Ideas to support your partner
It can be an exciting and scary time waiting to become a parent for the first time. However, partners can often get overlooked with all the attention on the mum and the baby.
Things are going to change for you both once the baby arrives. This might make you feel that you don’t want to miss out on doing the things you’ve always done together.
There are loads of things mums-to-be have to think about while they’re pregnant. Sometimes they want to make changes to their lifestyle to look after their baby’s health. This might mean you giving up some of the things you love doing as well, so that you are supporting each other.
The good news is that helping your partner to have a healthy pregnancy and baby doesn’t have to be hard. It will be a lot easier for her with your help – and there could be some benefits for you too!
Getting ready for the big day
As well as the ideas above about supporting your partner to have a healthy pregnancy, you can also be a great help when the big day finally arrives. Depending on your circumstances and the birth plan you’ve chosen, you could help to pack a bag for mum and one with essentials for you.
Think about who else you need to tell when you leave for a hospital birth and how you’ll get there. Do you need to make arrangements to have older children looked after? If your partner’s having a home birth, you can help to plan and organise this. And have a contact list ready to that you can tell people once the baby has arrived.
Money, benefits and parental leave
Making sure your family is well supported is one way that you can give some more practical help. You could check out what benefits and parental leave you and your partner are entitled to, and help with getting and filling in the forms.
Getting this sorted and knowing your budget for the next few months will be much easier before the baby arrives than afterwards!
Read more about maternity and paternity benefits and leave on NHS Choices
Supporting mum with feeding the baby
Once the baby arrives, if your partner's breastfeeding you can make this as restful as possible and help make her comfortable during feeding. You could bring her something to drink and a healthy snack, or her favourite magazine. And if she’s expressing milk or bottle feeding you could sterilise the bottles, make up the formula and feed the baby instead.
Read more about breastfeeding
Need more advice?
It’s normal for you and your partner to have a lot of questions during pregnancy, especially if it’s the first time. And it’s natural for you to be worried about some things. There’s a wide range of different information and advice to take in. A new baby can mean a lot of change, so talk through your concerns and make decisions together, if you can.
You can get more information and advice at antenatal or parenthood classes, which are usually offered by hospitals. You could try joining a parenting group, or even set your own one up, like the group in the film What To Expect When You’re Expecting – that way, you’ll benefit from others experiences.