Tips for involving your partner in the pregnancy – when you're the one that's pregnant
Take the pregnancy test together
A pregnancy test marks the start of your pregnancy journey, and discovering the news together gives both parents an equal start. Then you can be happy, sad or surprised together and not separately.
"I always felt we were sharing the pregnancy, that it was both of our business. After all, both parents are expecting the baby, even though only one of them must bear the physical pain."
– Lisa, mother to Adrian, 3 years and Ines, 6 months.
Give the baby a nickname
It can be hard to think of the foetus inside your tummy as an actual living baby. Giving the baby a nickname can help you develop an emotional bond. You and your partner have created a little person together. While the baby is developing, it's important for the two of you to talk about everything to do with your future family. It's easier to imagine and talk about someone who has a name.
"Start thinking of the baby as a real, living person. It can help to give the baby a nickname, talk to it about what's going on, write it a letter or imagine it in different future situations."
– Ingrid Svensson, child psychologist.
Share your worries during the pregnancy
Share your life, baby, breakfast and bed. But as future parents, it's also good to share your worries and any difficult thoughts and feelings. Talk to each other about what you're feeling, thinking, reading and worrying about in your role as parents. Sometimes two shared worries can cancel each other out.
"I sometimes felt alone with my worries during pregnancy. By talking about it, I was seeking confirmation that it was okay to be worried."
– Sharon, mother to Billie, 8 months.
Write a birth plan together
A birth plan is a tool for you and your midwife. In the heat of labour, it might feel as if nobody understands you. By writing a birth plan together, you specify what you want to happen during labour and delivery. For instance what type of anaesthetic you want, any worries you may have and whether you want to cut the umbilical chord yourselves. These are your decisions to make, and writing them down in advance minimises surprises and allows you to feel more in control during labour.
"I advise everybody to write a birth plan, however silly your preferences might seem to you. It's your childbirth, it's your choice."
– A parent at Libero's Parents' Talk.
Your clinic should feel right for you
Midwives, receptionists, doctors, psychologists. You'll meet many people during your pregnancy, and it's important how they treat you. It should feel right. This feeing that things are 'right' should just be there, and should never go away at any time. It's a gut feeling and it usually comes down to personal chemistry. If it feels 'wrong', consider looking for someone else to guide you through pregnancy and make you both feel safe and included.
"We advise all parents to change clinics if they're not happy with their midwife. That's what we did when we were expecting Billie. During our first pregnancy, the midwife practically ignored me. And there were no books or information in the waiting room for the non-pregnant partner." – Marcus, father of Billie, 8 months.