Pregnancy is one of those inimitable experiences that can’t really be explained. There are so many miraculous elements to it that are wholly unique to your body and your baby. Thus, sometimes it’s difficult to know how to help your partner feel a part of your pregnancy. But just because your significant other isn’t experiencing the direct physical and emotional elements of carrying a child, doesn’t mean they can’t feel included and actively participate in the experience. Below are seven ways to include your partner in your pregnancy.
1. Invite your partner to all doctor’s appointments.
Attending all baby-related doctor’s/midwife appointments together is a great way to incorporate your significant other into the birthing process and experience. Listening to your child’s heartbeat, participating in ultrasounds and consulting with your doctor are all events that can bond the two of you together, and create a sense of mutual excitement for your new addition. It also gives your partner the opportunity to consult with your healthcare professional about questions they may have, and also provide a unique perspective on your experience.
2. Take a parenting/birthing class together.
Enrolling in a parenting and/or birthing class together is another great way to create a shared pregnancy experience. Find a class that teaches a method that you both agree on, and go from there. A birthing class is especially important if you are planning on having your partner assist you when you’re laboring. The class will empower both of you and help you feel more prepared for the excitement to come.
3. Collaborate on baby names.
As soon as my husband and I found out we were expecting a baby, the “baby name game” began. (Which game, if we’re being totally honest, isn’t really a game, but just go with me on this one.) Basically, one of us would suggest a name, and that name could either be vetoed outright, or placed on our “maybes” list. If we found a name that either of us liked better than our top “maybes” list name, we’d ask the other if they liked it enough for it to become the new “top” name. So we’d constantly collaborate and listen to each other about different names we’d come across. It was fun to get texts from him or to send him an email with new names, and it was a great way to build a list of options that were ready once we went to the hospital.
4. Write your birth plan together.
Whether you’re planning an un-medicated home birth or a scheduled C-section, creating a birth plan is always a good idea. Though things might not turn out exactly as you plan, it’s always nice to have a framework in place. Creating this birth plan together allows your spouse or significant other to have input on the plan, and also helps them know what is important to you, so they can advocate for you throughout the laboring process.
5. Contemplate a couple’s shower.
One of the most fun parts about expecting a baby for the first time is participating in fun and thoughtful baby showers. If possible, suggest having a couple’s shower that involves your partner. Whether it’s a family shower or a friend shower, it’s a fun way to incorporate them in the celebration. Plus, opening presents is always fun!
6. Work on a project for the nursery together.
I love the idea of picking a unique element of your nursery, and turning it into a project. For my husband and I, it was my daughter’s dresser. We customized it with glass blown knobs that we both picked out, and transformed it to be the perfect dresser/changing table combo. If you like building things, try creating a special shelf or other natural element that would be unique to your nursery. Maybe it’s as simple as painting baby’s room a new color. Regardless, your gesture will be meaningful to the two of you and to your child.
7. Meal-plan ahead of baby’s arrival, and make some meals together.
I don’t know about you, but my spouse is a much better chef than I am. It’s not even close. I wish we had thought of this idea for either of my pregnancies because it’s so smart! By the end of my third trimester, I felt so tired and rotund, that cooking freezer meals did not seem remotely appealing. However, I think that if my husband and I had done it together, it would have been really enjoyable, swollen feet notwithstanding. Plus, it’s another great way to bond before the baby’s arrival.
What are some ways that you included your partner in your pregnancy?