You know what they say – a mom becomes a mom when she gets pregnant, but it can take the other parent until baby is born to embrace their role – but this doesn’t have to be the case!
When you’re pregnant
It can take some partners a little while to adjust to being a pre-parent, so it’s good to let them know what’s going on inside your body – bringing them to healthcare provider appointments and ultrasounds can be a great way for your partner to accept their new role, and bond with their growing baby.
Your partner should also know what to expect in terms of your symptoms, and the assistant’s role they may need to play when you’re uncomfortable, or cranky, or craving a food native to a remote South Pacific island. You should avoid treating them like a servant, but they’re there if you need them.
Labor and delivery
Preparing your partner for delivery can be tough – it is a pretty unique scenario, after all – but it’s important that they know what to expect before it’s go time. Try some of these strategies to get them more confident in their ability to not faint in the delivery room:
- Bring your partner to birthing classes: Attending childbirth classes will help your partner grow more accustomed to what happens during labor and delivery, and will make them a stronger source of support for you while you’re pushing baby out.
- Show them a birth video: Making your partner watch a birth video is a good way to prepare them for what’s to come during labor and delivery. This is a good way to desensitize them before the time arrives, particularly if they’re a bit squeamish.
- Make them read everything: The more your partner knows, the better. There are plenty of books out there for expectant parents to help them prepare for labor, and then Baby.
Once Baby is born
New non-birthing parents may often be unprepared, both physically and mentally, for Baby’s arrival, so the more you can do to help them get ready, the better. Among other life changes, you should make sure your partner can expect the following:
- Changing diapers: Although the idea of cleaning somebody else’s poopy butt doesn’t sound too appealing at the onset, only a parent can understand that changing your own kid’s diaper is simply not a big deal – Baby is a part of you, and so is his poop!
- Midnight walks: Newborn babies quite often do a little more crying, and a little less sleeping than you’d like, which often paves the road for long nights and early mornings spent rocking him to sleep – you should let them know ahead of time that they won’t be able to sleep the day away anymore!
- “Not tonight, friends”: Even if your partner works during the day, their full-time job is about to be parent, and parents frankly don’t have as much time to pal around with their friends as they used to. Make sure they know that Baby is as much their responsibility as yours, and their social life may have to go on a brief hiatus.