- Your partner is a key supporter in you pregnancy and after the birth of your baby.
- Having an engaged partner helps get through rough times and makes the good times great!
- Here are some ways to stay engaged with your partner and ensure they have the support they need.
Having a support system during pregnancy can help to relieve a lot of stress. The many changes can be challenging to manage alone. Be it a friend, spouse or family member, a supportive partner is vital for mom and baby as this person’s support can help you feel happier and create a better overall experience of pregnancy. Moms with engaged, supportive partners experience less anxiety and have less stress in the weeks following childbirth. Babies born in well-engaged environments are often healthier, with fewer growth problems, and lower rates of preterm birth. The support from an engaged partner can make early infant care easier for both partners.
What Makes a Partner Engaged?
Engaged partners are well educated about the pregnancy despite not physically experiencing the process. They attend prenatal care appointments when possible and are a part of significant decisions regarding the baby’s future. Engaged partners take part in the preparation of labor and delivery day planning, as much as possible. A good partner will learn as much as possible to support mom in making decisions, but also knows that during labor, those decisions about her body need to be hers.
What Should They Focus On?
A partner can often take part throughout the pregnancy in two ways: emotionally and physically. There are many options for a partner to provide emotional support and engage a healthy pregnancy with mom. Encouraging affection and giving mom positive affirmations is a great way to increase the bond of the family. Emotional support can be frequent words of kindness or notes reassuring mom’s decisions.
It is important to communicate with your partner. Regular conversations will not only encourage engagement, but it will also give partners a step by step account of the experience. Sharing, even the smallest of details, can motivate partners to be more hands on. More involvement from partners equals more support for moms; it’s a win-win for everyone! Be sure to discuss concerns as well. A good partner can redirect mom’s worries with a much-needed listening ear. This is a team effort, so work through challenges together.
If you have a long-distance partner or your partner is unable to be there for you physically, emotional support for you should be prioritized throughout the pregnancy. Long distance families should call frequently to keep each other updated on all new information from the provider and daily check-ins about how they are doing. Send letters (or texts) that can be used as keepsakes. Share a copy of sonogram photos and information from doctor’s appointments so your partner doesn’t feel like they’re missing out. Make you partner feel included by sharing some of the nesting responsibilities. Remember, it is the small things that matter most!
Research shows that becoming pregnant can provide the encouragement moms may need to quit smoking, drinking and other life choices that will be better for mom and baby in the long run. Partners can reinforce healthy habits by participating in activities with mom such as:
- Taking classes together like our Online Prenatal & Breastfeeding Courses
- Doing a pregnancy workout (Tip: search for free home exercise videos online and on social media to use while social distancing)
- Going on walks together
- Avoid drinking and smoking together
- Making and eating healthy meals together
- Offer massages or other comforting touches
- Help with cleaning, cooking or other responsibilities or take over entirely to ease discomfort
Support does not look the same for every family, figuring out what works for your family may take a few tries. Be creative in your approach until you find what works for you. Every member of the family plays a valuable role, and it all starts with engagement during pregnancy. It’s never too early or late to start and doing so only results in positive outcomes. Regardless of who is in your family, Pickles & Ice Cream urges all moms to build a network of support.
Lacking support or resources? Reach out to the Georgia Family Healthline with your questions or concerns! Call 1-800-300-9003 to speak with a representative that can refer you to a medical care provider or service in your area. Operators are available Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.