Track your partner’s pregnancy
Many fathers-to-be around the world, with the exception of a very few, often feel overwhelmed and confused not knowing exactly what to do and expect when their partners go through various stages of pregnancy. Some even completely recoil away without offering any kind of help at all. However, what they don’t realize is that only happy and well-cared mothers can give birth to healthy babies at the end. Therefore, if you are a soon-to-be-father yourself, it is high-time for you to pitch in and support your partner in every possible way and contribute to reducing her stress at this complicated time.
The entire process of pregnancy spans across 40 weeks separated into three trimesters. Each trimester is complex in its own way and imposes different challenges and changes on your partner and her body. Having a basic idea about these changes might always come in handy for you to help her get through these difficult times.
First Trimester (1st week- 12th week)
Normally, the first trimester is the most challenging for many pregnant mothers. The sudden surge in hormone levels in the body brings about various changes in organs and systems of the body. Cessation of menstruation is a good indicator of pregnancy, but a blood test must be done for confirmation. The symptoms of pregnancy can begin to manifest from the first week itself.
Sore and swollen breasts: Occurs due to hormonal changes affecting the milk ducts. It can even last the entire trimester. Buy her an up-size bra to ease the discomfort.
Morning Sickness: Accompanies episodes of headache along with nausea and/or vomiting. Usually, starts within the first month and fades out at the 12th-14th weeks. Always be supportive of her. You can try home remedies, but severe conditions demand medical attention.
Mood Swings: It’s almost always the hormones talking and doing stuff. Be tolerant. Reassure her at all times.
High frequency of urination: Increased fluid retention during pregnancy and the pressure inflicted upon bladder by uterus might cause this. But, keep her hydrated all the time.
Heartburn: Acid reflux might occur as a result of muscle relaxation by Progesterone. Give her small meals throughout the day. Avoid spicy, oily, or greasy food if possible.
Weight Gain: It is absolutely normal to gain weight. Ideal weight gain in T1 is usually about 1.5-3 lb.
Constipation: Hormonal activity can slow things down. Increase her fiber intake and give her a lot of fluids.
Slight bleeding: Slight amount of spotting can be a sign of implantation. However, if significant bleeding occurs with pain, rush to a hospital.
Fatigue: She might feel tired than usual. Help her in doing daily chores.
Different food cravings and aversions: Her appetite might change. Be supportive.
Second Trimester (13th week– 28th week)
Many mothers find this trimester to be easier than the previous one. Some features like constipation, increased urination, heartburn etc. might continue to trouble her. Morning sickness usually goes away. The baby will continue to grow expanding the abdomen. The first fetal movements or quickening can be felt around the 18th week.
Pain in the back: Expanding belly and previous weight gain can strain her back. Maintaining good back support while sitting and standing is important. Tuck pillows between her legs while sleeping on her side to ease her pain. Make sure to give her a good massage once in a while.
Breasts continue to grow: However, soreness gradually fades away.
Stretch marks can appear all over the body.
Skin Darkening: Hormonal changes can lead to increased production of the melanin pigment. As a result, brown marks can appear on the skin, especially in the face. Linea Nigra appears on the abdomen.
Hemorrhoidal conditions: Can occur due to varicose veins around the anus leading to itchiness and discomfort. A warm tub therapy can be helpful. In extreme conditions should consult your doctor.
Weight Gain: The ideal weight gain of T2 is around 0.8 lb. /week. Both rapid and inadequate weight gains can be risky for the well-being of the baby.
Bleeding gums: Due to various hormonal changes, her gums become more sensitive and tend to swell and bleed. This can be extremely painful. So, you can buy her a gentle toothbrush and encourage her to maintain proper dental hygiene.
Third Trimester (29th week-40th week)
At the third trimester, your partner will get bigger than ever! Her discomforts will persist and can be even aggravated. Body aches, heartburns, increased urination, breast enlargement, etc. will continue to bother her. You need to be supportive all the time.
Braxton Hicks contractions: These mild contractions are false ones which prepare the uterus for real labor contractions in the future. They sometimes can be very painful. If her contractions start to get more intense at a higher frequency, you must see your doctor.
Difficulty in breathing: Expanding uterus affects lung expansion making it difficult to breathe. You can prop her head when lying down with some pillows to make it easy for her to breathe.
Swelling: Edema conditions may manifest as swellings of face and ankles. Keeping feet elevated might reduce the swelling of ankles.
Weight Gain: Ideal weight gain in T3 is around 0.5-1lb/week.
Bleeding: Bleeding usually indicates serious conditions like placenta previa or placental abruption.
Pregnancy can be a challenging process for both you and your partner. Yet, these challenges can be easily overcome with support and mutual understanding. Learn how to differentiate risk factors from what is normal. Then, you will be able to bring a healthy baby into this world without any hassle.