Stress and pregnancy go hand in hand. While it has not been proven that stress can affect fertility, it has been found that the effects of stress on pregnancy can affect the health of the mother and the foetus during pregnancy.
Most mothers will confirm that the changes that happen to their bodies when pregnant for the first time, or even the second time, can be very disconcerting. So as the partner of someone expecting a baby, we thought you would want to know everything you can about pregnancy and what you can do to make things easier for her and the baby during the next 9 months.
We’ve written a brief pregnancy guide that will help point you in the right direction and help you support your pregnant partner.
What to expect while she’s expecting
Knowing that the first and final parts of the pregnancy are the most difficult will help you prepare yourself mentally, so you can respond in the most helpful ways possible.
The early weeks of pregnancy
You’ll have heard of the term morning sickness. But, the name is misleading, because morning sickness tends to last all day and involves vomiting and nausea prompted by certain tastes and smells.
During this period, your partner is likely to be low in energy and you’ll find that she needs much more sleep than usual. Morning sickness and low energy will usually last for up to 14 weeks, after which her energy levels will be closer to normal.
The later weeks of pregnancy
After 27 weeks and until she gives birth, her tiredness may return, and there’s a chance your partner could be, or become quite irritable.
Pregnancy guide for partners
Here’s what you can do to make her life easier and less stressful during the months of pregnancy.
Embrace the lifestyle changes
She’ll have to make numerous lifestyle changes to ensure she and the baby are as healthy as possible. Embracing these changes with her shows her that you fully support her. These changes include stopping smoking, stopping drinking and eating healthily.
Be available when she needs to talk or vent to somebody. Letting her share her experience with you will help her feel less isolated. Even when there is nothing that you can do to ease any of her aches and pains, having somebody to talk to can be very cathartic.
If there’s something that worries her about the health of the baby, take her to her doctor or midwife.
Do your research
Read as many baby and pregnancy books and blogs as you can. Two heads are always better than one, and when the big day comes, everything will be much less stressful if you know how to take over and let her rest after the birth.
Be there for check-ups, scans and classes
The parent who doesn’t carry the baby is sometimes left to feel like they are on the bench. But this can be avoided by being involved in absolutely everything. Tailored maternity packages can be great for giving you access to scans and tests whenever she needs reassurance, or in an emergency, and you’ll have more freedom over when they’re scheduled for. In some cases you can arrange home visits by private midwives, which takes away the stress of having to leave the house.
Help her relax
Run her a bath, give her a massage and reduce stress by not burdening her unnecessarily. If you see her trying to maintain her same levels of productivity despite her tiredness, let her know that you can take care of it.
Do things together
You’ll be squeezed for free time once the baby arrives, and this includes having time to yourselves. So, while you can, go on holiday, sleep late, and take spontaneous trips.