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Involving Your Partner

You've said your final good-byes at work. You've outfitted the nursery. You've had your baby shower. Now you're intently focused on those little Morse code taps on your belly.

When you're so intently focused, you may forget that your partner might be making his own emotional odyssey as your due date draws ever nearer. While you're fending off well-meaning comments from friends or sidestepping nosy strangers who want to pat your belly for good luck, he might be withdrawing, scared by his own rocky moods as he sees your body become unrecognizable. He may be feeling anxious or ambivalent about your new attachment to a person who seems extremely abstract to him at the moment or terrified of what you've both gotten yourselves into.

Get him involved by talking to him about how he can best support you during delivery. Here are some important tasks he can tackle:

  • Keep you company during early labor when you'll likely still be at home. Take a walk, rent a movie to watch together, or take a nap.
  • Rub your lower back.
  • Help you get into and out of the shower or tub.
  • Feed you ice chips and frozen fruit treats.
  • Give you a massage.
  • Time your contractions and talk soothingly to you during the rest between contractions.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy

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