If your partner is pregnant and all you can do is to be around and be supportive, then you’ll have to do so in a way that helps her out, not stress her out further. But, how? You might have seen the Pregnancy for Dads article about what to do during pregnancy. This time round, let’s sum up the things you should try to avoid doing while she’s pregnant.
Things men should know about pregnant women: What irks her
When she’s pregnant, these are some of the things that might really touch a raw nerve. We gathered the opinions of mothers about the actions by their partners that they hated the most during pregnancy:
Not helping out around the house or with taking care of the kids
“My belly was so heavy and I had hoped he would take over doing the household chores, but he didn’t.”
“He didn’t help take care of our older kids even though I really wanted him to…”
“I tried not to lose my temper, but he was tempting me by drinking alcohol right in front of me!”
“I wasn’t exactly feeling all that great. Then, he had to add fuel to the fire by going surfing with his friends and leaving me at home all alone!”
“He wouldn’t quit smoking even though I asked him to repeatedly.”
“He was always going out for drinks and coming home after midnight.”
“I couldn’t walk fast as my belly was heavy but he would walk so briskly that I couldn’t keep up.”
“When we ate out, he didn’t really care about whether I could eat or not because of the morning sickness and just ordered what he wanted to eat.”
“I was losing weight because of morning sickness, but he went ‘Isnt’ it great that you’re actually able to diet!’. I was so angry, I had nothing to say to him for a few days.”
“Not once did he accompany to a single check-up throughout the 9 months.”
Being too concerned
“He was such a nag, always saying ‘You’ve got to eat nutritious food!’ but stuffing his face with fast-food.”
“He checked my clothes every day even though I didn’t wear anything tight-fitting.”
Pregnancy is a time where women are especially sensitive, so it’s best to be a little more proactive and try to not do certain things while she’s within earshot or sight. Try to listen to what she’s really saying and try to put yourself in her shoes. Pregnancy isn’t just about you and her – she might be speaking up for the baby too.
Things men should know about pregnant women: Why she’s always upset?
The woman’s body changes drastically during pregnancy due to the hormones secreted in the body. The very same hormonal changes can cause her to change moods quickly as well. Symptoms like morning sickness can also be physically draining.
In the last trimester of pregnancy, the big belly can be a physical burden and the hormones that are secreted then can cause her to feel more anxious than usual. It’s not just the pregnancy itself, she could be stressed out over a couple of things like:
- Anxiety about labor and delivery
- Worried about infant care and how to feed the family
- Not being able to drink, do sports, or indulge in her hobbies as she did before getting pregnant
- Having to hear insensitive comments from people around
- Having to give up her job or not be able to work as she would have liked
- Getting pregnant out of the blue and not being prepared for it
You might not know what’s exactly on her mind or what’s bugging her, but did anything come to mind? You might not have done anything that could have made her angry or upset directly – that might be other underlying reasons. Think it through and have a talk with her when the time is right!
Things men should know about pregnant women: How to change her frown to a smile
It’s only normal for a woman to be displeased with her husband or partner during pregnancy. Of course. You might want to blame it on the hormones, and though you might be working hard day in and day out to bring food to the table, don’t forget that it’s not that easy for her, either. Changes in the body, changes in everyday life and the mental stresses can cause her to envy the freedom and the unchanging lifestyle you have.
The 9 months of preparation to become a mother is something a man cannot experience for himself, so it might be difficult to start preparing to become a father the very day you find out about the pregnancy. Things obviously change when you hold your baby in your hands but it might be difficult for you to understand during pregnancy.
Though you might be feeling a little perplexed as to why she seems so uptight about everything, try to listen and understand, and you might just see her frowns change into smiles. Don’t let your relationship go down the drain just because you don’t take time to listen to her concerns.
Things men should know about pregnant women: Cementing your relationship as a couple and as parents
Remember that first and foremost, the two of you were a couple. Now, your relationship status might change because of “parenthood”, but remember you shouldn’t be neglecting the relationship between the both of you. Here’s what to do to help cement your relationship!
Don’t put the blame on each other
To most women, their partners are their confidants, their soul-mates who listen to everything they have to say and so, they probably let their guards down and show all their insecurities. There’s actually no helping being on the receiving end of such insecurities. Fault the hormones if you’re feeling a little frustrated yourself. As long as you try not to blame her for everything, you’ll naturally start being able to sympathize with her.
Do things together as “parents”
Come up with the baby’s name, accompany her to her check-ups, talk about the future, and when you do things to prepare yourself for parenthood, you naturally show that you’re on the way to becoming a parent. Talk to your friends and learn from their experiences. No one is born a parent – we all learn. So, start learning today!
Learning how to “submit” to her “orders”
She might ask you for favors or command you to do things without any regard for your feelings. Everything you do seems wrong! And, why must she always chide you as if you were a kid?
If you were in the wrong, be strong enough to apologize. If you weren’t at fault, you can try to be the better man and not retaliate, even though it’s easier said than done. Try to stay calm and reply as gently as you can even if you’re riled! She might just come around and apologize for her behavior later if you don’t flare up and let it escalate into a heated argument.
Being the head of the family means knowing how to be supportive
You’ve probably heard time and again that “the men don’t get it” simply because they can’t get pregnant. History also shows us that for the majority of the races across time, men have always been the breadwinner and in charge of the household, and women are responsible for bearing and raising the children. However, you don’t have to subscribe to such beliefs or traditional ideals.
Understand that as a man, you are also mentally affected by the pregnancy, whether you’d like to admit it or not. Start off with a willingness to hear her side of the story and take time to communicate.
During pregnancy, it’s easy for a couple to harbor ill feelings against one another. Don’t let the negative thoughts fester in your mind – turn that negative energy into a positive one. You might want to use that energy to consider how you want to continue building your relationships with your family.