The baby can feel very heavy towards the end of pregnancy. The tiredness and irritability of the early weeks of pregnancy often returns, and your partner may start to feel frightened about the birth. If your partner is anxious, encourage her to talk about it. If you can learn to support each other now, your relationship will be stronger when the baby arrives.
Things that you can do:
- Get educated- Find out about antenatal classes for couples, or fathers’ evenings. Accompany your partner to childbirth education classes if you can. Learn about the stages of labour. The more you know about labour, the more you’ll be able to help. You may also want to consider classes on infant CPR and baby care.
- Create and discuss the birth plan with your partner and what you both expect in labour. It’s a good way of knowing what she wants and how you can help her achieve it. Talk about types/level of pain management and your level of involvement in the birth. Be flexible, things can change during labour. The health of your partner and baby is most important, so birth plans sometimes have to change.
- Help her set up the baby’s nursery. Cots, bassinets, and strollers can be tricky to put together.
- Remind your family and closest friends about how important it is for them to be immunised for things like flu and whooping cough before they interact with your baby.
- Install your baby’s car seat- you can’t drive home from the hospital without a car seat and they can be complicated to install, so don’t wait till the very last minute. If you’re having trouble, get help from an authorised restraint fitting station.
- Pack your hospital bag- Your bag is just as important as hers. You should have your bag packed by week 36 because babies don’t always come on schedule. Bring a change of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, snacks and drinks, something to keep you occupied (e.g. books, iPad, games), digital camera and most importantly your mobile phone and charger.
- Fill up the freezer- save your future self some serious kitchen time by stocking up the freezer with healthy meals before the arrival of your baby. It’s a major stress reliever not having to prepare meals in the first 2 weeks if you do not have family around to cook for you.