Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but try telling that to a woman who can no longer see her toes or fit into anything that she owns. Obviously every lady is different and therefore her pregnancy will be too, but this is a general list of safety tips for the man trying to handle his pregnant and/or postpartum partner.
1. Be sympathetic to all of the things that she can no longer do while pregnant. Don’t come home with a twelve pack of brews and a plate of sushi, then ask her if she wants to go to on a roller coaster. Pick things to do that you can both enjoy.
2. Understand that hormones are just the tip of the iceberg. She had to quit coffee, drinking, smoking, she’s getting fat, she’s sad, she’s mad, she’s all over the place. Be sensitive to what she’s going through and don’t ever bring up the hormones.
3. That being said, allow her to have her moments. My boyfriend sat up with me countless nights where I cried my eyes out, first for no reason and then because I realized there was no reason and still couldn’t stop. Do this for her and when she apologizes, reassure her that it’s not her fault and that’s what you are there for!
4. After the baby is born…this is where it gets tough. You want to be the “all hands on deck dad” and (at least at first, whether she admits it or not) she is the “knows whats best mom.” After nine long months of building a baby, relinquishing control is not easy and it might be hard to accept but it has nothing to do with her view of your ability to be a parent.
5. Probably the biggest piece of advice I can give any man about living with a postpartum woman… If you are going somewhere, give her all the time in the world to get ready. Her body is still a fun house mirror of what it used to be. Finding clothes that fit right isn’t easy. Even a woman with a lot of confidence might try on three or four things before she gives up and puts on “whatever.” So don’t tell her she took too long to get ready, sometimes its all she could do to not cry while getting dressed…just tell her she looks lovely.
6. Tell her again and again that she is beautiful and she is a great mom. In the first few months most women don’t have time for hair and make up, tell her she is gorgeous anyways. I hear these two things all the time and it never gets old.
I’m not saying that each and every woman needs all of these pick me ups and I’m not saying that every man needs this advice. This list is just my take on dealing with some of the most common complaints that I have heard from moms and dads I know, and some things I have experienced personally.