What your partner might need from you during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of great physical and emotional change. You'll see tremendous physical change in your partner. You'll also notice that her moods and emotions may become unpredictable.

To better understand what she is experiencing, learn as much as you can about pregnancy.

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, each with its own characteristics. Here are some suggestions about how you can support your partner:

First trimester (weeks one to 13)

  • Help her find time for naps and extra sleep.
  • Bring her soda crackers or toast before she gets out of bed to help reduce morning sickness.
  • Support her efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes exercising, quitting smoking, avoiding drugs and alcohol and limiting caffeine.
  • Help her stay away from dangerous household products and cat litter.
  • Show her your own excitement about your baby.
  • Go to early prenatal classes with her.

Second trimester (weeks 14 to 26)

  • Let her know you understand that her quickly changing moods and strong emotions are a normal part of pregnancy.
  • Support her efforts to plan and prepare for your baby.
  • Talk with her about any personal anxiety or stress so you can deal with added responsibility easier once the baby arrives.
  • Attend prenatal clinic visits with her and get to know her health care provider.
  • Attend breastfeeding preparation classes with her. Research shows that partner support is one of the most important factors in successful breastfeeding.

Third trimester (weeks 27 to 40+)

  • Support her efforts to continue exercising and eating well.
  • Expect her to feel impatient, worried, unsure and excited. Let her talk her feelings through with you.
  • Go to childbirth preparation classes with her.
  • Practice relaxation and breathing techniques for labor.
  • Reassure her that you still find her attractive even though she may not feel she is.
  • If sexual intercourse becomes challenging, find other ways to express your physical love.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/02/2015


Going to a class for expectant fathers will give you helpful information and a chance to talk with other fathers-to-be.

Go to allinahealth.org/classes or call Allina Health Class Registration at 1-866-904-9962 for information.