For Parents-To-Be: Four things your partner needs from you when she’s on bed rest that she’s not asking for
Whether this is your partner’s first pregnancy or her 5th, bed rest is not what you had in mind when you thought about preparing for a new baby.
Pregnancy classes? Yes.
Reading to her growing bump? Maybe.
Becoming a full time butler, chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, entertainer, therapist, executive assistant and planner on top of a loving partner and best friend? Not so much.
It’s awful. It’s hard. You don’t like it. She hates that so much has fallen on your shoulders and she can’t do anything to help.
And best case, this will go on for months.
You’re going to be more exhausted than you’ve ever been, burned out from the never ending days and nights. So when you’re doing things around the house and to help your partner, make sure they’re the right things that will actually help both of you.
Here are the top 4 things she needs from you right now
- Schedule visitors.
She is completely isolated from the world. As happy as she is to see you day in and day out, she misses being around her friends, even if she complains that she doesn’t want them to see her in her pajamas.
The reality is that most people, as well-meaning as they are, don’t visit nearly as often as they say they will. Life gets busy, things come up and some of them may genuinely feel like they don’t want to bother her.
Reach out to a few of her closest friends and tell them to bother her!
Of course remind them it’s no bother at all but their visits are much needed for her sanity! Help make it happen by coordinating a girl’s night or schedule in some one-on-one time with a few of her best friends.
- Have fun.
She’s going through one of the most mind-numbingly boring experiences of her life. Sure, maybe to you lying on the sofa and watching TV 18 hours a day sounds like a dream. But truthfully, after just a few days of that, it’s enough to drive anyone insane.
She needs to have some fun and the distraction is great to help her stay calm from her worries. Pull out your best jokes, borrow some board games or have a trivia night.
By having fun, you’re also helping her lower her stress and anxiety which is critical for her to stay pregnant for as long as possible. (Tweet that!)
She needs to know that you love her. She needs to know that you believe she’s doing a wonderful job protecting your baby. She needs to know you don’t blame her for the pregnancy complications and that you won’t blame her if your baby does come early.
I know you don’t. You know you don’t. She mostly knows you don’t.
But she needs to hear it. Frequently.
- Ask for help.
She also needs to know that you aren’t trying to do everything on your own.
I know you think you can do it all on your own but it’s not worth it. Because as burned out as you are now, bed rest is going to end with a baby, which means even less sleep and more exhaustion than you can imagine.
Don’t go into new fatherhood already overextended. (Tweet that!)
Call on relatives and neighbors to set up a food train. Ask someone to sit with your partner so you can go out and blow off some steam. Do what you need to do so you can take care of your wife as she takes care of your baby.
Bed rest is a long, hard road for both of you that doesn’t end just because the baby is born.
The longer your wife is on bed rest the longer her recovery time will be. There is physical recovery as she will have lost a significant amount of strength. There is tremendous emotional recovery as well, even if your baby is happy and healthy.
This is all on top of her having to recover from delivery and both of you learning how to take care of a brand new little person who has joined your family.
If you’re ready for more personalized ideas on how to support your wife through the unique pregnancy complications she’s facing, let’s chat.
Parijat Deshpande is the leading high-risk pregnancy expert who educates and guides women on how to manage their stress and anxiety so they can have healthier pregnancies, decrease their risk of preterm birth and give their baby a healthy start to life. Parijat is a clinically trained therapist, a women’s wellness expert and an experienced speaker on the impact of stress on health and wellness. For more information or to learn how to work with Parijat during a high-risk pregnancy, visit www.parijatdeshpande.com