Pregnancy is an exciting time, especially when it’s your first. But sometimes, it can feel like we’re doing all the work with this baby. After all, our husbands did their part and now they don’t have the pleasure of swelling up into odd shapes or having bizarre cravings while someone kicks them from the inside.
I was lucky that my husband was very doting during this time. Maybe it was because we were living in his country and doing things was much more difficult whether pregnant or not.
For example, we lived on the 6th floor of a building with no elevators. Climbing all those steps, especially with arms loaded of groceries, was difficult. Incidentally, that was made all the worse once my first was born because we then had her, her stroller, and anything else we’d bought to drag up the stairs.
Now my husband has it good, his feet up on the coffee table, watching soccer and forgetting to do the dad-thing, but even he would tell the men out there that are soon to become dads that they need to make sure they support their wives.
How Husbands Can (and Should!) Be Supportive During Pregnancy
Is your husband being a royal clod and not being supportive of you? Or perhaps he’s just a tad clueless as to what you might need from him. Not all men get it, and let’s be honest, they’re not mind-readers, are they? You can sit there and fume all you like, but he’s probably completely oblivious.
Instead of getting mad, which I know is hard because of those hormones, TELL him what you need from him and what he can do to help you. Then if he still doesn’t step up, by all means, let him know (and try to do so without screaming, shouting, or throwing things).
Or you can just show him this post. I’ll gladly talk to him and since I’m not pregnant right now, I can tell him for you (nicely) what he should do to be supportive during your pregnancy.
17 Tips for Husbands to Support Their Pregnant Wives
Hi guys! Want to really make your wife swoon while she’s pregnant? Then check out these tips I have for you on how to be helpful and supportive during her pregnancy.
I totally get how you’re looking ahead at the big picture when the baby is out and you’ve got this tiny human to support. I get it that life is about to change A LOT once that happens. Nothing will ever be the same, but most gloriously. However, that being said, SHE is the one who has to deal with her hormones, her changes in her body, endless doctors’ appointments, eat differently, and all those things.
Not sure where to start? Here are my tips for husbands to support their pregnant wives.
Learn with her
One of the things my husband did with me that made me feel supported was he’d read those pregnancy books along with me. We’d read each week together and check off the things I’d go through. Some of it was unpleasant, like my aversions to foul odors, while others of it were comical.
I’ve mentioned in my other posts how I had always despised raw tomatoes, much to my father’s chagrin because they have always been his favorite. But during both my pregnancies, I loved tomatoes and my husband, also a tomato-lover, loved to tease me about it.
Anyway, by knowing what she’s going through and learning along with her, you’ll have a greater understanding and honestly, it’s one of the simplest things you can do to show her your support.
Be her rock when she doesn’t feel well
Morning sickness is something many women endure during pregnancy. For me, I wasn’t throwing up, but I felt queasy on the regular. Plus, morning sickness doesn’t always happen in the morning.
If you notice your wife doesn’t feel well, try to help her get comfortable. If a certain smell is bothering her, try to clear the air. If she’s throwing up and makes a mess, clean it up without complaining about it. You’ll need all the practice you can get for that baby because let me just tell you, kids are messy and they poop and spit-up and you’ll have to do your share to clean it up too.
Sometimes though, something can happen that can make pregnancy even more unpleasant for moms-to-be.
For me, it was eating something that made me sick to the point I was running at both ends. I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. My husband called the doctor and took care of everything for me. He even held a bucket for me to throw up in, and he cleaned all of this up without saying a word. I knew then that he truly loved me and cared for me. After all, isn’t it in our vows to love one another in sickness and in health?
Forgive mood swings
Pregnant women don’t feel like themselves because of their hormones. And guess what? They’re not going to act like themselves either. She might ordinarily be a sweet, well-tempered gal who laughs at all your jokes but when her ankles seem to disappear from swelling and everything she eats gives her heartburn, she might not be as easily amused.
If she blows up at you, let her release that frustration and let her calm down while making it clear that you’re willing to help when she needs you. She’ll appreciate it so much when she’s calmed herself.
Remind her she’ll be a great mom
All women need a bit of encouragement, especially when we’re pregnant. I’d tell my husband how excited yet frightened I was and he’d tell me, “Don’t worry! You’ll be a wonderful mom!” His constant repetition of this helped me to feel confident once we were holding our firstborn in our arms.
Learn to go with it
Those dinner plans you were looking forward to suddenly needed to be cancelled to accommodate your pregnant wife because she’s just not feeling up for it. Leaving early from a holiday party to get your pregnant and tired wife home may also happen. It’s time to be flexible and just roll with things because when that baby comes, you’ll be doing the same thing.
