7 (More) Ways to Include Your Partner in Your Pregnancy

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ve probably read our first post about seven ways to include your partner in your pregnancy. Today, we’re back with seven more ideas, to help your partner feel the excitement and experience of preparing for your baby to arrive.

 

1. Plan a birth announcement/gender reveal party that focuses on the two of you.
Collaborate on fun ways to announce that you’re expecting, whether it’s a “We’re expecting” card, or a fun social media proclamation. If you’re into the whole gender reveal party trend, plan it together to up the fun factor. And make sure you have someone on hand to document your reactions.

2. Help his friends plan a “Dadchelor” party. 
This is a fun way to give your partner a fun night out with friends that can also be about the baby. Help or encourage them to plan a night at his favorite restaurant, or get tickets to his favorite sporting event. Or have a fun barbecue in your backyard… baby-themed decor optional, of course.

3. Register for baby items together. 
If you’re married, this is a fun throwback to when you registered for wedding gifts, and it’s also a great way to jointly select items for your baby. That way, you both can discuss your thoughts about what baby needs, and decide together. Also, using the scanner is super fun.

4. Jointly write your baby letters in a journal or blog. 
Take it week-by-week, and write your unborn child letters about how you feel about her and her impending arrival. Document these in a physical baby book or on a private blog. Trust me, these will be treasures both before and after baby is here.

5. Read a baby book together.
Reading a baby book together (like this one) is a wonderful way to plan for your baby’s arrival together. It can also open a dialogue about expectations and goals that can be really constructive. Be open to your partner’s suggestions and don’t be afraid to try things that you might not have considered on your own. After all, you’re a team!

6. Plan a Babymoon
Make room on your schedules for some quality one-on-one time before baby. Whether it’s a staycation at home or a fun destination location, take the time to bond and talk, because your dynamic will change once the baby comes home.

7. Ask him to baby proof the house. 
This is an especially good idea if your partner or spouse likes to be handy, as he can install all the baby gates, doorstoppers and outlet covers throughout your home. Nesting activities like this help create excitement for the new baby, and make her forthcoming debut all the more exciting.

 

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Must-Read Books for the Dad-to-be

Like any other job or responsibility you have in life, it’s important to be educated, knowledgeable, and prepared to do your best in your role as a father, and reading books about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood is a necessary part of that job training. Although pregnancy is a shared experience between a mom and dad, it presents different needs and challenges for each. So here are 9 of the best books out there for dads-to-be.

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads to Be (available on Amazon here)

  • This is the go-to for dads, the classic, or “bible,” if you will. Start here to get a good, general idea of almost everything related to pregnancy, delivery, and life with a newborn.

 

Taking Back Childhood (available on Amazon here)

  • A modern, up-to-date parenting book with advice on situations relevant to today’s world, like the bombardment of media in our lives, and encouraging creativity in children who attend regimented schools.

 

The Reluctant Father (available on Amazon here)

  • A brutally honest look at one father’s journey of bonding with his new baby. Because it doesn’t always happen immediately or naturally, and babies are very much strange creatures that require skills that we have yet to develop. And that’s okay.

 

Dad’s Expecting Too (available on Amazon here)

  • This book is awesome because it gives real stories from dads on almost every topic you could think of. With trivia, Q&A sections, and eye-catching sidebars you’ll find this an easy read filled with helpful information.

 

The Happiest Baby on the Block (available on Amazon here)

  • Everyone recommends this and for good reason. It gives you applicable advice and actual skills to practice that you’ll actually be able to use in stressful or tricky situations.

 

Your Pregnancy for the Father-to-Be (available on Amazon here)

  • This book was written with the unique needs and concerns of Fathers in mind. From explaining some of the terms and situations that occur during childbirth to offering tips on how to support your pregnant partner, this book is a great resource to have on hand for fathers-to-be.

 

The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions (available on Amazon here)

  • If you read this, you’ll be well-prepared during the labor for all of the stages, procedures, and probably most of the terminology you’ll hear, as well. Being empowered with knowledge during childbirth will help you better support and make decisions with your wife, so this book is a must.

 

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy (available on Amazon here)

  • This is a straightforward and helpful book with tips and advice about various scenarios without scaring you or stressing you out.

 

Dad’s Playbook (available on Amazon here)

  • A sports-themed book may seem stereotypical, but the truth is a lot men (and women) enjoy sports and can relate to the analogies, so don’t bypass the wisdom found in this book. With quotes from some of the greatest coaches of all time, this book inspires fathers to be the best dads they can be.

 

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Pregnancy Reveal Ideas – Summer Style!

The explosion of colors at sunset, the lush green meadows of grass, the soft sandy beaches, and the bright flower beds all make for beautiful photo opportunities during the summer. And if you’ve been waiting to reveal your pregnancy, why not take advantage of these unique summer backdrops to reveal your pregnancy – summer style! Here are some summer-inspired pregnancy reveal ideas.

Feet with baby sandals

A popular pregnancy reveal method is setting out a pair of baby shoes next to mom and dad’s shoes. Use this idea with a summer twist by buying baby flip-flops and setting them in the sand. You could also do this with baby swim flippers, or a baby swimsuit.

Don’t eat watermelon seeds

The old joke about eating watermelon seeds makes for a witty and cute pregnancy reveal, especially during the summer when bright red, juicy watermelon is abundant. Slice yourself a nice, ripe wedge of watermelon, take a big bite, and have someone snap a picture. Then add some simple text, like “Uh-oh, I must have eaten a watermelon seed. Baby watermelon coming November 2017!”

Expecting a little firecracker

There are a lot of cool pictures you can take of fireworks, so use the firework-happy holidays to announce your pregnancy. Hold a sparkler out in front and take a photo, with the caption something like, “expecting a little firecracker this September!” This could also be fun if you have other children. Have each of them hold a sparkler, then add the caption,” adding another little firecracker to the family this September!”

