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What your partner might need from you during pregnancy

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 their moods and emotions may become unpredictable.

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

Second trimester (weeks 14 to 26)

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

Third trimester (weeks 27 to 40+)

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

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, eighth edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/06/2021