Take initiative and be sensitive: What we wish our partners knew during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a strange and exciting time – but it can also feel a little lonely. Your partner is of course there with you throughout it, but your body can feel like it goes through the journey alone.
It’s an indescribable journey that is unique to each and every one of us – but we want to take our partners on that journey with us. There are a few things we want them to know that we’re going through during this amazing and confusing time.
After a while, we hope you’ve started to notice our tells and signals. We need someone who can anticipate our needs and help us fulfil them during this time when we’re so all over the place and probably lacking sleep that we don’t quite know what we need ourselves. For example, it’s nice when you know our cravings and have some of the food stocked and ready for us when they hit. Or anticipate that our bladder isn’t what it used to be, and have bathrooms handy and nearby if we’re out together. Knowing we can’t quite bend to reach those parts of the kitchen or bathroom that need a good scrub at a certain point in the pregnancy and taking the lead. We don’t want you to read our minds – just to want to help and to notice when we need it.
Build us up
We may or may not be feeling very sexy right now – the majority of us aren’t. Our body has changed completely on the space of a few months and the things we once wore no longer fit. So of course we’re feeling a little fragile and insecure about ourselves at this point. Letting us know that you love us and our bodies regardless of what changes we both undergo is the little bit of reassurance we need. Some unprompted affection, some indication that you love us just as much now as before is very necessary during this time when we’re feeling utterly self-conscious.
Understand I’m feeling sensitive
On that same note, with our bodily changes come humour changes. Our hormones are running wild and what might seem like a throwaway comment can sometimes leave us in tears. We’re sensitive right now – we’re growing an entire human! – not to mention probably lacking in sleep, energy and confidence. Everything can seem heightened, our moods can easily switch and we need a little more understanding from you than usual. Know that usually, it isn’t us – it’s the hormones and we need you to maybe let a few things slide here and there.
Come on our bodies' journey with us
Our bodily changes can be exciting – but a lot of the time they can also be painful, frightening and confusing. Finding out what’s normal during pregnancy and what isn’t requires lots of reading and research, and we’d like you to be up to speed with the whole process to help and reassure us as our body takes this journey, from start to finish. It can help us feel less alone in it and reassured that it’s perfectly normal and natural for all these seemingly strange changes to take over your body.
Sometimes we just need to vent
We don’t always want you to fix things. If we complain the baby is pressing on our bladder, that the morning sickness is driving us crazy, that the swelling in our ankles never seems to go down – we don’t necessarily need you there telling us what to do to fix it. We need a little sympathy, a listening ear, a ‘that’s awful, you must feel miserable’. Validation of our concerns and complaints goes a long way, and easing our pain in other ways is always appreciated. When we haven’t been sleeping well, the making of chamomile tea is a super sweet gesture, or a foot massage for our swollen ankles. But mostly, we just want you to listen and be there with us through the highs and lows of the whole journey.