If you're an expectant parent ― but not the pregnant one ― you may be wondering where you fit in. It's important to be involved in your partner's pregnancy, from going along to the first doctor's visit to being a labor coach in the delivery room.
Here are some ways to be involved in your partner's pregnancy from the start:
Offer to run out and purchase the pregnancy testing kit.
Finding out together is an exciting confirmation that you're going to be parents.
Attend prenatal visits.
Even if you can't make it to all of her visits with her health care providers, try to go to the first visit and one that includes an ultrasound. If you're the biological father, sharing your personal and family medical history with your partner's health care provider can help determine the best prenatal care for your baby.
Talk to your partner.
Partners who are not pregnant often get most of their information directly from their pregnant partners. It's important that the two of you talk about your emotions and her physical sensations as you proceed through the pregnancy.
Get to know your baby.
Talk and sing to your baby while massaging your partner's belly. There's evidence that babies recognize voices and sounds they've heard often while in utero.
Support your partner in a healthy lifestyle.
During pregnancy, team up with your partner to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest. It's not only good for her and the baby, but also it's good for you. If you smoke, don't smoke around your partner, as the chemicals in secondhand smoke can be harmful to the baby. Thirdhand smoke, residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke, can also harm your partner. Children and nonsmoking adults might be at risk of tobacco-related health problems when they inhale, swallow or touch substances containing third-hand smoke.
Learn more about helping your partner manage stress with these tips.