Pregnancy can be a roller coaster ride for everyone involved, but nothing compares to what expecting mothers have to go through in the long months before they give birth.
If you're experiencing the pregnancy of a partner for the first time, then you have absolutely no idea what to expect. Watching all those hilarious Hollywood rom coms about expecting a child certainly did not prepare you for the moment you found out you were going to be a father.
Or you may just be a guy with a gal pal who suddenly announces to you that she's going to have a baby. What do you say? How do you react? What is an appropriate and inoffensive thing to say? What are the safe areas to stick to and the dangerous ground to tread carefully on?
The best place to probably find the answers to those questions are with other women who have gone through the same thing before, and are willing to open up about what helped and what didn't help when they were pregnant. Here's everything women want you to know about being pregnant.
"My you're coming along quite nicely," is certainly not something a pregnant woman wants to hear, as she is quite painfully aware of the transformation her body has been undergoing ever since her uterus found out it was going to have a baby. Even a "You don't look 9 months pregnant at all" may not be encouraging to some women, especially those who have been mistaken for being just that all their lives.
Women who are seeing their body change in ways they've never experienced before may be struggling to accept their new avatar as attractive and beautiful, so reminding them that they are can go a long way to reassuring them that they are just as beautiful as ever.
Some pregnant women are obsessing over every little milestone that their baby is undergoing, and every bit of news is just as amazing as the last one. It may or may not be exciting for you to hear about all this, but share in the joy and enthusiasm that they are feeling.
Pregnancy brings a host of hormonal changes, creating a chaotic internal environment for expecting women. As hard as they try to stay in control of their emotions, they are prone to experiencing sudden mood swings and emotional ups and downs, especially given the amount of stress their bodies are going through. Remember to be understanding and patient.
Don't plan long days or late night activities without consulting her first, as she may feel a lot more tired than she usually gets. Having a second human being to feed and support can be taxing on the body's systems, and she may not have as much energy as she normally does, so be considerate of that.
While an expecting mother certainly would appreciate all offers to help, especially when she needs it the most, treating her as if she were completely incapable of working or moving around can be frustrating. If she tells you that she doesn't need your help, respect her and let her carry that heavy box or bend down to pick up that fallen tray.
Your partner's breasts have certainly gone through some changes, and they may not be very pleasant for her. Her breasts may feel very sensitive and painful as they are swollen, so do not approach them unless she requests you to or permits you to, and even then, be extremely careful in how you handle them.
The aches and pains that come with having to carry another human being around while your body is going through so many physical changes never really go away. Massaging her feet or her shoulders will help relieve much of that stress and muscular tension that builds up on a daily basis.
An expecting mother and her partner are likely to be equally going through an insane amount of emotional turmoil and anxiety about the health of their child, how the baby will turn out, what to do once the baby is born, and whether or not they will be good parents. Talking to each other about that can help relieve some of the burden of the stress and anxiety.
If your pregnant partner agrees to or seeks out sexual intimacy with you, make sure that you pay close attention to her requests during sex and treat her with care. She may not be comfortable with you touching certain parts that are sensitive, or she may want you to handle her gently, so be extremely attentive and be communicative during sex.
From the moment her water breaks, all hell breaks lose, and she is thrust into one of the most difficult, painful experiences she will ever go through in her life. Do everything she says and listen to everything she says, no matter how difficult or stressful, as she needs your utmost support at this moment.
Some women have an insane amount of strength and resilience and are seen walking about and resuming their regular activities merely a few days after giving birth. Everyone takes their own time to recover from the traumatic process of childbirth, and she may need the time to regain her energy. Be there for her and avoid burdening her with the expectation to get back to work immediately or be a supermom.
As difficult as pregnancy is are the months following childbirth when new parents are up all night trying to calm their babies enough to get them to sleep, or feeding at odd hours of the night. If she isn't keen on getting right back to having sex, it's a perfectly reasonable feeling, as she is going to be extremely exhausted and drained most of the time. Take on a larger share of the parenting duties as much as possible so that she gets some time to rest and recuperate.