Expectant Moms and Dads Have Different Experiences
Currently, expectant moms and dads often say, “We are pregnant” and indeed they are. The woman is carrying the baby bodily. The man is carrying the baby by watching his partner’s body grow and change . Both, however, carry the baby emotionally. It’s important for both expectant parents to be able to share their experiences, so they feel connected and reassured. But how do they do it from their different perspectives?
7 Tips for Expectant Moms
about Empathizing with Expectant Dads
1. It’s a safe assumption that your guy may feel a bit out of the loop. Tell him how you experience different trimesters in as much detail as he seems to want. Invite questions and offer sensitive responses.
2. Invite your guy to come to obstetric appointments. Consider both your schedules when planning those doctor visits.
3. After doctor visits, try not to rush back to your respective day’s plans, but have time to talk about your feelings
4. Recognize that your partner may have hormonal changes during your pregnancy and even some weight gain.
5. If your husband seems emotional about random events, consider these reactions may be displaced from hidden overwhelming feelings about becoming a father.
6. Encourage your partner to talk with other expectant fathers. Help him find a community through your childbirth classes.
7. Some men don’t like being called baby “coaches” in child birth classes because they feel their title of Dad is being minimized. Be sensitive to this possibility.
7 Tips for Expectant Dads
about Empathizing with Expectant Moms
1. Some women act as if their pregnancy is under control, but underneath they can be feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility to eat well, exercise, and get enough rest while still carrying out their daily routines. Let your partner know how hard all of this is.
2. Enjoy knowing that when you take care of your partner’s physical needs, you are also taking care of your baby’s needs. Let your partner know you feel this way and it will bring you two closer.
3. Show your wife you are as interested in the medical staff as she is. Share in learning about obstetrics and visiting the location where the child birth will take place.
4. Let your partner know how you feel about becoming a father. Explore how you view your roles as similar and different. This involvement will bring you closer together while preparing you for the future.
5. Your partner may become self-involved because of the overwhelming nature of becoming a mother and being physically pregnant. Be sensitive to her preoccupations with pregnancy. It’s not an attempt to leave you out. Don’t take it personally, invite her to share her experiences.
6. Nurture your relationship. Your relationship is gradually changing because of the expectation of another being part of your twosome. Or, if you already have children, your time together is limited. Invite your partner to go out with you alone as often as is feasible. Let her know this matters to you.
7. Speak often about how you are feeling about embracing fatherhood. Expectant mothers need to feel they are not in this alone.
WHEN WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH
Sometimes words are not enough. Even when your partner seems into his or her own space, offer affection, cancel unnecessary plans just to be together, find new places to take a walk or drive to, quietly hang out. Those times go a long way to help you both feel you are into each other as a couple and thus can look forward to this new life-giving, life-time adventure as a bonded pair.