Pregnancy is a unique experience. It can be scary and exciting all at once, especially for your wife. As her due date nears, she may experience more difficulties as the baby grows and her body prepares itself for the actual process of labor.
As soon-to-be dads, we want to be able to help our pregnant wife as much as we can to make the experience a little easier and more comfortable for them despite all these changes. But how can we do that when we feel a little bit helpless at times and think that there’s not much we can do since we’re not directly carrying the baby and dealing with all these issues?
Contrary to popular belief, pregnancy can be a shared experience even if you’re not the one walking around with an enormous weight on your belly. As husbands, there are many ways we can assist our wives both physically or emotionally. Here are five that you should consider:
1. Be Empathetic
Men and pregnancy seem to be two concepts that have a big gap between them simply because men are not biologically able to carry a child. However, this doesn’t mean that men are incapable of understanding pregnancy on a personal level. Being empathetic towards your wife is something that won’t just bring you closer to grasping the experience, but it’s also a way that you can help her as she goes through it.
Being empathetic is all about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective. You don’t have to physically go through morning sickness or have leg cramps yourself — empathy simply means being sensitive to your wife’s needs as she deals with physical and hormonal changes, as well as emotional issues. For instance, have some water and an extra set of clothes ready for when she can’t keep her meals down, or open the windows or turn up the AC on hot afternoons to keep her from feeling nauseated.
2. Massage Her
As the baby grows, your wife’s body adjusts itself to accommodate the extra weight she needs to carry. This isn’t always a pleasant experience as she might get leg cramps or shoulder pains from time to time. So, one way you can help your wife is to offer her a massage. You don’t need to be an expert masseuse for this to be effective. A five- to ten-minute massage can do wonders in easing your wife’s leg, shoulder, or neck pains. Keep in mind, however, to avoid exerting too much pressure. You can even consult your wife’s doctor to know which areas to avoid so as not to endanger the pregnancy.
3. Reassure Her
As every pregnancy is unique, no soon-to-be mother will ever get used to the changes happening in their body. Most of the time, these changes can affect their body image and self-esteem. Morning sickness, weight gain, swelling — these are just some of the things that can cause your wife to feel less than her best self.
You might think that it’s a small gesture, but constantly reassuring your wife of how beautiful she is and how much you love her can significantly affect how well she carries her pregnancy. Keep in mind that stress is bad for both the baby and your wife, and how your wife might view herself during this challenging time can lead to feelings of frustration and unattractiveness.
Tell your wife how much you love her and how much you love the belly and her look. She might not take your word for it instantly, but being honest and reassuring her that she’s beautiful and loved can help her a lot during this process.
4. Participate in the Process
Speaking of process, another way you can help your pregnant wife is being involved in the pregnancy process. Again, this doesn’t mean having to experience pregnancy yourself — it simply means being there for her and actively participating in the activities and milestones happening over the course of her pregnancy. For instance, you can accompany her to her doctor’s appointments or go with her to classes she wants to attend.
Being involved can even mean simple things such as going shopping with her or picking a color for the nursery. What’s important is for her to feel your presence, that you are part of the process, and she doesn’t have to go through it alone. Your support during this time can go a long way in helping your wife have a better pregnancy journey.
5. Do More Around the House
Now you might be thinking that you’re already doing all sorts of stuff around the house, such as cleaning, fixing, cooking, and a whole bunch of other tasks and errands. However, if you look closely, there’s always some other little thing you can do, especially if your wife is pregnant. Perhaps she has some tasks she does regularly that you can do yourself.
At the same time, ask your wife about what she needs. Be very specific about asking what she needs as opposed to asking what you can do to help. The last thing you want your wife to feel is as if she’s useless or that she’s taking advantage of you in some way. Support her by finding out what she needs and then handling it.
Happy Wife, Happy Life
Helping your pregnant wife can mean supporting her both physically and emotionally. Whether these gestures are big or small, what’s important is that you’re making sure she feels good, comfortable, and that she’s assured of your presence and involvement in the pregnancy process. This way, you can keep her happy and help her on the way to a healthy delivery.