Dear partners of pregnant women,
Here are some things we really, really want you to know about pregnant women:
Pregnant Woman Fact #1: We Are Scared
Sure, we're excited about becoming mothers, but many of us are also scared. We have no idea what life is going to be like once the baby arrives, and that is terrifying. We're worried about the pregnancy, the birth, the baby, our relationship with you… we're worried about everything. We know you may be too.
Pregnant Woman Fact #2: We Are Hormonal – Fine, We Admit It
The crazy amount of hormones needed to grow a baby might be affecting our moods. Yes, perhaps we're ecstatic one minute and sobbing the next. Maybe we're struggling to concentrate, walking into doors, and having near-breakdowns each time you make a mistake. But please don't blame us, blame the hormones. And please be a little more understanding than usual… it really is the hormones.
Pregnant Woman Fact #3: But Don't You Dare Mention The Hormones
Look, it was really big of us to admit to being a tad hormonal, but that doesn't mean it's ok for you to mention it. If we are sobbing in the DIY store because you suggested the wrong shade of paint for our already-Pinterested nursery, do not mention the hormones. You can apologise and act as though our reaction is completely rational – but whatever you do…. don't ever, ever mention the ‘h’ word.
Pregnant Woman Fact #4: Pregnancy Is Really Hard
It might sound like we're just constantly whining, but pregnancy is really hard. We weren't expecting it to be quite so exhausting, nauseating, hormonally charged, ache-y and headache-y. We feel really awful, so please look after us. Even if you get bored of hearing us moan.
Pregnant Woman Fact #5: We Feel The Same Way As You Do
Whatever worries and fears are keeping you up at night, are sure to be keeping us awake too. We may seem cool, calm and collected, but we're not. We are a bundle of nerves, we can't concentrate on anything because we're so busy worrying about everything. It's exhausting.
So please don't feel alone. It would be great if you could talk to us about how you feel, it might help us to feel a little less on edge to know that its not just us.
Pregnant Woman Fact #6: We're Worried You Don't Think We're Sexy Anymore
Whether we are loving our bigger boobs or hating our stretchmarks, we worry about how you see us. We worry that you no longer find us sexy and that we look as huge as we feel. It would really give us a big boost if you could genuinely remind us that you love us and find us attractive. Often.
Pregnant Woman Fact #7: We Want Another Massage
Lugging around this baby of ours is hard work, and we're exhausted. Our hips ache, our backs ache, our feet are sore, and we just really, really want to feel looked after. So please, can you give us another massage? And please don't moan about it hurting your hand, not when we're suffering from every ache and pain known to woman.
Pregnant Woman Fact #8: We Are Worried About Whether We'll Be Good Mums
We worry about not being able to look after our babies perfectly, because they don’t come with an instruction manual, and we lose sleep worrying whether we will be good mums. Reassure us by telling us what personality traits we have that will make for a great mother. Reassure us that we’re learning and in this together, and we’ll become the experts of our own baby. We really need to hear that sometimes.
Pregnant Woman Fact #9: We Are Worried About Childbirth
We're excited to meet our new baby, but terrified of the journey to get to that point. All people keep telling us is “Oh, you'll know when you're in labour!”, and, “It's unlike anything else, it's hard to explain!”, neither of which are very reassuring. We're worried about how we will handle it, so please reassure us by being the best birth partner you can be.
Pregnant Woman Fact #10: We Should Warn You About The Sex
Due date sex may be hilarious on the movies, but believe us, it won't be funny when our due date comes round. We'll be desperate for that baby to come out, and there's a good chance that, as well as the curries and pineapples, we're going to want to have sex.
Prepare yourself. It won't be good sex, or romantic sex, or sexy sex. It will be stressful, uncomfortable, high-pressured sex. Be warned. Oh – and the female orgasm is also helpful because it produces oxytocin. So you might want to ahem suggest that.
Pregnant Woman Fact #11: We Have Completely Studied Your Face
Sorry, this might sound a bit mean, but as soon as we found out we were expecting, we critiqued your face. And ours, don't worry, we're not unfair. We've decided whose features we want the baby to have, and we know which of your features we don't want the baby to have. And don't worry, we know you've done the same.
Pregnant Woman Fact #12: We're Worried That Breastfeeding Is Going To Be Hard
… and not just that we're worried you won't be able to help. We will need your support at 3am when we're sobbing because we’re tired and the baby just seems to want to feed, we'll need you at lunchtime when we nervously feed our baby in public for the first time, and we'll need you to tell us we're doing great. Or to find support for us when we're struggling.
Studies have repeatedly proven that a partner’s role can make a big difference between a mother continuing to breastfeed or picking up a tin of formula. Most pregnant women do want to breastfeed for as long as they can, so we need you on board to encourage us to reach our goals, just as you will in labour. A good place to grab a few very important tips that every parent should know is BellyBelly’s article 10 Top Breastfeeding Tips.
Pregnant Woman Fact #13: We're Worried You'll Feel Left Out When The Baby Arrives
Even though we love you more than anything else in the world, when our baby arrives, you'll be in second place for our attention for a little while. We are about to become head-over-heels besotted in love with our baby who needs his or her mamma 24×7, but that doesn't mean we love you any less.
This is only temporary, with time our baby will start interacting with you too. Please tell us if you feel that you need some connection or ‘us’ time. Please don’t suffer in silence, you’re important – so please tell us how you feel.
Pregnant Woman Fact #14: We Need You On Our Team
Remember when we (quietly) admitted we might be a bit hormonal during pregnancy? Well that's going to continue for a while after the birth too. You might find we're a little defensive about, erm, everything. What we really need, is for you to be on our team.
We are going to feel raw, vulnerable and lacking in confidence as new mums, so make sure you stick up for us. We will probably feel like everyone is criticising us (especially your mother), so please make sure you're on our side.
Pregnant Woman Fact #15: We Appreciate You
We know you've worked harder since we found out we were expecting. You're doing more at home to help, you're looking after us, perhaps reading up on birth and breastfeeding techniques, putting in extra hours at work to save extra money, and making sure the house is finished. And we just want you to know, we appreciate it.
We think you're amazing, and we feel so lucky to have you. We love you.
Pregnant Woman Fact #16: We Can't Wait To See You As A Father
We can't wait until we see that squishy little newborn in your arms, and you look down into the eyes of your newborn child. We can't wait to see your face the first time you hold your baby, or the first time she smiles at you.
We can't wait to watch you rock her to sleep, or kiss her gently on the forehead before you leave for work each morning. We can't wait to watch you teach her to ride a bike, or help her with her homework. We know you are going to be an amazing dad, and we think our baby is already one of the luckiest people in the world.
With all our love, respect and admiration for all you do,
All the pregnant women
Ps. Thank you for reading this – we know you’re probably feeling up to your eyeballs in information, just like we are too!