How dads-to-be can chip to ease the third trimester of pregnancy!

Pregnant couple sleeping

This is not the time to sit back and watch a sporting event. It’s time to get in the game.

I know you thought you had a few more months before you’d be called from the bench – maybe to change a diaper, make silly faces, or hold a baby while your partner showered. But you were wrong. It’s game time.

Welcome to the third trimester. I’m going to help you figure out the best way to support your partner through the last few months of pregnancy, labor, and into fatherhood.

The first thing you should know is that you are needed. No matter how independent and all-knowing your partner is, she needs you. Together is the best way to enter any situation, especially parenthood.

A HUGE ROLE DAD SHOULD PLAY IN THE 3RD TRIMESTER


Communicate


You want to be on the same page, or at least understand the best you can what she is going through and what she would like for her birth. Talking about your feelings may not be your strong point, but it’s time to start talking. Opening up about your fears and hopes will help her to see that you are an active and invested support partner.

Become Educated about Birth


Read “Husband-Coached Childbirth” and any other childbirth book geared towards you as the partner. You want to skip the “What to Expect” series and others like it because they will not paint the proper picture of pregnancy and birth. You want to know what is happening and how to be there for her.

Exercise Together


She is feeling tired and unmotivated right now, and as her coach, it is your job to help her stay active. Go for long walks together, swim hit the gym, or take yoga. This is a bonding experience as well as a healthy lifestyle habit.

Eat Well


It is hard to reach for the right foods when you are craving something else entirely. While a midnight run for chocolate chip cookie dough is ok once, try to keep your diet in check so it is easier for her. Include over 70 grams of high-quality protein a day and limit or eliminate processed foods. Read more about the Brewers Pregnancy Diet and all of the benefits it poses for her and your baby.

Practice Relaxation Together


The key to a natural labor is relaxation. Practicing emotional, physical, and mental relaxation during the third trimester will help prepare you both for the big day. There are many techniques to try: massage, reading, singing to the baby, breathing rhythms, etc. Try practicing something each night with the goal being to relax her to sleep. Mentally note what techniques she enjoys and throw out the ones that made her laugh. One thing you can do is wake up in the middle of the night and look at her sleep position. This is the time she is in her most relaxed state. Help her try to mimic that position in the evenings when you work on relaxing.

De-Stress


Stress can cause issues with the baby and the pregnancy. Help out however you can so that she feels minimal amounts of it. If you have an argument, work it out. Any internally harbored feelings that aren’t sorted through can disrupt labor and ruin a birth plan. This goes for stress over in-laws, setting up baby items, friendships, fears, finances, work, etc. Speaking of finances, try to take the burden off of her going back to work immediately by taking over bills and money. Try to live off of your earnings and save to allow her the option of extending her maternity leave.

Go Play


If you have the chance to go grab a beer with friends or catch a baseball game, do it. Invite your partner of course, but don’t be disappointed if she would rather lay around. Your world is about to change in the best way possible, and your hobbies may slow down until you all get into a good flow at home. On that note, enjoy a few more date nights together too!

Plan Your Time Off


Talk to your place of work about taking time off for the birth and afterward. Ask for flexibility, as you will either leave when labor begins or call in if it begins at home. Talk to your partner about what she would like. I love that my husband stays home for 3-4 days after we have a baby, and then he takes off 1 day a week for the next month or so. This gives me a break in the middle of the week.

BE INVOLVED in the Birth


Don’t stand against the wall and watch. This is your baby being born! My husband has ‘caught’ a few of our babies and said there is nothing in the world like it.

Partners of pregnant mums can also be a great help in the labor room. They can give moral support to the mum. Furthermore, they can be of help to the doctors as they can position the mum as required.
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