Birthing Support People
Expecting dads, partners, and other support people have a crucial role in ensuring the mom-to-be gets the care and assistance she needs. The life-changing journey of pregnancy and childbirth is an exciting time – but it can also be overwhelming and confusing. Being there for your pregnant partner will ultimately benefit her, your relationship, and your baby.
We have provided an easy-to-follow guide for expecting fathers, partners, and support people on how to help a woman during pregnancy.
- Be involved. Accompany her to preconception and prenatal visits. Prepare questions in advance to ask the doctor.
- Do your research. Learn as much as you can. Read books about pregnancy, childbirth, and being a parent.
- Listen to your baby’s heartbeat. At the end of the first trimester, you can hear the heartbeat and see the development of your baby with an ultrasound.
- Help your partner stay healthy. Assist your partner in maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. A balanced diet should include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat meat and chicken. Set the example by watching what you eat! Help your partner stay away from alcohol and street drugs.
- Quit smoking. Second-hand smoke is bad for both your partner and the baby. Now is a great time to quit.
- Exercise with your partner. Exercise can reduce unwanted pregnancy symptoms, prevent excess weight gain, and boost mood and energy levels. Check with a doctor about the safest kinds of exercise to do together.
- Pay attention to dangerous household products. Keep paint, paint thinner, solvents, and pesticides away from your partner. Don’t let her clean a cat’s litter box.
- Continue to have sex. In most cases, it is safe for a couple to have sex during pregnancy. To avoid sexually transmitted infections, have sex with only one partner who doesn’t have any other partners and/or use a condom.
- Attend childbirth classes together. Waterbury Hospital’s Family Birthing Center holds childbirth and breastfeeding education classes.
- Help plan for the baby. Talk to your partner about what you both want for the baby. Decide where the baby will sleep, shop for necessary items, and review your finances together. If necessary, ask family members or friends to borrow a crib, changing table, toys, and baby clothes. Also check second-hand stores or thrift shops.
- Let your partner rest and lower her stress. Help out around the house by cleaning up, shopping for groceries, and making meals. Take a nap or cuddle together. Talking together about your hopes and plans for the baby can help lower stress.
- Understand changes that are a normal part of pregnancy. Pregnancy causes many changes in a woman’s body and how she feels. Mood swings and fatigue are common.