I am a father, and I know that it is almost impossible for me to fathom the biological, physical and emotional changes that happen to a mother during pregnancy.
However, I do understand that it is a process, a magical one, that transforms a woman into a nurturer and carer for life. It’s a process that imbues her with so much tolerance and sacrifice that she willingly puts her child and her family above herself, being completely altruistic in the process.
Motherhood is filled with all kinds of challenges, pregnancy being the first. It’s a trough and crest of feelings, cravings, aversions and bodily changes. Having been through it all besides my partner, I have observed how she and I have coped with all of it, and am thus penning down a few things (that I didn’t know earlier) that may help all the new to-be-daddies out there.
1. Pregnancy Makes Women Overwhelmed And Teary
With all those pregnancy hormones going zigzag, your better half is bound to feel overwhelmed and can shed tears at the drop of a hat. She may yell, get angry and subsequently break down the very next minute.
Now, even though you may be perplexed, confused, or even irritated by this, you have to try and understand that the experience is strange and new to her as well. To add to her perils, if there are other concerns such as running out of groceries, missing targets at work and so on, then dealing with them during pregnancy can make things worse.
So, don your superhero cape and just be by her side. Don’t take her words too seriously and finish off the errands. Listen to her, hold her, cuddle her and things will be fine.
Well, for the time being, at least.
2. Pooping Worries During Delivery
A new mum sharing her experiences of pregnancy and childbirth can give other pregnant women goose bumps, especially, the recollections of pooping during delivery.
Now we all know that women have to push with all their might to get the baby out and if some poop comes out in the process as well, then you shouldn’t treat it as an amusing offside. Spreading out naked in front of doctors and other people is already embarrassing enough, and pooping while she is pushing can really add to it.
In case your partner experiences the same, don’t bring it up or mention any of it. Even a cursory reference to the mishap at a public or family chat can offend her considerably. Avoid it at all costs.
3. Coping With The Physical Changes
First-time dads may feel bewildered and confused with all the bulges, swellings and stretch -marks growing over their partner’s bodies, but you must remember that your partner is also feeling conscious over the same, even more than you are because it is HER body that is undergoing all the changes.
So, if you think that you can make some funny comparisons in jest, just to lighten her mood, you might be taking a wrong turn there. Instead, keep reminding her that she is beautiful and precious no matter how much she puts on, because at the end of the day, she is a to-be mother, and the value of motherhood is incomparable with superficial, external changes.
4. Sex During Pregnancy Requires Patience
As each trimester passes, you will realize that sex will require more thought and consideration. With all the discomfort that the to-be-mum experiences in the mid-section and back area, you will have to make changes to your moves and positions.
It may be frustrating sometimes, but it is a temporary phase. So, talk it out with your partner- what suits her best, what is most comfortable for both of you and then take things forward accordingly.
Patience, communication, and openness can lead to fantastic sex during pregnancy, and I can vouch for that!
5. Witnessing Child-Birth Can Be Overwhelming
You might feel excited about being a birth-partner, but witnessing a child-birth can be extremely nerve-wracking. It is a very strenuous, physical process and you need the mental fortitude to be able to stomach it all.
In case you feel overwhelmed, my suggestion would be to concentrate on being your partner’s emotional support. Hold her close, massage her, soothe her with comforting words and you will be fine.
There is no set parenting manual for learning, un-learning and re-learning about the changes that each pregnancy brings about, but these were just some of the things that I learned in the process of becoming a father.
So, take a cue from the above and brace yourself to be the most supportive partner you can ever be!