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How to help your partner during pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time. It can also bring challenges. There is a lot to learn. You should support your partner during her pregnancy and after the baby is born.

You can provide comfort when they're stressed or emotional. Or you can take on more of the household chores. Be aware that pregnancy can be exhausting for your partner. Ask her how you can help her.

Watch a video on advice for partners during pregnancy

How partners can help

You can support your partner in many ways.

Here are some ideas:

Physical health

How you can help your partner with her physical health:

  • If you smoke, you can stop smoking or not smoke around your partner.
  • If your partner is trying to eat more healthy food, join her.
  • Do not drink alcohol around your partner too often. Plan activities like going to the cinema or going for walks.
  • Exercise together so she feels encouraged to keep fit.
  • Carry things that are too heavy for her as her back will be under strain.
  • If you have other children, you can give your partner a break by bringing them out for a walk or on a day trip.

Preparing for birth

Preparing for labour is exciting. It can also be an anxious and emotional time.

Here's how you can support your partner:

  • Research pregnancy and birth so you can understand what will happen.
  • Talk about breastfeeding and consider that your partner breastfeeds the baby.
  • Attend antenatal classes together.
  • Discuss your options for the birth so that you know your partner's needs. You may have to express her wishes during labour.

How to be a birth partner

Emotional support

Pregnancy brings a lot of emotional change. Your partner is becoming a mother and her hormone levels are changing. It can be a lot to process. Talk about your future as a parent. Discuss with her what you want for your baby. Ask what is important to you as you become a new family. Talk about the things you are looking forward to with the new baby.

Remember to listen and be patient during the pregnancy and after she gives birth.

Pregnancy can cause many changes to a woman’s body. She may feel insecure or need reassurance about how her body looks. Sexual desire during pregnancy is different for everyone. Your pregnant partner may be less interested in sex, or more interested.

Sex during pregnancy

Bonding with your unborn baby

You're about to become a parent. Think about what your new role means and how you can make a positive impact on your baby's life.

It might take you a little longer to bond with your baby. This is nothing to worry about. It may be because you're not the person going through physical changes as the baby grows in the womb.

During the pregnancy you can become closer to your baby by feeling for kicks. Ask your partner if she could let you know when the baby is moving and if you can feel her bump. This will help your baby feel more real. Talk and sing to the baby while it's in the womb. The baby can recognise voices and sometimes reacts to different voices.

When you're at appointments for ultrasound scans, listen for your baby's heartbeat.

Page last reviewed: 29 June 2022
Next review due: 29 June 2025