime partner Dove Men+Care to create “how to” videos for the grooming products company’s “Dads Care” campaign. We will be featuring the videos and scripts our members appear in. This one features Marlon Gutierrez of our Orlando Dads Group talking about how to support your pregnant partner.
My wife is nine months pregnant and she’s due at any time now with our second baby. It’s been a very stressful time to say the least. There’s a lot of things that have happened (like COVID-19, my suffering a dislocated shoulder and more) that we could have never planned for. While there’s nothing we dads can do to take away all the stress and anxiety that comes with this very difficult time, there are some things that we can do to provide better support for our pregnant partner or spouse.
Get educated on pregnancy (and more)
It’s important for you to not only get educated on what pregnancy is all about but also on the labor, the delivery and also what happens postpartum. It may seem overwhelming to find a lot of this information, but thankfully there’s a lot of resources that you can tap into. There’s books written by other dads for you to get a clear picture of what’s going on. There’s also some courses you can take, with or without your partner, online or in person. We found doing ones together really helped prepare us and put us in the right mindset for everything coming our way. It helped us feel like we had a little bit more control about the whole situation.
Prepare your home for baby
Put some time into a creative outlet like building the nursery and gather baby supplies so everything is ready when your child arrives. Order things early just in case there’s a shipping delay so your not scrambling at the last minute. Create a nursery environment that’s going to feel very safe and nurturing. After we created ours, we found it to be a place we could both go to break away from all the stress. Make it a place you can go to disconnect from the news of the world and just think about your baby and the hopes and aspirations you have for him or her.
Give physical support to your pregnant partner
Ask your partner if there’s anything you can take off her plate: if there’s a big decision that needs to be made or things around the house to get done so there is one less thing she needs to worry about. With the pregnancy, there comes a lot of hormonal imbalances and other things that create stress. Your being present and helpful are great ways to help with those things.
Offer emotional support, too
You have to be a friend. Make sure you’re open and you’re flexible to hearing anything your partner may say without having to react to it. Right now your partner just needs a support person they can talk to about whatever fears and apprehensions she may have.
Take care of yourself
If you’re gonna be the person that your partner needs and the dad you want to be, you have to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. With everything going on in your home and the world, there’s a lot of stress and anxiety you are feeling. There’s a lot of things that you probably don’t share with your partner because you don’t want to add on to her stress. One thing I have found really helps me is to connect with other dads. Whether it is through an online group or in person, it has worked really well.