You’ll have made plans you can’t wait to embark on only to have your baby barf all over your clothes and know you can’t go out. Trust me, your wife doesn’t want to skip out on plans she was looking forward to because she wants to feel human and have fun. Don’t give her a hard time when things need to be cancelled or rescheduled.
Take over cooking duties
There comes a time during pregnancy where standing for too long is exhausting. Your wife has worked hard to cook you meals so do her a solid and return the favor. Can’t cook? They have those meal kits that make it easy. No time to cook from your busy schedule? Order takeout of her choosing.
You will be the sexiest man alive for doing this, even just a few nights a week.
Help her plan
All new moms start planning out the nursery but so few dads get involved. It’s really nice when you make the effort to help her decorate. Even if you have no desire to pick things out, if you let her have full reign of choices, then be sure to tell her you’ll put it together with the way she wants. This will make her happy.
Be near toward the end
You have to work to support the family. She knows. But if possible, try not to take any major trips near the end of pregnancy. If you absolutely must, make sure someone she loves can come to stay with her, like her parents, or her sister. If she has a great relationship with your mother, that would also work.
My mother-in-law is wonderfully nice but the language barrier made it hard for us to communicate. She’d come over every day while my husband was at work, and I appreciated the effort but it made me feel more lonely because talking to her was difficult. I hadn’t mastered their language well enough to have more than basic conversations about food.
Speaking of food, she’d make me things that made me gag when all I wanted was a taste of home. So essentially, if you can’t be home, make sure whoever can be there won’t drive her crazy.
Be a dad
Any guy can be the father of the baby, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Dads have a very vital role in parenting too. Don’t just leave it up to her. Be involved and have her back when she needs you.
Keep your ears open
Sometimes, your wife will just need you to listen. If she’s still working and tired, she’ll definitely need you to be supportive. She’ll also need you to listen to her fears and her desires. Be there for her because I can guarantee she is always there for you.
Do the chores
She will definitely go through a nesting period where she’ll want to scrub everything to a shine. Get with it and pick up a rag. Wash the dishes, scrub the floors, do the laundry, or whatever else needs to be done. You live there too. And, do me a favor, please. Make sure that after you have this baby (and if you have any more after that) that you continue to pitch in with chores. It shouldn’t always fall on her.
Go to doctors’ appointments with her
My husband went with me to every doctors’ appointment I had. But there was also a language barrier. Still, I think if we’d been in this country, he’d have come along too. He was very supportive of everything and he liked knowing how the baby was doing.
Help her plan for the delivery
It’s her body so she kind of gets the say in how she wants the birthing to go. Find out what her wishes are and what she’d like to happen if things change. For example, I planned to have an epidural and push out my baby. Then she turned around inside of me while I was in labor.
And guess what? Our plans went awry. We had to go for an emergency c-section at that point.
Together, talk about all the possibilities. How she wants it to go if she could control everything and what you can do to help should plan change.
Pack the hospital bag
You’ll be staying with her too, so pack the bags. Help her pick clothes for the baby to wear, and help her gather everything she needs. Check things off her list as you put it in the bag. She’ll be so happy you’re helping.
Don’t add to her stress
As I said before, I know this is a big change for you, but she is going through these changes too AND she’s having changes in her body. It’s a very stressful time, especially toward the end of her pregnancy when she gets even more uncomfortable. Don’t heap additional stress upon her.
Pleasantly surprise her
Some days, finding a way to be comfortable is a struggle. It would brighten her day tremendously if you did something extra special for her, like bring her flowers or make her absurd food craving of the day for her. A new book, jewelry, or even a card with a sweet note from you will all bowl her over.
Remind her she’s beautiful
Every woman feels like a big, fat elephant when they’re pregnant. Remind her why you love her and that she’s beautiful no matter what. Be real though because she will sniff you out if you’re blowing smoke. We know we’re fatter during pregnancy, but it is a beautiful thing. Remind her that you think she’s incredible for bringing this baby into the world.
But What If He’s Not Supportive?
So what happens if your husband reads this and still doesn’t help? Well, you’ll have to get help from elsewhere. Turn to your friends and family when you need help. Don’t try to take everything on yourself.
This could be a wakeup call if your husband doesn’t come together with you. You may want to get counseling and consider your options. For now, you shouldn’t stress. You should try to take care of yourself and the baby growing inside you first.
Here’s hoping your husband steps up his dad-game and goes beyond your expectations, now and always!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.