Written by: Jenny Smith
Pregnancy is a highly varied and subjective experience and whilst for one family it can be a straightforward and enjoyable nine months, for another it can be a stressful and frightening time. Decades ago it was all taken care of by the women in the family under the medical supervision of doctors. Nowadays fathers are much more involved and although they obviously do not go through the physical symptoms, they can be extremely affected by the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy.
Generally speaking men enjoying offering support in a very practical way. This is not to say that they cannot be extremely loving and emotionally empathic, but as a broad rule they are active creatures and like doing things to help a situation. It can be extremely hard for them to witness their beloved partner facing challenges that they are unable to affect very much. Common difficulties during pregnancy such as high blood pressure, diabetes, nausea and the more serious threats such as mid-term bleeding etc can leave a male partner feeling stumped and a bit surplus to needs as time and time again the professionals are called in and panic levels are rising.
Their role during these times is actually invaluable if they can offer a calm and reassuring presence to partners and children during any crises, but unless they know this is really helpful, they can end up feeling that they are not really offering very much help at all which can lead to added strain during a tough time.
Two things that can make a big difference are clear communication between partners and extra support outside of the relationship. Regular and honest communication is vital before and during any potentially stressful time, and if each partner can express what they are feeling and what they need, then many hurdles can be overcome and strain can be minimized.
Calling upon extra support for both parties can also make a huge positive difference, especially if both have places where they can offload things that may be too sensitive to say directly to the other one! If talking is not your thing as a man, make sure that you plan in extra time for stress relieving activities like sport or just time with friends relaxing and socializing or quality time alone if that is your preferred way to come back to your centre.