Very often when a couple becomes pregnant, a lot of the "work" in maintaining a healthy pregnancy falls on the mother-to-be. After all, she is growing the baby inside of her. By "work", I mean she has to start watching what she eats (no more raw fish), she has to remember to take her supplements every day, she has to experience the morning sickness and months of water retention and acid reflux.
And yes, while the bulk of the effort falls on the woman during pregnancy, dads-to-be actually play a huge role in ensuring their wife has a healthy pregnancy too. So here's what husbands can do to help their wife have a healthy pregnancy.
Ensuring your wife has a healthy pregnancy
1. Follow her to all her doctor's appointments
Speaking from personal experience, I don't know if it was because I already had so many things on my plate, I would often forget what the doctor says at appointments and sometimes mess up the information they would relay to me.
My husband had a very inflexible job at the time and couldn't be at all my doctor's appointments, leading to a lot of confusion surrounding what the doctor said about the baby's development.
If I could do it all over again, I would put my foot down and force my husband to take leave for every doctor's appointment so he could help keep track of my baby's growth and remind me of what I need to do/when my next appointment was.
It's also important for the husband to find out what questions to ask during an OBGYN visit.
2. Remind your wife to take her vitamins
Sometimes we're so busy, we tend to overlook the small stuff, like taking our daily vitamins. It would go a long way if you can prepare your wife a quick, healthy breakfast and put her supplements out for her so she remembers to take them before you both rush off to work or start your day.
3. Help her with counting kicks
This is something that is both a great bonding activity, as well as a practical method in ensuring your wife has a healthy pregnancy. Choose an hour during the day (the best would be when you both are preparing for bed) and lay down with your wife with your hand on her belly. Feel the baby's kicks and count them with your wife. At the same time, you can sing and talk to your baby so he or she will recognise your voice when they are born.
To better keep track of the counts, you can download theAsianparent app and utilise the kick counter feature.
4. Massage your wife's ankles
We absolutely cannot help it when we experience those dreaded swollen ankles. It would help if you could massage them to get the blood and water flowing, or prepare an Epsom salt bath for us. Your wife will surely appreciate the relief of putting her feet up at the end of a long day!
5. Doing the little things
The dishes, the laundry, the cleaning - these are all things that your wife shouldn't be overexerting herself on during the pregnancy. Try to help out as much as you can so your wife can rest.
6. Reading up on more information
As your wife's pregnancy progresses, so should your knowledge of what her body is going through or what the baby is going through. For instance, you should know that, by the third trimester, your wife should be sleeping on her left. Get your wife a pregnancy pillow that she can use to sleep with. Sleeping on the left side assists in increasing the amount of blood that flows to the placenta and baby.
7. Get involved with the nesting
Your wife will inevitably go through a nesting phase during her pregnancy. Get involved with it when the time comes. In fact, there is a thing called male nesting! Help her with setting up the baby's nursery or sleeping quarters. Do as much as you can to show that you are an involved parent. Not only does it allow your wife to rest while the work gets done, it's also very emotionally reassuring to pregnant women to see their husbands becoming more fatherly during this stage.
You may not realise it, dads-to-be, but by doing all these little things, you are ensuring good mental health and wellbeing for the most important woman in your life. And this is crucial to make sure the mother of your child has a healthy pregnancy so that both of you can welcome a healthy, happy baby to your family.
This article has been originally republished on The Asian Parent