The pregnancy journey can be a very exciting time in a woman’s life. However, there are times when circumstances surrounding pregnancy can increase the level of stress in a marital home.
All women react differently to pregnancy. Some women truly enjoy the journey from the very beginning with no morning sickness (nausea & vomiting) to no back pain, barely swollen ankles and less fatigue. Others, start the pregnancy with horrible morning sickness that can end up becoming hyperemesis (Severe or prolonged vomiting).
Still, others experience fibroids that grow with the growing baby; some experience miscarriages, still-births, or laid on bedrest during pregnancy due to preeclampsia (protein in the urine that creates high blood pressure & swollen limbs).
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Needless to say, growing another human being although exciting can also become a huge burden on marriage and other family members. First pregnancies are even more difficult as the new couple tries to adjust, but it is not any easier for seasoned parents either. The key is to ensure that the couple continues to communicate effectively and care for each other as they did prior to the pregnancy.
Men do not naturally understand the different issues that come with pregnancy. Here are a few ways women can help educate their husbands on pregnancy, and still support them even as they experience ongoing stress.
- Have an open communication about when they are ready to have a baby, so one person is not resentful of the pregnancy because he or she was not ready.
- Once pregnant, start planning financially for that baby: Babies are extremely expensive. According to a USDA report babies can cost families over $12,000 the first year alone! It is important for couples to discuss several options if both parties work to sustain the home, what happens if the pregnant wife can no longer work, or childcare costs are higher than one partner’s income. This can ultimately alleviate the husband of unnecessary stress.
- Sex during pregnancy tends to be challenging for some couples. It is important to show affection and intimacy to your husband in those times intercourse may be uncomfortable.
- Some women are extremely moody during pregnancy, due to their personality or the raging hormones. However, it is still no excuse to mistreat your husband. Keep your emotions under control by going to therapy, building a support system around you to alleviate you of some of your responsibilities especially if you already have other children.
- Most importantly, educate your spouse on any condition surrounding the pregnancy. Men do not always attend the prenatal appointments and tend to be clueless as to what you may be experiencing. Encourage your spouse to attend your visits with you and allow them to enjoy the journey with you by hearing the baby’s heartbeat and feeling the kicks. This allows for bonding with the baby even prior to birth.
It is important to enjoy your pregnancy, and try to minimize stress because everything you do during pregnancy affects your child as well.