5 Tips for Supporting Your Partner During a Rough Pregnancy
Not all pregnancies are beautiful. Even when you and your partner are excited about the baby, you may find that you don’t love the pregnancy journey. Some women struggle more with pregnancy than other women do. If your partner is battling morning sickness, depression, or discomfort, she may find it difficult to enjoy the pregnancy. This can make it particularly hard for you, as her partner, to provide her with the loving support she needs to make it through this difficult period of time.
Provide Emotional Support
Pregnancy is an emotional period of time no matter what. The hormones that help the baby to develop can also wreak havoc on your partner’s emotions. But when she’s already suffering from a rough pregnancy, this can be even worse. One of the most important ways you can support your partner is by providing emotional support during this period of time.
In order to provide emotional support, it’s important to understand what your partner is going through. Her whole life, she’s been inundated with messages about what pregnancy is “supposed” to be like. Movies and TV shows might show a woman be ill once at the start of her pregnancy or tease about mood swings, but they rarely showcase the gritty details of very hard pregnancies. Well-meaning family and friends tend to do the same, emphasizing the end result of the pregnancy–the baby–while glossing over the very real struggle that some women have getting there.
As your partner struggles, she may have conflicting feelings about the pregnancy. Even if she’s excited about the baby, there may be a part of her that resents feeling like her body no longer belongs to her. It’s hard to keep up a positive attitude when you feel ill constantly. One of the best things you can do for your partner is to provide her with a non-judgmental space to express any anger or disappointment she may be feeling that her pregnancy is not going as smoothly as she had planned.
Connect Them with Medical Professionals
There are some things you can’t help your partner with on your own. If she’s suffering from depression, nausea and vomiting that lasts all day, or aches and pains that make it hard for her to make it through her day, it may be necessary to reach out to medical professionals to get your partner the help she needs.
Your partner’s OBGYN is a great resource to start with. They can often help you find the resources you need for more specialized care. Dr. Randall F. Dryer, a spine specialist in Austin, TX, can help your partner deal with back pain and learn to protect her back throughout the pregnancy.
Help Them with Housework
Pregnancy fatigue can make it hard for your partner to just get through the day. As a result, housework may begin to fall by the wayside, which can lead to additional feelings of stress and guilt. Even worse, she may push herself to complete housework and then have no energy left to take care of her mental health.
One of the best things you can do is pick up some of their share of the housework, without being asked, to relieve the pressure on them. Remember that they’re working 24/7 to bring a healthy baby into the world, and pick up a little extra work yourself to help them out.
Nest With Them
As pregnancy draws along, your partner may feel the need to get the house in order and nest in preparation for the new baby’s arrival. But while many women feel a burst of energy in their second trimester that allows them to do this nesting, women struggling through a rough pregnancy may have the drive to do this preparation but may not have the strength or energy to follow through.
Nesting with your partner and doing some of the legwork for them is a great way to be supportive. Even if you don’t see the need for making 20 casseroles to keep in the freezer before the baby arrives, doing these tasks that your partner wants to do but can’t do on her own can make her feel more in control of the pregnancy process.
The final–and most important–way you can support your partner during her pregnancy is to have grace with her. There may be times when she snaps at you or is moody for days on end. You may even have moments when you feel like you’re doing all the work in the home, and it can be hard to continue being supportive when it seems like your partner is sick and grouchy all the time.
But think of how you behave when you’re feeling poorly, and remember that it’s no fun for your partner to be struggling with pregnancy, either. This can help you continue to give her the support she needs without taking her moods personally.