How To Support Your Wife’s Body, Mind & Soul During Your First Pregnancy Together

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How To Support Your Wife’s Body, Mind & Soul During Your First Pregnancy Together
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Men, learning how to be a better husband and making your wife happy when she's pregnant for the first time is actually simpler than you think.

When you get sick, you really want to be nurtured, nourished, and — dare I say, pampered — by your partner. In some cases, you might even wish your mother could stop by with a bowl of your favorite remedy soup.

That kind of love and care that nurses you back to health faster is the same kind of emotional and physical nurturing your wife craves from you during pregnancy.

However, there's another layer that is a bit more complex, which may be completely oblivious to the naked eye.

She conceived this baby with you.

So while she may want a mother’s care, she really needs to know how much you — her partner — loves her. She needs to know that he is willing to do what it takes to nourish her, both physically and emotionally.

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She needs your reassurance that is she is completely safe.

Her body is changing daily, and this is alarming to her on multiple levels.

She's literally carrying the responsibility of being the sole caretaker of the infant growing inside of her. She's entirely consumed and focused while falling in love with this child, all at the same time.

Consciously or subconsciously, she's measuring your love for her and your ability to care for her and your child during the single most vulnerable time she has yet to experience in her entire life.

Become sensitive to her love for you.

Here's a visulization trick to make it easier for you to navigate your daily interactions with your wife or partner.

From the time you both find out she is pregnant, imagine that she possesses a barometer set to measure your love for her. She keeps it with her at all times, and the temperature changes frequently.

Your goal is simply to do your best to keep her at a comfortable temperature.

After your baby is born, you will have a similar challenge and goal in caring for the little child brought into your life. So, why not practice now with the woman you love who's carrying your child?

Remember that your feelings are second to hers.

Here is where it gets complicated.

As you approach the special day when your child is due to enter your lives, you are, of course, allowed to feel a range of emotions. You may experience feelings such as nervousness, apprehension, and elation right alongside your wife.

But don’t forget that during the actual childbirth, she's the champion.

She needs your support.

She's carrying the trauma to her body and mind, so be there for her. This also means you must also be ready for any last-minute changes she requires.

Even if she spent the last two years talking about no option other than natural birth in a sacred pool of water. She is allowed to change her mind and ask to be given additional support, or in some cases, even taken to a hospital at the last moment.

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The strongest men take their supporitve role in the pregnancy seriously.

When put to the task of keeping a woman focused through her birthing process with breathing work and positive encouragement, many men take this as the ultimate command and serve out the role dutifully.

These men will not be deterred from their assigned mission. Many may take on the role of coach, trainer, or choreographer, as well.

They may feel lead to take charge. Some may act as if they are her bodyguard, even protecting her from nurses and doctors.

Listen to her. 

All of these intentions are noble, gallant, and perhaps even adorable (as a memory many years later), but at that critical moment during labor when your wife's body is crying out for help, just listen to her words.

The piercing-but-distinguishable words that come out of her mouth between gasps and cries. The words that collide with your auditory sensors yet sound vaguely familiar, between her more primal sounds and curse words, these words are your instructions from her.

If your sensory neurons process, "Epidural now!" and you ignore her because pain medication wasn't in the plan, you will pay later — and probably with a marriage counselor present.

Not honoring your pregnant partner's needs may cause long-term damage to your relationship.

I’ve worked with couples who still struggle and seek help decades after the hurts that occurred during nine months of their first pregnancy.

Some men couldn’t be bothered to switch restaurant destinations when her cravings suddenly changed en route. Some missed more than one Lamaze class. And some were even traveling to an "important" business meeting in another country when their wives' first labor pains appeared.

What are seemingly small slights in your eyes can cause irreparable damage to your marriage in hers.

Sadly, some couples even break up when the child is just an infant because they are still arguing over disasters that occurred during the pregnancy, birthing stages, labor, and newborn phase.

The nine months of pregnancy, your child's birthday, and the five to six months that follow are critical to your relationship's happiness.

It's also critical for the sake of your child's future to have two loving parents who work together, and hopefully raise this child in the security of a healthy home.

Remember that during her pregnancy, your partner is measuring your love and your ability to care for her and for your family. The results will have significant implications for everything that's next to come over the course of your relationship's future.

During pregnancy, stay focused, and stay strong, but remember that she is in charge. It’s her body, and she has the right to decide what she needs, especially in the critical moments of birth.

Your children — and more importantly, your wife — will thank you later in many wonderful and powerful ways.

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Glenn Grave, PhD, is a psychologist who works with individuals, couples, families, and corporations in conflict or crisis. He seeks a peaceful and effective transition towards healthy individuals and healthy sustainable dynamics.