Include Your Husband in Your Pregnancy
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. Especially if you’re a first time mom, all of the attention is sure to be focused on you – right where it should be! We love daddy too though and want to make sure you’re including your husband in the pregnancy. After all, his life is about to change in the best way possible, let’s make sure we enjoy the experience TOGETHER!
2018 UPDATE: We just had our 3rd baby and used this awesome natural birth technique. Even my husband loved it and found it incredibly relaxing.
How to Improve Your Marriage Before Baby Gets Here
If you knew about my previous relationships, you’d be amazed I even got married.
After being in an abusive relationship for 4 years, my husband was a breath of fresh air when I met him.
It didn’t take long for us to realize we both had no clue how to be in a healthy relationship and we DEFINITELY had no idea how to have a healthy marriage.
When we decided to elope on the 4th of July, we also decided to get premarital counseling to simply learn how to be our best versions of ourselves and actually learn how to be married.
People who go through years of a marriage without ever going to marriage counseling seriously blow my mind.
Without those years of counseling and learning all that we did, I can honestly say there’s no way we would be married today.
I used to think we needed to talk in great detail about all of our problems (see why it’s shocking I’m married??) while my husband (boyfriend at the time) thought throwing all of his stuff into a garbage bag and storming out was an appropriate response.
We both learned incredibly unhealthy patterns in our upbringing but with a lot of work and determination, we’ve changed just about all of those for our own kids.
Hands down, the best book I’ve read about marriage that actually made a difference in the quality of our relationship was this one.
I know, the thought of reading ANOTHER book about marriage or any self-help book at all probably makes you want to pluck your eyes out.
I get it. I geek out over self help stuff and even I was hesitant to buy another book that would just hang out on my nook app and never get read. It was the reviews on Amazon that convinced me to buy it.
When I tell you this book has drastically improved the quality of my marriage, I’m not exaggerating at all. It’s the kind of book that will have you saying “OMG that’s me!” a million times in just the first chapter.
Sorry for the rant, but I just can’t write a post about anything to do with my husband without telling people about this book. I truly think my marriage may not be nearly as beautiful as it is without it.
Distant Husband During Pregnancy
I get this question from readers all the time and it breaks my heart no matter how many times I hear it – “my husband is so distant now that I’m pregnant. What am I supposed to do?”
I absolutely hate the thought of any pregnant woman feeling like her husband is anything less than ecstatic about their pending arrival, but it happens – more often than you’d think.
If your husband is distant now that you have a little one on the way, take these steps:
- If you usually have a very close relationship – try talking to him. I highly recommend asking him if now is an okay time to talk about something that’s been bothering you, then use “I” statements. Your goal is to connect with your spouse, not shame him. Think like a man and text him if you have to. Is it fair? Hell no! Is it the most likely way to get what you want and deserve, yep! Give it a shot.
- Ask if he’ll come with you to counseling. So many of the women I talk to say their husband wouldn’t be caught dead going to a counselor. If this is the case for you – GO WITHOUT HIM. You deserve all the support in the world right now, even if it has to come from a third party.
- Focus on what you can control. While you do the behind-the-scenes work (like counseling) to improve your marriage while you’re pregnant, take care of yourself. Go out with friends, coworkers, and family members as often as possible. Fill your cup in whatever way you can until your spouse gets to the point that he can join you.
- Do all of the things that make you happy. Spend more time on your hobbies, develop new interests, and get in touch with the person you were before you found out you were pregnant and baby thoughts consumed your every waking moment.
- If your husband is willing, go on a date and talk about anything OTHER THAN THE BABY! My husband and I make a point of doing this each time I’m pregnant. It’s so hard, but we try our best to focus on all of the other awesome stuff in our lives and just on each other. We can think and talk about the baby the other 99.5% of the time!
Husband Not Excited about Pregnancy
Even if your husband is giving you every reason to think he isn’t excited about the pregnancy right now, let me give you a little hope…
Behind the lack of excitement is most likely fear.
He chose you, he married you, HE LOVES YOU…but pregnancy is scary.
From his point of view, everything is changing.
In every one of our friends that dealt with this, the husband was actually afraid of something financial.
Sometimes he was afraid the house wasn’t big enough.
They lived in a sub-par school district.
Would the dog get along with the baby? What if he had to give up his dog?
What if he’s a bad father like his dad was.
What if he couldn’t figure out how to change a diaper.
What if we never have sex again?
The saddest one – what if something happened to his wife during delivery and he had to raise the baby alone.
I can almost guarantee you that behind all of those doubts is an extremely excited husband who wishes he could get past these fears to actually enjoy this pregnancy with you – and enjoy his wife again.
My Husband and Pregnancy
Even if you aren’t dealing with these husband-insecurities (and I hope with all of my heart that you’re not) there are so many things to be done while you’re pregnant and your husband should be a huge part of all of it!
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.
Most men are solely focused on their wives during this time, and rightfully so… but it was important to me to find ways to include my husband and best friend in this awesome time as well…even though he never once complained or asked for any of this special treatment.
If you and your partner are close…why wouldn’t you want to include them and make pregnancy awesome for them too?
Luckily, there are lots of ways to include your husband in this special time!
Are you planning to breastfeed? I couldn’t live without my breastfeeding pillow! You can get one for free (yes FREE…you just pay shipping!) at Pregnancy Pillow using code “simplelivingmommy”
Make a Registry Together!
We still do this for every baby because, let’s be honest, we love the free stuff that comes with registries and the coupons you get closer to your due date. Even though we don’t have time (or leftover sanity) to go to Target with two toddlers in toe, we register at Amazon! We love the Amazon Family membership because if you subscribe to get monthly shipments of diapers, you save 20%! I couldn’t pass that up!
Some of our favorite places to register other than Amazon were Target and Buy Buy Baby.
It’s always fun to see what random things my husband will think are a necessity – anything with a Jeep on it or camo, and I can almost guarantee he’ll be scanning it.
Make Appointments a “Date”
Invite him to every appointment. My husband 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!
For my baby shower, here’s what we did… We had invitations made that were two-sided.
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.
Interact with the Baby
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 these gummy prenatals. Trust me. You’ll stop forgetting!
Cocoa Butter – My Best Friend
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.
With our third baby, we did Hypnobabies self-guided course.
We loved it, but our baby came in just 2 hours and I had no time to find my zen. I definitely think the relaxation techniques and affirmations helped, but I didn’t have the hours of labor I had anticipated to get myself in my “bubble of peace” before delivering. Even so, I plan to use Hypnobabies again with our next baby and recommend it to all of my pregnant friends!
If you’ve used one of these or another natural childbirth method, please let me know in the comments!
No time to take a class? Read these AWESOME books instead!
Go to the bookstore!
Have dad pick out books like these 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 don’t forget to pick up your free breastfeeding pillow here using code “simplelivingmommy”)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!