There really is no greater test of a relationship than bringing a child into the world. I’d be willing to put my life’s savings on a bet that says the main reasons a relationship will fail is due to the stresses of child rearing. While raising a child together can be the most rewarding, bonding experience for a couple, the stresses, even before a child arrives can cause plenty of heated moments.
Different ideas on child-rearing can surface from the very beginning. Both parents obviously want the best for their child to be but can have very different ideas. However, I really believe that dads need to bite their tongue at times and let a mother’s instinct take over. There is no greater time when a women is more in touch with her body than when she’s pregnant. Feeding your unborn baby through healthy foods or giving in to food cravings is our body telling us what we need. I couldn’t get enough fruit while I was pregnant, it helped with morning sickness and it gave me the energy boost I needed. Unfortunately, I also didn’t want to eat fish – the thought of it just made me sick. My husband could have tried to insist on eating it, knowing how good it is for you and the baby but happily let me choose what I felt like eating. His support was the best thing he could have provided. After all, there are plenty of hormones flying round to easily put emotions out of balance already!
Stress can be one of the worst influences on a mother’s well-being. More and more research is coming out showing that high levels of cortisol can not only make becoming pregnant more difficult but can lead to greater chances of miscarriage. It can also affect the foetus such that babies may be born prematurely and underweight or to even have some developmental delays. This points to even greater importance on the support of a partner during pregnancy. So what are some of the best ways for a partner to help keep mums-to-be calm and relaxed? Here are a few tips which worked for us:
1) Help MORE with the cooking and cleaning. It seems obvious but can often be forgotten. When you’re pregnant, food preparation can often turn you off your food. Sometimes you’re so exhausted that it’s difficult to ensure you eat well.
2) Talk MORE – keep check with your partner on how they’re feeling. Notice if they seem worried and be available and open to chat. An enjoyable way to make this happen is to go out to dinner!
3) Show your interest in pregnancy and babies – borrow or buy books on the topic and share the journey together. It’s important for mums-to-be to feel like they’re not on their own here.
4) Massages – even a 10 minute foot massage once or a couple times a week will not only help with relaxation but also show you care
5) Put conversations about money and household finances on hold if possible. Nothing gets anyone more anxious than worrying about money
6) Treats – whether it be buying a tub of her favourite ice-cream on the way home or perhaps even a gift voucher for maternity clothes to make her feel good, this is a sure-fire way to light up her day!