Woman with a baby. Beautiful mother with a baby.

Supporting Mom Before and After Pregnancy

As moms, we often get most of the credit for caring for babies during those first few months. However, fathers and partners play a vital role as well that should be noticed.

They may be wired differently as providers and caregivers. However, they love your precious child as much as you do. They are great at finding unique, meaningful ways to help!

Ideas for supporting mom before and after pregnancy

During Pregnancy:

  • Attend prenatal appointments with mom as much as your schedule allows.
    • This allows you both to meet the providers, have questions answered, and be informed about what to expect during pregnancy and delivery. It is also fun to see and/or hear the heartbeat at each appointment, allowing your bond to start growing with your new little one!
  • Find a birthing class and breastfeeding class to attend (in person or online).
    • As expecting moms, they may be a little anxious, so going to these classes with them can help ease some of those anxieties. After the classes, talk about what you both want your child’s birth to look like and how you can support her when the time comes.
  • Encourage and Engage!
    • There is no better way to show mom you care than to support and engage with her as you prepare for your baby’s arrival. One great preparation option is to watch the Moms On Call Online Courses and familiarize yourself with the books. This will give you an idea of the different things going on when the baby comes home, such as bathing, feeding, typical day routines, and more!
  • Go above and beyond to make her feel special!
    • Whether it is a late-night run to the grocery store for an ice cream craving or a nightly foot massage, she deserves to be spoiled and pampered during this time.
  • Be a listening ear!
    • Let her talk, not only about her excitement for this new adventure but also let her express any fears, worries, or anxieties she is facing.

During Delivery:

  • Stand by what she wants for her birth experience and adjust accordingly.
    • If she wants a natural unmedicated delivery, be ready to breathe through every contraction with her and provide lots of back rubs. She may want an epidural; support her in that decision, too. If she needs a c-section, reassure her that she and the baby will be okay.
  • Get involved and be attentive.
    • Many dads get nervous and want to hang out “on the sidelines.” Be present and get involved as much as possible or requested.
  • Step up and hold a leg.
    • When the time comes for her to push, jump right in and assist! The birth process is truly amazing to witness.

The First Few Weeks:

  • Get up with mom during the overnight feedings.
    • In the first couple of weeks, it may help if you would wake the baby up and change the diaper, then have her nurse. This will help her to feel supported and not alone.
  • Keep mom stocked up on snacks and drinks.
    • Make sure she always has a full cup of water and a snack nearby, especially if breastfeeding, because nursing makes you incredibly hungry!
  • Take over baby duty and allow mom to get a nap.
    • Every little bit of sleep counts those first few weeks and new moms have a hard time truly relaxing. Reassure her that you have things under control so she can fully relax and take a nap. Bonus points for folding laundry, cleaning, or cooking dinner, too!
  • Offer to do bath and bedtime feeding.
    • Once breastfeeding is established (usually around two weeks), offer to do the bath and bedtime feeding (bottle of formula or pumped breastmilk). This allows her to have a much-needed break at the end of the day while also allowing her to bond with the new baby.
  • Learn and perfect the swaddle!
    • What better way to show support than perfecting one of the critical components of great sleep in those first few months? Not to mention the additional bonding that happens between you and baby!

Keep the communication lines open. Be honest with the things that you need most from your partner during this time. No one has all the answers. Every relationship is unique. These suggestions are a way to engage and celebrate the role fathers play in the first precious moments of parenting.

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