It’s very common for women to feel like their partners are not very involved or invested in the baby during pregnancy. That’s partly down to biology and physiology. Very early on in pregnancy women feel different both physically and psychologically. The first time you feel your baby move inside you (between 12- 20 weeks) is an unforgettable and intimate moment that is impossible to share.
Until your bump starts to show it can be very hard for your partner to fully understand the fact that his baby will be born in a matter of months. Fathers tend to focus their energy on supporting their pregnant partner as, of course, it is a fact that it is the mother’s body that is providing nourishment and oxygen for growing the baby. This is understandable, biologically speaking, since the energy required for a man to fertilise the egg has been calculated as about the same energy required to boil an egg! Whereas the mother provides the energy to create every cell in the baby’s body. This requires a lot of energy and has been estimated that it is equivalent to the energy required to run 20 marathons!
Ways to help your partner feel involved during pregnancy include taking part in couples antenatal classes such as those run by the NCT, or online with Essential Parent, antenatal yoga groups or local active birth groups.
These classes prepare your birth partner to:
You can also help share the responsibility by suggesting your partner takes over certain preparations such as researching and choosing a pram, car seat and baby monitor. If you find that your partner isn’t interested in reading books about baby-care you can always show him our baby care material to watch.
Finally, it is really important that your partner comes along to as many scans as he or she can. These are really lovely opportunities to see your growing baby. If you have rented a Doppler monitor it can also be lovely for you and your partner to relax together on a bed while you listen to your baby’s heartbeat. Your partner might enjoy talking to the baby in your tummy as well. It’s a great way to start the bonding process.
Here are some additional tips from our expert doula and pregnancy osteopath Avni on dealing with stress.