Father’s fears during pregnancy

I am finding that being the partner of a pregnant woman is very scary – I seem to be able to think of nothing else than what could go wrong both for the baby and for my wife. Is this unusual?

Pregnancy and birth are fearful times for everyone involved, so your feelings are completely normal. Sometimes being the spectator, as you are in this situation, is more difficult than experiencing the situation and dealing with it moment by moment. The first thing to do is to constantly remind yourself that the vast majority of women and their babies make it through the whole pregnancy and birth in perfect health. Modern medicine has provided us with solutions to situations that were formerly life threatening, and also provides with the chance for early intervention in the case of many problems.

So perhaps you should start with the health care that your wife is receiving. Perhaps if you participate in the routine appointments and see the level of care that she receives from her health care worker, it may provide you with some level of reassurance. If you are unable to accompany her to these visits, ask your wife to discuss the care she is receiving and ensure that you are part of the team that makes the decisions in a participatory manner during this pregnancy. Read up so that you understand the various situations clearly. For many men, knowing that their wives health is in good hands is a way to lessen their fears.

Try to help your wife in practical ways, such as shopping and chores. If she is under less stress, she may be able to manage her own emotions and fears a little better. Since it is possible that she is transmitting some of her fears and uncertainty to you, it may make a difference to both of you if she is more rested. Some gentle exercise together is also a great stress reliever. Taking an easy stroll together can be surprisingly helpful.

By improving the nutrition of both of you, you can reassure yourself that the baby is growing as well as it can, and that your wife’s body is being supported. It means that if you are making healthy choices when shopping, and then eating more sensibly yourself, it makes it easier for your partner to do the same. The same applies to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. It is vital that pregnant women abstain from these things, and her life will be so much easier if you do the same. Knowing that she is making these healthier choices could help alleviate some of your fears.

Communication during this time is vital. The changes are just beginning, and once the baby is born there will be even more changes. To function as a team you have to understand the thoughts and fears that you each harbor. Ask her about her fears, and discuss yours with her, and you may find that having them out in the open is also very helpful.

When all is said and done, this is a time when fears are normal. The nine months will have passed before you know it, and when you hold that tiny baby, complete with all ten fingers and toes, your fears will pass. Until then all you can do is make sure that you are participating fully in this wondrous event! +27 (0)81 885 4683 

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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