How To Be A Supportive Husband During Pregnancy:
If you are reading this post then most likely, your wife is pregnant and you are wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. Hopefully, you are here because you want to learn how to be a supportive husband during pregnancy.
I know that right now you are struggling with how to help your wife. You love her and hate seeing her tired, worn down and in pain. There is nothing worse then helplessly watching someone you love struggle.
This is a long post, but I’ve got answers. Answers that will help you give your wife the love and support that she needs from you right now.
Let me honest with you for a few minutes.
The pregnant glow, it is kind of myth.
Yeah, you have those good moments in pregnancy land, but overall being pregnant kind of sucks. It is really, really hard, which is why your wife needs you to focus on being a supportive husband during pregnancy.
I struggled with infertility, so when I finally got pregnant at 38 I was ecstatic. I wasn’t looking forward to labor but was so excited that all the issues with the pregnancy itself never really worried me until they started to hit.
One of my biggest frustrations was helping my husband understand the changes I and my body were going through. My husband tried so hard but wasn’t sure how to be a good husband during pregnancy.
In order to be a supportive husband during pregnancy, you have to understand a few things about being pregnant.
1. Being pregnant is really hard.
I know, this one is kind of obvious, but it is such a hard thing to explain to someone who has never done it.
You are constantly tired, you have nausea all the time (morning sickness is such a myth – it is all day), you feel fat, your hormones are crazy, you are constantly hungry. I could go on, but I’m sure you guys get the idea.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Be sympathetic.
It sounds so simple, but what your wife needs it so know that you are there and that you care.
She needs to know that you appreciate the sacrifices that she is making to have a baby.
Take a few minutes each day to thank her for the little things she does. Do something special for her occasionally. I’m not saying she needs flowers every day, but a small gesture of kindness goes a lot further than you think when your wife is pregnant.
If you are struggling for ideas here are a few things I loved when I was pregnant:
- Burt’s Bee’s Belly Butter – I used this stuff faithfully and didn’t have stretch marks. Plus the smell is to die for.
- Preggie Pop Drops – Natural morning sickness drops. They are like cough drops but made a huge difference with morning sickness (and all day sickness). It is hard for a husband to understand how truly miserable morning sickness it.
- All Natural Shampoo – I tried really hard to avoid extra chemicals while I was pregnant and ended up loving this organic shampoo.
If your wife is struggling with morning sickness check out: How does Morning Sickness Feel and What Can You Do About It?
2. I’m really, really trying to eat healthily and exercise, but sometimes I can’t resist my cravings.
I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have any weird craving (no desire for pickles and ice cream). However, I was constantly hungry.
I literally felt like I was eating all the time.
I know that technically you aren’t eating for two, but there were times when I really felt like I was. I would eat a full meal and be hungry an hour later. And when I say hungry I’m taking shaky hungry and desperate for food.
It was crazy!
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Help me eat healthy & exercise
Please understand that your wife is going to be hungry and making comments about her potential weight gain is the absolute worst thing you can do.
What you can do is help with the cooking and the grocery shopping. That way you have a choice in helping to create healthier options. If I had a great healthy meal that my husband had prepared or the choice of junk food, I always went for the healthy food.
My problem was trying to find the energy to cook that healthy meal myself.
You may also consider joining a meal planning service. They are super inexpensive and take all of the thought out of grocery shopping. This is the program I use and totally love it. If you are going to do one super nice thing for your wife, a meal planning service is the best thing ever and at $5 per month is very inexpensive.
Another option is to use grocery pick up services. I use the Walmart Grocery Service (which is free) and seriously love it (especially now that I have a baby in tow). This link will give you a $10 coupon for your first order and I’ll get $10 too – win/win!
If you want to go above and beyond do the meal delivery services like Sun Basket. I would have killed to have had Sun Basket when I was pregnant.
The other thing you can do is go on walks and be active with your wife. Towards the end of my pregnancy, it was such a struggle to exercise, but I wanted to soak up any time I had with my husband before the baby came.
Exercising together was the perfect solutions to both of these issues.
If you don’t have a gym membership or it is too hot/cold to walk create your own gym. There are literally hundreds of free Yoga Video’s online. I also used space-saving home exercise tools like these exercise bands and these light weights to stay in shape. It is amazing how much you can do from home when pregnant.
Related Posts: 4 Ways to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy
On a side note, I got Gestational Diabetes while pregnant (which is miserable). If your wife has Gestational Diabetes you both need to read these posts:
- How to Control Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy Naturally
- Just Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes? Facts You Need to Know
3. I don’t feel pretty anymore
Personally, I think this is one of the hardest aspects of being pregnant. It is really hard to be constantly hungry and yet watch as the scale gradually increases.
I felt awkward in my body and wasn’t happy with how I looked. I felt fat and ugly. Intellectually I know that I looked fine, but it was really hard to get past those feelings.
Even if your wife has put on minimal weight trust me when I say that she still feels fat and ugly. Pregnancy messes with your brain (see point 6).
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Tell me I’m Beautiful
The best thing you can do for your wife is to constantly reassure her. Let her know that you still find her attractive. You are going to need to give her a lot more compliments than normal because inside her hormonal brain she isn’t hearing them correctly.
It needs to be more than just verbal reassurance, I may be in the minority, but actions speak louder than words to me.
I needed those regular physical acts of affection from my husband. I needed him to hold my hand, rub my back, put his arm around me – especially in public.