Name in the sand

If the beach calls your name each summer, use it as an opportunity to take a special pregnancy reveal photo in the sand. Write your baby’s name in due date, or even just something like, “Baby [last name] coming October 2017.” You can do a lot with this idea, like standing in the background with your partner kissing, with the focus on the words in the sand. Another cute idea is to extend this photo opportunity into an annual photo, taking a similar picture each year with your baby as he/she grows.

Outdoor balloon photoshoot

Bright, colorful balloons against a vivid blue sky with puffy white clouds is a very picturesque summer scene. Consider taking maternity photos incorporating bright balloons outside to announce your pregnancy. You can write on the balloons, or simply hold them while touching your belly. Adding other children, perhaps with each holding a balloon, and then a balloon tied to something floating next to the children to indicate another baby being added to the family, is an adorable idea.

Empty beach chair

Set up your beach chairs on the beach, and get a head start on your baby’s summer gear by buying a child-sized beach chair and setting it up next to yours. Take a photo with the caption, “Another [last name] beach bum coming October 2017,” or something to that effect.

Baby Bike

Family bike rides are a favorite family past time for many families during the summer, so get your baby involved while you’re still pregnancy starting with your pregnancy announcement. Buy a small tricycle, bike, or scooter and tie it to the back of yours. Strike a cute pose on your bike, and use this to announce your upcoming arrival.

Message in a bottle

Another fun beach idea is to place an ultrasound photo in a nice glass bottle with a cork, creating a “message in a bottle,” scene. Lay it in the sand with the ultrasound visible, and write your due-date in the sand in front of the bottle.

Disney-inspired

There’s nothing like the magic of Disneyland during summer vacation, so give baby a taste of the magic before his/her arrival by staging a disney-inspired pregnancy reveal. You can buy adult-sized mickey ears, and place baby-sized ears next to them. If you’re able, you could even take the photo at Disneyland or Disney World next to a Disney princess or prince, ask them to pose by pointing at your stomach or something to that effect, and add a caption that says something like, “Our own princess will arrive in September 2017.”

Did you announce your pregnancy during the summer? What other summer-inspired pregnancy reveals do you love?

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16 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant 

I’ve taken 12+ hour road trips while pregnant, and flown on a cross-country flight while pregnant.

I wouldn’t recommend doing either, but traveling while pregnant is not always avoidable, and sometimes can be a nice break if you do it right. With a few extra preparations and manageable expectations, you can travel (somewhat) comfortably while pregnant.

Here are 16 tips for traveling by car or plane during pregnancy.

By Car

  1. Factor in several stops. Your bladder isn’t going to slow down for your road trip, so add some time to your ETA to factor in a few bathroom and stretching breaks.
  2. Wear very loose, comfortable clothing. Tight clothing is your enemy on a road trip (for any person, but especially those who are pregnant). Wear loose pants with a loose waist band (I personally would opt for draw-string rather than elastic so you can loosen it up if you want).
  3. Leave space for stretching out. Make sure you sit in the car as you pack to make sure you have plenty of leg room and reclining room. Consolidate and leave gear behind if you must, because you won’t last very long if you’re cramped and uncomfortable.
  4. Pack craving snacks. Bring a cooler stocked with your favorite snacks and drinks. Try to avoid too much caffeine so that you can rest and avoid unnecessary bathroom stops.
  5. Bring your body pillow. Yes, it will take up a lot of room, but you will be so glad you did when you don’t have to rest your head against the window to sleep.
  6. Anticipate car sickness. Even if you don’t have morning (afternoon, evening, night, etc.) sickness, you could still become nauseous from the motion of the car. Pack some nausea meds that are safe during pregnancy just in case.
  7. Drink a lot of water. Cars can get hot and stuffy, and it’s easy to skip the water in favor of sugary and caffeinated drinks on road trips. But during pregnancy your body requires a lot of water, so make this a priority.
  8. Wear your seatbelt. As uncomfortable as it may be, you must keep your seatbelt on and worn appropriately at all times.

By Plane

  1. Look into an easy security check option. Many airports have express security lines that don’t require the same protocol as standard security, making it much easier for passengers to get through quickly and comfortably.
  2. Check as much luggage as possible. While it may sound like a good idea to take as much as you can in carry-ons and personal items to avoid baggage fees, that extra $25 is a small price to pay to avoid lugging a lot of heavy bags around while pregnant.
  3. Wear slip on shoes. If going through security in an express lane is not an option, wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, as bending over isn’t exactly easy when you’re in your third trimester.
  4. If your seats aren’t assigned, talk to someone at the gate immediately to try to get a comfortable seat on an empty row or next to an empty seat. You will want the extra room and vacancy in case you need to make frequent trips to the bathroom.
  5. Stock up on snacks beforehand. You are allowed to bring food through security, so pack your favorite snacks before you get to the airport so you can avoid airport food prices and not have to rely on airplane pretzels for nourishment.
  6. Bring a sleep mask for long flights. Sleeping on flights is not easy, but if you bring a sleep mask you are better able to block out your neighbors reading light or iPad screen.
  7. Bring your own pillow (or two). Many airplanes only have small lumpy pillows, so bring your own. They make these awesome new pillow wedges that strap on to the seat in front of you so you can lean forward into the pillow and avoid neck-flopping, so I’d consider one of those.
  8. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Much like the road trip situation, airplanes require a lot of sitting and waiting in a tight space. Loose clothing is your friend on airplanes, but I would suggest wearing layers because airplanes can be very stuffy, but my feet always seem to be cold on airplanes. Be prepared for both.
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