Advice for Partners For the First Few Months of Pregnancy
Your partner might be one of the lucky women who experiences a text book pregnancy and glides through the experience without a complaint. However, the likelihood is that at some stage will suffer from some pregnancy related aches or pains, a few of which we have detailed below.
She May Feel Fat
She may feel she is putting on weight but not yet looking pregnant, just fat. To you she may look the same, but her trousers may be getting tight and she may just feel bloated and un-sexy. Reassure her that she looks great and you still find her attractive! Try and sound sincere!
Her boobs may be hurting. If so, she will probably tell you and you should not attempt to touch them at all. No matter how good they might look!
She May Feel Exhausted
She may be exhausted in a way that she has never felt before. During the first 12 weeks every part of the baby is being formed. After 12 weeks, the baby is fully formed and there is just growing to do. It is the forming of the baby which can make her very tired, the growing, less so. Your wife is growing the baby a heart, a brain, a rib cage, lungs, fingers, toes, eyes, even hair – hopefully you will see the results of this at your 12 week scan and you will be amazed, but in the meantime, be sympathetic to her tiredness. If she wants to go to bed at 8pm, then let her! Encourage her to have a nap during the day if she can. You can take this opportunity to finish up any DIY projects she may have been nagging you about!
She May Feel Awful
She may be feeling really sick. If she is suffering from pregnancy related sickness then it will not necessarily just be morning sickness, it can last all day and can even be worse in the evenings. She may not feel like cooking or eating, so if she normally cooks for you, you may have to sort yourself out, and make for the ready-meal counter – good training for when the baby arrives!
Feeling tired and sick is not good for libido…so your sex life might take a back seat. This may be a temporary thing and she may be keen on having sex again after any tiredness and nausea have passed. Some women and some men feel odd about having sex during pregnancy. Some are worried about it affecting the baby (which it does not). Some women find their libido drops, perhaps they no longer feel confident about their figures. Some men find it “creepy” especially in the late stages of pregnancy. Some women find it too uncomfortable to do it in the later stages. In some cases, such as where a woman has been diagnosed with Placenta Praevia, your doctor will advise you not to have sex in the last months of pregnancy.
Whatever your situation, you should be prepared that this could be the start of a new phase where sex takes a permanent back seat! After the birth it is not likely that you will not be having sex for at least 6 weeks (often longer, depending on the kind of birth) and even then you will find that there may no longer be as much time or enthusiasm for doing the deed! Having said that, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go on to have a very good sex life after the birth of your children and for the rest of their lives!
She May Have Tummy and Bottom Issues!
She may start to suffer from heartburn. If so, you can encourage her to either buy some Gaviscon from the chemist or to see her GP who will prescribe some for her. You can encourage her to sit upright after a meal instead of slouching on the sofa, and to eat small bits often rather than big meals.
She may be constipated which can be uncomfortable both inside and down below. She may develop piles as a result of the constipation, which may embarrass her and make her uncomfortable. Again you can encourage her to buy some Fybogel and/or Anusol from the chemist or to get it prescribed by the GP. You can encourage her to drink lots of water and eat fresh fruit and vegetables, especially kiwi fruit.
She may need to wee a lot, especially in the night. She may have trouble getting back to sleep afterwards which can be annoying for you both.
She May Feel Emotional
She may be more “hormonal” – she may burst into tears for seemingly no reason. She may seem absent minded or have difficulty remembering things she was usually good at remembering. You can put this down to the “baby brain” phenomenon. Her brain has taken on a new dimension and she is now thinking about not only herself, but also the small human growing inside her. This may sound patronising, but you will never understand this completely – it is a very distracting and all-consuming emotion to experience all day, every day – it just puts a different slant on things. Things that once seemed important, like her career or going to the pub may no longer seem so. Things that once were not so important, like the shortage of money or the crack in the bathroom tiles, may now be enough to reduce her to tears! All you can do is try to be sympathetic.
If she is suffering from any of these issues then she may not feel herself for a while. There is very little you can do apart from be patient with her.
As her pregnancy progresses her aches and pains and worries may change, so make sure you are prepared for that too.