Your partner does not have the actual human life growing inside them, and therefore, they might feel slightly detached from the process. If youʼre attending prenatal appointments alone due to their work schedule or other children, it is especially important to include them in other ways. There are many methods in which you can include your partner throughout your pregnancy and make them feel like an active team member for the birth process.
● Recommend readings that can be helpful for him or her.
Offer some good reads to prepare your significant other for the birth. The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin is an excellent read for partners to help during labor. If they are not a big reader, look into podcasts or informational YouTube channels.
● Ask for their assistance on setting up a budget.
If your significant other is more a numbers person, set them on a mission to develop a budget. Assigning them a task to pioneer can increase their belonging in the pregnancy.
● Incorporate them into all your appointments.
Some staff members overlook the partner and purely focus on the mother-to-be. This is defeating for your partner. Make sure to invite them to your ultrasounds and encourage questions. It can make it more real for them if they see their baby on the screen.
● Encourage your partner to add to the registry.
You may have your eyes set on certain onesies or cute sweaters, but allow and welcome your partnerʼs input. Recognize their perspective and encourage them to participate in the registry.
● Take childbirth education together.
Childbirth education is a great tool, not just for a first birth. The more information your spouse has for the birth, the more confident they will feel with the process when you are in labor.
● Consider a breastfeeding basics class.
After babyʼs arrival, if you choose to, breastfeeding is a tough feat. Your partner can attend classes to learn how to best help you and practice paced bottle feeding with baby. These classes donʼt only discuss information for the breastfeeding mother. The curriculum is very helpful for the partner as well.
● Have an activity you both participate in for baby.
Some parents like to work on a scrapbook of ultrasound pictures and important moments from conception until birth. Others prefer to strive to have the most stylish kid on the block. Whatever the project. Use this as a time to spend time bonding together over the impending arrival of the little one.
● Read a baby book together.
There are baby books for every phase of pregnancy, labor and beyond. Take a few minutes each night to read a chapter or few pages together of an agreed upon book. This increases communication and makes sure you are on the same page regarding the birth.
● Make your birth plan as a team.
Your birth plan is there to make you more comfortable as the laboring mother, but donʼt forget to include your partner in on the decisions. Does he or she want to cut the cord when the time comes? How about skin-to-skin if the mother is unavailable. These considerations help your partner engage in the process.
● Find your perfect doula together.
Encourage your partner to come to our doula speed dating events with you. Doulas are a part of the birth team with you and your partner. You need to make sure she is a good fit with both of you for an empowering birth.
Invite your partner to participate in many phases of the pregnancy, birth and postpartum periods. With your patience and encouragement, they will feel like a more active and involved member of the process.