You and your wife are filled with joy and expectation ñ your wife is pregnant! Congratulations, Dad-to-Be! Your wife wants you to be involved in her pregnancy. Keep encouraging her, remind her that she will be a loving, competent mother, and include find ways to keep involved in every stage of your wife’s pregnancy journey. Here are some simple tips to show your love and care during this special time.
FIRST TRIMESTER (Weeks One through Thirteen)
Talk to your Wife
Talk every day with your partner about how she is feeling, both physically and emotionally. Discuss together your hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties about the pregnancy and about becoming parents.
Comfort the Mommy-to-Be
Your wife will typically be dealing with problems including morning sickness, nausea throughout the day, and emotional turmoil caused by hormonal changes. Find simple ways to comfort and relax her during this difficult time. Give her plenty of hugs and kisses. Give her back and neck massages. Make her dinner. Listen attentively to her feelings.
Listen to your Baby’s Heartbeat
Accompany your wife to her prenatal doctor’s appointments. Be there to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time! Enjoy this bonding moment with your partner.
See your Baby’s First “Photo”
After the tenth week, your wife will be receiving her first ultrasound. Attend the doctor’s appointment with her and enjoy the first ultrasound image of your baby together.
SECOND TRIMESTER (Weeks Fourteen through Twenty-Six)
Go shopping for maternity clothes together.
Keep reminding your wife that she is beautiful and radiant. Enjoy shopping together for her new maternity clothes.
Decide together if you’d like to learn the gender of your baby.
There are pros for discovering your baby’s sex beforehand (decorating the nursery, purchasing gender-specific clothes and toys) and there are pros for waiting until the birth to discover if you have a boy or girl (the sheer surprise and excitement, something special to look forward to).
Talk to you baby every day.
Your baby can now distinguish voices in the womb, so spend time with your wife “talking” to your baby every day. You can read children’s books to your baby, play your baby music, and sing your baby sweet songs. Hearing the mother and father’s voices in the womb make it easier for the baby to recognize your voices once he or she is born. Music has many therapeutic benefits and can assist in your baby’s cognitive development in the womb.
Attend a parenting class with your partner.
Find an educational yet enjoyable parenting class to participate in together. Get recommendations from friends and family.
THIRD TRIMESTER (Weeks Twenty-Seven through Forty)
Massage your wife on a regular basis. Massage her back and legs especially.
Attend your wife’s prenatal doctor’s appointments with her.
Create a birthing plan with your wife.
Decide on the arrangements for the labor and delivery, including whether or not your wife wishes to receive pain medication.
Find a pediatrician with your partner.
Talk to several potential candidates. Decide on a pediatrician that both you and your wife can trust and talk with ease.
Decide on childcare with your wife.
Figure out the length of your partner’s maternity leave. If she plans on returning to work, decide together on your childcare options.