There were times when the husband or the man of the house was the sole bread earner. It is not like that anymore, women and men have evolved and the preassumed gender-based tasks have changed drastically.
Men are involving themselves in parenting and they want to contribute their share towards parenting. And why not! Parenthood involves both mother and the father.
But, not every part of society has adapted to the evolution, eventually, it has to, else it will be difficult to run a family in the long run.
Though the older generation feels that it is a woman’s job to take care of everything inside a home, men want to be involved and are trying to break the preassigned gender-based tasks.
The education at home should have been the same for both boys and girls but unfortunately, gals are trained from childhood on how to behave, adjust and sacrifice after marriage.
The same thing should have been taught to the boys as well, as they also get into married life and it takes two people to make the marriage work.
Fortunately, now men want to change and adapt to the evolutionary changes.
So, how can men take part during pregnancy?
Men are equally responsible for setting up an environment for the baby and the mother. Here are some key points that can be done during pregnancy.
Pregnancy brings in a lot of changes in the hormones and this can cause some side effects. As a partner, you can try to speak with her Doctor to understand what changes she is going through.
If she is going through morning or evening sickness, then find a way to make her feel better. Comfort her and let her know that she will be okay and give her assurance.
If you are a person who cannot speak sweet talks, that is okay. Let her know that you are there for her whenever she needs you. Ask her if she is craving anything.
During the later stages of pregnancy, midnight snacking becomes a routine for some mothers. You can ask her what she prefers to eat, if you cannot wake up during that time, you can make sure to keep the snacks near her so that she can reach them easily.
Go for walks together. Ask her how she feels when there are movements in her belly.
Support her in chores even if she does not ask. Maybe you can try your hands-on cooking and prepare something that she likes.
Try to understand female biology, not too technical but an idea as to what a woman goes through during pregnancy and especially during childbirth. There are so many apps that you can refer to.
Keep her environment happy because whatever emotions she feels, the baby also feels.
If you are a person who does not talk much, that is okay too. Show your care and support in your actions. Actions speak better than words.
Remember, you are in this together. Try to be her friend and not just a fair-weather friend.
During postpartum, you can do a LOT of things to support a New Mother
First and foremost, make efforts to understand what a postpartum period is and why is it so important to care for a New Mother.
Her pregnancy hormones are dropping suddenly and this can have a lot of side effects. Learn or ask your doctor about it and how to support a new mother during this phase.
You can also make a checklist of the things needed for the baby and plan for the grocery list.
Arrange for house help. Ask her where else she might need support for and who she needs to be with.
It is very important to support her during this phase as this can have after-effects during menopause.
If she is going to breastfeed, offer her support by keeping pillows when she feeds, or you can sit with your back facing her back so that she can lean on you for support. Keep water bottles handy even if she forgets to, keep some snacks handy.
You can let her rest whenever you are around, and take care of the baby other than the feeding time. Remember the baby pees and poops a lot.
Keep one set of diapers, wipes, burp cloth handy on the bed to reach easily.
Assure her that she is doing great with the baby, and things will be okay. Let her know your support is always there.
She may not feel like having sex for some time. It does not mean she doesn't love you or doesn't need you. The constant touching of the baby, feeding, the birth pain, hormones may make her feel disinterested in anything else.
It takes time but she will be there soon. You as a partner might have to find ways to spend some time with her. Maybe a cup of tea, or just a small walk, or just sit together for some time.
You can also enroll for the course on “First forty days” and learn about the postpartum period and the exercises she needs. Let her know that her body needs time to recover and let her know about various exercises that she can practice to increase the core strength and pelvic floor.
You can enroll her in a postnatal yoga or postnatal rehabilitation regime.
Along with a baby’s massage, even a New Mother needs to be massaged. If no one else can be arranged then you can do it at least two days a week if not daily.
Make sure she goes for her regular checkup. If she is facing any issues with breastfeeding, visit a lactation consultant.
Last but not least, you both are new to this journey and every baby is different. Whether you are a first-time parent or a second-time parent, you take it slow. Take one step at a time. The postpartum period is the time when she will need you the most. Be there for her.
The number of tasks that come after the child-birth can take a toll on your emotions. It gets better, take it slow. Remember you both are on the same team in taking care of the baby.
Find out what works best for you both, do not strain yourself, do what you can do, your health is also important. Talk to your friends, join support groups, share your feelings, communication is the key to all the solutions.