What your partner needs to know about pregnancy
Does your man get droopy eyelids or start doing the washing up every time you suggest reading a baby book together? That’s what Jon Farry and Stephen Mitchell, co-authors of Man with a Pram (Hachette), found when their wives were pregnant – that all women-orientated books bored them to tears – which led them to writing a man’s guide to pregnancy and birth. It tells guys exactly what they need to do when their other-halves are pregnant, from morning sickness cures to putting together a baby budget. Here are some tips to pass on to your partner:
Suggest morning sickness ‘cures’
More than 50 per cent of pregnant women experience some sort of nausea or vomiting during the first two months of pregnancy – and it’s not even confined to the morning for some mums-to-be. A top-notch guy will have some advice on tap, such as avoiding coffee and spicy foods to drinking ginger tea or wearing an acupuncture wristband, says Jon. “If your partner’s morning sickness is severe, she may have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Get prompt medical attention if it seems excessive,” adds Stephen.
Boobs – ask before groping!
Most women see an increase in breast size on falling pregnant, which can happen as early as two weeks. While hubbies might decide this is a very positive aspect of pregnancy, they should also prepare themselves for the fact that they might be off-limit due to soreness. “Be aware that her breasts are probably tender, and what with this, her nausea and fatigue, there is probably a slim chance of you getting anywhere near them,” reveals Jon.
Budget for a family of three
It’s a fact – kids aren’t cheap, and if one partner isn’t working for a period of time, then the other is responsible for bringing in the money. “It’s worth assessing the family finances, as there’s going to be an extra person to feed,” warns Stephen. “One of the main factors in preparing a budget when expecting a newborn is to ensure you and your partner do it together – if you don’t, you’re going to run into problems. And if you haven’t already put money aside, start saving now.”
Help her write a birth plan
You’ll score major brownie points if you sit down with your partner and suggest coming up with a document that outlines how you want labour and birth to go. “Use it as a guide to prepare the stuff you’re going to need, give a copy to your caregiver during an antenatal visit or when your partner is in labour and keep it with you during labour and birth,” advises Jon.
Sort out the baby’s ‘space’
Women have a nesting instinct that picks up speed as her due date approaches. But, while decorating baby’s room might be fun, there are some ways to ensure she stays safe. “Make sure she avoids paint fumes, doesn’t lift heavy things, which she is more than likely to try and do, avoids toxic cleaning products, particularly in cramped spaces and avoids using credit cards that are already under stress,” says Stephen.
- This article was written by Joanna Bounds for Kidspot, New Zealand's best family health resource.
Find more pregnancy stories
- 1. The Inconceivable Reality
- 2. Miscarriage or stillborn - the difference a day makes
- 3. Most popular Māori baby names in 2015
- 4. The sweetest and funniest pregnancy reveals
- 5. Zika virus linked to birth defects
- 6. Labour and birthing tools
- 7. Top 100 baby names of 2015
- 8. Amniocentesis
- 9. What they didn't tell you about your body after birth
- 10. Living with pregnancy loss: 10 things to remember