3 Questions Dads Should Ask Their Pregnant Partner
So your partner is pregnant. This can be both a thrilling and confusing time in both of your lives. Pregnancy can and will change many things, so it’s best to start out with a little knowledge. There are many helpful books available, as well as materials that your local doctor’s office can refer to help you understand what is happening. Once you’ve got the biology covered, the next step is communicating with your partner.
After a positive pregnancy test, here are the questions a dad should ask their pregnant partner.
How do you feel about this pregnancy?
Depending on your current life situation, a pregnancy may be celebrated or it may also feel like a disaster to the woman. Some fear is normal with even the most welcome news, so try not to be disappointed if the initial reaction isn’t a video-worthy set of smiles. Bringing a new human into this world is a big job, and it’s ok to feel nervous about such a task. If your partner is ready to celebrate, “live it up” a little and help her plan a way to announce this news to the world. If your partner is unhappy about this situation, first ask why this isn’t good news for her. Perhaps she’s worried about her financial situation or her career. She may be worried she’s too young and has no family support, or perhaps she has health issues that may be a concern.
For those who have apprehensions about pregnancy, check with your doctor to discuss medical issues and ask your doctor for a referral to a social worker to help deal with additional problems. No matter how you feel, you may be surprised by the support available in your community.
How do you feel physically?
It might seem obvious, but you need to check in with your partner about how their body feels as it deals with this new situation. There are many common first trimester symptoms for pregnant women. Ask if their stomach is ok and if any particular food sounds good — or bad. Avoid eating foods that smell super strong around her for a while, as pungent aromas can help trigger nausea and sick stomach. Check to see if she has a headache or is overtired, both common complaints during this time. There are many available over the counter morning sickness options, but be sure to follow your doctor’s guidance on what is and is not safe to take.
What can I do to help?
This seems like a simple question, but it can often make all the difference. Don’t assume you know what will make your partner feel better because it might be quite the opposite. Ask if you can bring them some food, run them a bath (not extra hot), or offer a backrub while watching their favorite tv show. The beginning of pregnancy is often marked by overall irritability and just not feeling great, so any support you can provide will help them along this path. As a new father, stopping to ask what is needed will also help your communication as a team once the baby arrives, so it’s really a win-win strategy.
Being a new father is definitely a big deal, but it’s also a big opportunity. Check in with your partner regularly by asking questions. Ask how she is feeling about being pregnant, what is making her worry, and whether she feels sick or tired. See what you can do to help make any of these issues better and provide support.