Guest article provided by: labellebump.com
“When she wants Jelly Beans, buy the Jelly Beans, trust me.” -Mark, two time dad
Whether this is your first time getting the news or you’re a seasoned dad already, pregnancy can be an overwhelming time. Pride, excitement, joy, and absolute terror are just a few of the emotions running around in your head while you spend the next nine months trying to figure out how the heck to be a dad, and what the heck a baby bjorn is.
So here is a not-so-comprehensive list of ways to be the supportive partner she needs and advice from real dads (we asked and they were happy to share), while you both navigate the craziest 40 weeks of your life.
Ask Her How You Can Help
I know, this seems too easy, but hear me out. She is going through this for the first time too. Even if it’s not her first pregnancy, most pregnancies are completely different so she’s figuring it out as well. Sometimes just asking can be the best thing you can do.
“Maybe it’s cliché but it’s never more important to humble yourself and admit that you have no idea how to support your partner, so this is the time to ask what you can do. Realize that you think you’re bending over backwards to support them in every way you can think of, but there is some pressing need they have you couldn’t possibly imagine. Remember this is their first time going through it as well and they may ask for one thing, and change their mind two minutes later, and ask for support in a different way. They’re figuring it out as they go. Everyone is just trying to do their best.”
Help Her Stay Healthy
Let me be clear here. I’m not telling you to turn into her personal trainer or insist she workout. BUT, pregnancy can take a lot out of you and it can also be easy to fall into the ‘eating for two’ trap. It’s hard to stay on track when your partner is chowing down on a juicy cheeseburger. So, instead of stopping for fast food on the way home, try making some healthy meals that she’ll love and offer to go on walks or whatever activity level she’s comfortable with. Playing an active role in a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to helping her feel good. (But if she asks for a cheeseburger, go get her a cheeseburger).
With all the prego books out there, I feel like it was more important to support her individualized pregnancy rather than following a “what to expect at this stage” type of book. Each time their body probably won’t react the same, their cravings will change, the way the baby sits might change, their goals through pregnancy should be able to change with each situation as well. They can and definitely will benefit from reading all those books but in the end, trust themselves and their bodies. I would also say, postpartum is far more common than people talk about or expect and if it occurs it’s ok, what’s not ok is thinking it’ll just go away on its own.
Help With the Shopping (Even If You Don’t Want To)
We know, shopping, especially for baby stuff, isn’t always the most invigorating way to spend a Saturday afternoon but it’s got to be done. You’ll never feel more lost than when you’re trying to decide on a car seat or which stroller you need. Do you even need a diaper warmer? What the heck is a Frida Baby (it does WHAT?!).
There seems to be a million decisions you have to make in the weeks leading up to the baby’s arrival so make sure you’re doing your part. She is dealing with a perfect storm of hormones and emotions, a growing bump, and an increasingly difficult time doing everyday tasks, so make sure you’re helping pick out the crib.
Make Sure She Feels Beautiful
Impending parenthood can be scary, but imagine awaiting the arrival of your little human while your body changes, your hormones take control of your emotions, and everything you do can affect the baby growing inside.
Offer kind words and help. Make her feel loved and beautiful. Kindness and empathy go a long way during this time.
One of the hardest things to do when you’re pregnant is finding clothes that fit through the entire process (and into nursing after the baby arrives). Noone wants to spend a ton of money on clothes you’ll wear for a short time when you could be spending it on cool baby gadgets. So why not rent clothes instead? La Belle Bump offers an unlimited monthly rental service for maternity and nursing clothes that keeps her feeling stylish and comfortable and keeps your closet clear of a mountain of expensive pregnancy wear. The best part? You don’t even have to do the laundry, just return them for free and wait for the next box to arrive.