You may have a great partner who loves you and loves kids and is
super-positive and excited about the whole pregnancy and postpartum thing.
Still, there are things they just don’t get.
Let’s go through what your partner may not understand about your pregnancy
and postpartum experience. (Grab your partner to go through this with you
or on their own!)
Pregnancy and then the postpartum period may feel like a wild roller
coaster for you.
Sometimes you feel like you can't even explain to your partner precisely
what you are going through.
There are plenty of things you wish your partner knew about pregnancy and
postpartum that would help both of you that are not ever brought up at the
If your partner is more aware of the normal emotional journey of pregnancy
and postpartum they can be there to support you.
A first-of-its-kind study has revealed that the architecture of women's
brains change strikingly during their first pregnancies, in ways that last
for at least two years. In particular, gray matter shrinks in areas
involved in the processing and responding to social signals. This is your
brain's way of adapting to be able to respond to the needs of the little
human in your life! This is something that your partner may not be aware
According to a survey conducted, 73 percent of pregnant women said they get
nesting instincts. It's understandable why your partner wouldn't get the
need to research, buy, wash, and organize eight organic swaddling blankets
in the time of a Tuesday afternoon when there is not yet a visible bump.
But most women's nesting comes in strong waves, and they take it seriously.
Pregnancy, particularly for a first timer, is full of unknowns and fears.
For you, nesting is a way to channel all of that uncertainty and stress
into tangible things you can focus on and fix, like the baby's nursery,
wardrobe, and so on.
Average weight women should gain between 25-35 lbs. Gaining weight sucks,
no matter the reason. You know your partner is excited about your growing
belly because it means your baby is coming soon, and you understand in
retrospect that he thinks you look great. But your partner doesn't get that
you don’t want to hear more "You look amazing!" declarations because body
image has always been a sore spot for many women. You must convey to your
mate that gaining weight in your pregnancy stresses you out and that you
think your partner's attempts to downplay it backfires at times.
Decreased Sex Drive
Almost 60 percent of women report a decreased sex drive at some point
during pregnancy. A woman's disinterest in pregnancy sex has absolutely
nothing to do with the partner. Between nausea in the beginning and the
self-consciousness about your expanding belly and breast size, the last
thing you'd want to do for most of your pregnancy is get busy. Partners may
think it has got something to do with you losing interest in your
relationship, but they must know it's literally not on your radar!
Once you get past pregnancy, here comes the postpartum period, with all the
delights of parenthood along with the emotional ups and downs. If your
partner doesn't comprehend this it can feel like an added weight to your
already heavy burden.
In the first 2 weeks after delivery 80% of moms have emotional ups and
downs of postpartum blues.
You may find yourself weeping while reading a book to your baby, anxious
about germs or just irritable at times.
Symptoms include rapidly fluctuating mood, tearfulness, irritability and
anxiety. You may also have trouble sleeping, eating or making decisions and
feel like you are unfit for motherhood.
If your partner is aware of the very common issue, you can get support when
you need it.
Breastfeeding can be isolating for some moms, especially at the beginning.
Yes, even if you really desire it and love it. .
Your partner may be providing support by taking on burping and diaper
duties, but then when they come to you with the baby held out crying, at
times you may feel a sense of dread as your nurse for the tenth time that
day! Your partner may not get it because you wanted to breastfeed. But you
can both cherish breastfeeding AND feel isolated at times. If your partner
is aware of this they can check in if you need anything, your phone, some
water, or some company
Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders occur in 1 out of 5 women. Make sure
your partner is aware of how common this is and the risk factors.
Not getting the sleep you need can increase your risk. So, take shifts with
your partner and leave diaper changes to them.
Studies show that spousal support perceived by women increased, the risk of
postpartum depression decreased.
Diaper changes, burping, bottle cleaning, preparing you food, making sure
you have what you need while nursing and letting you get some sleep are
just some ways your partner can support you.
Here are a couple of approaches for both of you to try:
Communicate your feelings. Without judgement and blame. This goes both
Draw your partner in your recovery. Take him along with you to an
appointment with your doctor or therapist.
Convey your expectations. You can't anticipate that your partner should
think about how you're feeling or what you need — you need to tell them. Be
explicit. Else, you'll feel misjudged, and both of you will start to blame
Practice gratitude. So many things you may feel irritable about, but take
stock of the little things and be grateful for that
Keep a unified front. Keep in mind, you're in the same boat. You are a
team! Pregnancy and postpartum can be tough on a relationship, so it's
essential to do what you can to encourage open correspondence and mutual
Remember pregnancy and postpartum comes with a lot of changes.
It’s helpful to have your partner be in the know of what to expect.
The pregnancy and postpartum journey is a rollercoaster, so why not enjoy
this ride …. TOGETHER.