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Dad to be: Supporting your pregnant partner

WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Pregnancy can be a wonderfully happy time, but it can also be confusing and daunting for both of you. It's often hard to know what's expected of a dad-to-be, but we've put together our top tips for if you feel you need a bit of direction.

Help with chores

It may not be your turn to cook/wash up tonight, but if you see that your partner is struggling, offer to help out more. Even the most independent woman is bound to be tired, emotional and in need of extra help at times.

There's nothing stopping you grabbing the vacuum, setting off to the supermarket or doing a spot of ironing. Chores may not often be fun, but it's for the good of your partner and your baby.

It's good to talk

It's vital that your partner avoids stress as much as possible during pregnancy, and this may require help from you at times. She may be moody (due to those pesky pregnancy hormones), but try to avoid getting into arguments.

If she seems anxious or stressed, help her to unwind (a massage with a relaxing oil suitable for pregnancy works very well), and encourage her to talk through any problems or anxieties she may have.

It's also important to remember that it's normal for both of you to feel anxious about becoming parents. Talk things through with each other, but also talk to friends and family who already have children - you'll soon realise just how common your worries are.

Read all about it

One of the best ways to get to grips with the changes at hand and show your interest in your partner's pregnancy is to read up on the topic.

Also try any books or magazines you can get your hands on. If you actually go out and buy them, the Brownie points will be tripled.

In it together

Your partner will find that pregnancy means many lifestyle changes for her, and she'll really appreciate it if you can be supportive about these.

Ideally, a dad-to-be will make some of these changes with her: if you smoke, try to give up (it'll benefit the health of you, your partner and your baby massively), and if possible, avoid alcohol too. Healthy eating can also be a family affair. Try to increase your intake of fruit and vegetables and improve your diet. You're a parent-to-be too, after all.

Be there when it matters

Try to go to every antenatal test and check with your partner. Having your support will make her feel more at ease and she'll feel that you're genuinely interested in the baby you've created together.

You may also be surprised at how much you learn at the appointments, and hearing the heartbeat of your baby or seeing it on the scan for the first time is truly amazing. Experiencing this together will help you to bond, and make the fact that you're having a baby seem so much more real.

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