If you have kids or are currently pregnant, you can attest to the fact that pregnancy is one of the most exciting experiences one can have. Sure, there are some downsides when you feel sick or tired, but for the most part, pregnancy is a time of transition and excitement. If you’re like most couples though, pregnancy can also be a time centered on you and your husband can start to feel a little left out.
If your husband is anything like mine, he is excited from the get-go. Scotty cried both times we found out we were pregnant and my husband is NOT a crier. The problem is, aside from receiving lots of congratulations and putting together nursery furniture, there isn’t a whole lot for a dad to do to feel involved in the pregnancy. The baby is growing inside of you after all, and poor hubby is often a bystander to all of the excitement.
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Luckily, there are lots of ways to include your husband in this special time!
- Invite him to every appointment. Scotty came to each of my doctor’s appointments with our first baby. Unfortunately, he’s switched jobs and isn’t able to come to all of the appointments this pregnancy, but I still make sure he’s involved. He knows when every appointment is and helps me to make a list of all of the questions we both have for the doctor. Depending on the appointment, I sometimes even call him and let him listen on speakerphone and participate in the appointment. He’s asked to do this twice so far…Once when I had an appointment with my PCP to figure out what was taking so long to get pregnant, and once when I was going to hear the heartbeat for the first time and he wanted to be a part of it. The midwife was so sweet and told him that everything looked perfect with the pregnancy. It really helped to ease his mind!
- Throw your husband a diaper party! Everyone has heard of baby showers, but less often talked about are diaper parties for daddy. Luckily, these are getting more and more popular. For my baby shower, here’s what we did… We had invitations made that were two-sided. One side was all about my baby shower. The other side was titled Beers and Babies and the guys were invited to bring their own alcohol and a pack of diapers. We got TONS of diapers and wipes that lasted us about 8 months into our little Nugget’s life. I HIGHLY recommend setting up your shower this way. My best friend hosted the party and my shower was in the basement while hubby had pizza and beer upstairs. Since Nugget came early and got to be at his own shower, Scotty spent the entire time in the basement babysitting, but we still managed to have a great time.
- Have your husband download a pregnancy app on his phone. Just today Scotty text me “Happy 18 weeks! We’re pregnant with a sweet potato!” I can’t express in words how it warms my heart to see the love of my life so excited about our new addition. Each time we found ourselves in the produce section, we’d start looking for the baby I was currently pregnant with. For example, today my app told me I’m pregnant with a bell pepper, and Scotty was quick to point out the bell peppers tonight at the grocery store. Personally, I have no idea how one app can say I’m pregnant with a sweet potato and one thinks a bell pepper is the same size, but it’s still a lot of fun to visualize.
- Have him read to your belly. Scotty and I really thought we’d be more diligent about this, but for some reason, we really got lazy about it and hardly read to my belly at all.
- Have your husband give you reminders. For example, I’m terrible about remembering to take my prenatal vitamins. Scotty asks me almost every day if I’ve taken them yet or not. Side note: If you are like me and always forget to take your prenatals, pick up a bottle of the gummy prenatals. Trust me. You’ll stop forgetting!
- As my first pregnancy progressed, my stomach got SO itchy. Scotty used to wear latex gloves and rub (more like scratch) cocoa butter into my big baby bump. I swear that I now know the ecstasy a dog experiences when someone scratches their belly. I could have laid there for days and just enjoyed finally not having such an itchy tummy. TMI? Nothing is off limits after you’ve given birth!
- Take a birthing class. I highly recommend the Bradley Method which is also known as Husband Assisted Childbirth. We had 12 weeks of classes together and looked forward to going every week. I was dedicated to having a natural birth and the Bradley Method classes gave both my husband and I the confidence that we could get through labor and delivery together. Ultimately, even though Nugget came too early to be delivered at the Birthing Center as we’d hoped, I was able to have a natural childbirth in a local hospital and I feel like I owe it to the techniques the Bradley Method taught me. I’ve also heard wonderful things about Hypnobabies, but I have absolutely no experience with it. If you’ve used one of these or another natural childbirth method, please let me know in the comments!
- Go to the bookstore! Have dad pick out books written especially for him. The day we found out we were pregnant, we went straight to Half Price Books and bought stacks of books for each of us. You could tell we were first time parents! Even baby name books are a lot of fun, unless you already know the name you’re going with. For us, a LOT of time is spent researching names and we have an absolute blast together doing it. To be honest, we never finished reading a single one of the books we bought that day, but it made us feel proactive and somewhat more prepared.
Pregnancy can be one of the best times to bond with your partner. Scotty and I found so many reasons to love each other even more throughout the course of Nugget’s very unexpected pregnancy. Whether it’s taking birthing classes, buying parenting books, or just reading to your belly, there are tons of ways to make your husband feel included in this special time. The more you try to include your husband in the whole process, the happier you both will be.
Don’t stop bonding after the pregnancy is over! There are also lots of ways to include your husband in breastfeeding and ways to make your husband feel special after the baby comes! Plus, don’t miss my tips on how to have an awesome sex life after you become parents – even if you’re co-sleeping or bed-sharing like us.
Did you do anything special to include your husband in your pregnancy journey? What tips can you give other soon-to-be moms and dads? Let me know in the comments!
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