There is something about those little acts that gives a woman so much reassurance, particularly when she is pregnant and doesn’t feel pretty.
A husbands responsiblity during pregnancy is to help his wife continue to feel special.
If all else fails you can always buy her a new outfit – Here are some of my favorites:
Related Post (for the woman reading this): How to Feel Good About The Way You Look While Pregnant
4. I need help with little things
I’m independent and I hate asking for help. I realized very quickly that this doesn’t work with pregnancy.
I couldn’t lift, reach and take care of some things like I had done in the past. I really hate asking my husband for help and would put it off until that bitter end.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Ask if I need help
Ask your wife, if she needs help with stuff. This is seriously the simplest advice to give, but you’ll be amazed at the little things that she is struggling to do right now. It means so much to a woman when her husband asks what he can do to help.
It is hard to explain, but just knowing that my husband wanted to help and was offering to help make it so much easier for me to let go of my pride and admit it was okay to ask.
5. I’m super sensitive (if you know what I mean)
I struggled with how to include this section, but it is super important. To be super blunt, the female body gets very, very sensitive during pregnancy. It is seriously awesome, but I’m sure my poor husband got a bit overwhelmed with my constant demands for attention.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Help me feel sexy
Enough said about this area, I doubt any of the guys reading this need my advice in this area or you most likely wouldn’t have a pregnant wife.
Just be aware that it happens and take advantage of it. This is also a great way of making your wife feel beautiful.
On a side note, sometimes the female body doesn’t produce as much lubricant as normal during pregnancy. You may want to grab some of this just in case.
6. My hormones are out of wack and I’m going to say and do crazy things
This one kind of shocked me, I knew to watch for postpartum depression but didn’t realize how much the pregnancy hormones affect women during pregnancy.
There were times when my mood swings were seriously out of control. One minute I’m crazy happy, the next I’m stressed about everything and in tears.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Just love me
It is really hard to always be positive and upbeat. Give your wife permission to vent. Let her know that it is okay to talk to you about her fears and concerns.
I know it gets old hearing about her latest fears based on whatever news article she is reading, but she needs to know that you are listening and trying to understand.
Also give your wife a little bit more grace then normal. She is probably going to say a few things that hurt your feeling. I’m not saying you let her take advantage of you, but try and be a bit more patient and loving than normal.
PS. This is often even more of an issue after the baby comes and can easily lead to Postpartum Depression which is super scary. I highly recommend learning about Postpartum Depression so you can help your wife if needed.
7. My body is weird
Let’s just say that pregnancy is gross. You have fluids that leak, your body makes weird noises and don’t even get me starting on the constant need to pee.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Ignore the gross stuff
I know as a husband you think it is completely disgusting and annoying, but just keep your mouth shut and pretend you don’t notice. It is going to be even worse after the baby comes, so just smile and look the other direction.
If you want to go above and beyond order her some of these. Don’t say a word, just say you heard they were helpful.
8. Sleeping when pregnant is really, really hard
All of the other junk is miserable, but when you add lack of sleep to the mix, it seriously takes pregnancy to the next level.
Between the constant need to use the bathroom, the inability to get comfortable and the leg cramps getting real sleep is hard.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Help me prioritize sleep
As a husband, the best thing you can do is help your wife prioritize sleep. Encourage her to nap, turn off distractions in the bedrooms (Phone & TV), set an early bedtime.
Your goal is to help her relax.
On a side note, if you want to make your wife super happy, give her this pregnancy pillow. Use Promo Code: Dailysuccessfulliving50 to get $50 off this pillow. This was seriously the best pregnancy purchase I made. I still struggled to sleep, but at least I was comfortable.
9. I need reassurance
Being pregnant is super scary. Knowing that everything you do could potentially impact the little precious life you have growing inside of you is a huge responsibility. When you combine this fear with the cravings, lack of sleep, crazy hormones and all the other junk that comes with pregnancy, it is hard to not give into your fears.
Most women are also petrified at the idea of being a mother, even if it is something they’ve dreamed about their whole life.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy: Listen to my fears
This is such a hard area to address because every woman has different fears and concerns. I think more than anything it goes back to listening.
Don’t try and solve the problem, just listen.
Most of the time when we are venting, we know we are being irrational and crazy. But those fears are still read and scary. When you listen and let us work out the issues ourselves (by talking) instead of trying to fix it for us, you’ve solved the problem without even realizing it.
Just hold us close and let us talk.
Pregnancy is life changing
Being pregnant is the most amazing experience in the world. I’ve only touched on the hard things. What I really wish I could share with my husband was the amazing good stuff about pregnancy.
Seeing that first little stomach pouch is life changing. Then you start to feel the first flutter of movement inside. They call it butterfly kisses for a reason.
The first time you feel the baby kick is life changing. That is when pregnancy becomes real.
There is a connection to your baby that a husband can’t experience. I wish I could put it into words.
Even though I can’t share all of the physical stuff with my husband, I know that pregnancy brought us closer together. He wasn’t perfect, but most of my list above came from stuff that my husband did that helped me. My husband took his responsibilities during pregnancy seriously.
If you want to learn how to be a good husband during pregnancy, the best advice I can give is to just ask your wife what you can do to help. Your wife needs your love, support, and help now more than ever. Just ask!
PS. If you need more in-depth knowledge I recommend the book, What To Expect When Your Wife Is Expecting. It will answer all those awkward questions you didn’t even know you had about pregnancy.