Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. Your partner has a new life growing inside of her. As a new parent, you’re probably reading book after book and article after article about how to prepare for pregnancy and the new baby.
One of the best things to know is that you’ll learn the most as you experience it. Every pregnant woman is different and has different experiences. Plus, the same woman can have two different pregnancies in her lifetime. Not everything you read will pertain to your partner, but there’s a good chance that at least a few of these things will happen.
Having a baby can bring on so many new emotions. There’s excitement, nervousness and worry, but once you bring the baby home after a long nine months, you’ll be loving every minute of raising your child. Here’s what dads need to know about pregnancy so they can help their partner through it all.
Hormones Vary Throughout the Day
A pregnant woman has a change in hormones from the beginning of the pregnancy and well after birth. Throughout the pregnancy, your partner will likely experience sudden increases in progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones affect a woman’s mood, alter the impact of an activity on the body and help develop your baby.
After a few weeks of your partner being pregnant, you may think that you have her moods figured out, but you probably don’t. These hormone changes can bring on nausea, an increased appetite, skin changes, new hair growth and even more.
Your Partner May Experience Morning Sickness
Those same hormones previously mentioned also have a lot to do with morning sickness. During the first trimester, your partner will have a rapid increase in levels of estrogen. This is usually what causes nausea and upset stomach feeling. One good thing to know is that although it’s called “morning” sickness, the sickness can happen at any time of the day.
Help her by providing her with bland foods, ginger or ginger ale, and smaller, more frequent meals. If you notice that the symptoms are severe and your partner is becoming dehydrated, then talk to the doctor about it. Additionally, be emotionally available for her. Usually, morning sickness wanes after the first trimester.
Cravings Are Real
Thanks again to hormonal changes, your partner will have some severe food cravings. However, she may also experience cravings because of nutritional deficiencies. Maybe you think pickles and peanut butter shouldn’t go together, but if that’s what she wants, try to provide it for her! It might even be fun if you try all of the pregnancy cravings as well.
You don’t always have to get your partner the exact meal she’s looking for — even though she may demand it. Sometimes, if she’s craving something salty, sweet, or chocolatey, you can get something in that category. Try to help her keep cravings on the healthier side.
There Will Be Back Pain
As your baby grows, your partner will experience aches and pains, especially in her lower back. It’s a standard part of pregnancy for most women. After childbirth, the back pain subsides, but you can help your partner feel more comfortable during those nine months.
Weight gain, hormones, gravity, and stress all contribute to back pain. Remind your partner to keep good posture, take breaks when needed, get a massage, exercise, or even meditate to relieve some pain.
Your Partner Will Gain Baby Weight
Your partner will gain baby weight. It’s something that happens with every pregnancy. Usually, the average woman gains anywhere from 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. She is eating for two and has a growing human inside of her, so gaining weight is expected.
Remind your partner that she is beautiful, and know that you’re not eating for two! If she’s worried about gaining too much weight, help her to eat healthy meals, drinking a lot of water, doing some simple exercises, and reminding her, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while. Growing a baby is hard work, so she should eat moderately and often.
There’s Frequent Urination
You’ve probably heard this before, but if not, your partner will be urinating more frequently. Increased frequency is often an early sign of pregnancy, and it continues throughout the pregnancy. An increase in hormone levels produces the urges to urinate, especially in the first trimester, but the urges decrease in the second. Once again, in the third trimester, your baby will grow faster, and it presses more on your partner’s bladder, meaning frequent trips to the bathroom.
Additionally, your partner might experience urinary leakage. When she coughs, sneezes, laughs or exercises, some urine may leak out of her bladder. This is all normal. If you’re planning a road trip shortly, be sure that you frequently stop for bathroom breaks!
Support Your Partner Through the Pregnancy
There will be ups and downs throughout the pregnancy, but it’s part of the journey to becoming a parent. Be supportive of your partner, and know that every pregnancy is different. Use these tips so you know some of what to expect these next few months.