The Pregnant Family

If you’re having this baby with a spouse or partner, don’t be surprised if that person has some of the same pregnancy symptoms as you, including weight gain, nausea, food cravings or mood swings.

Partners face nearly as many adjustments to pregnancy as mothers do. While their bodies aren’t undergoing dramatic changes, they may experience a range of powerful emotions and coinciding physical symptoms.

An approaching birth is always a deeply transforming event for both members of a couple.

Pregnancy and birth together make up one of life’s great milestones. Expect to learn much about your partner and about yourself, as you both enter this new stage of life. Becoming a family after having been a couple can be a big change:

  • Some partners feel a little left out as the new mother focuses on her pregnancy and prepares for the baby.
  • Some may become anxious or overprotective, as so much in their lives suddenly is beyond their control.
  • Others may feel strained by the looming responsibility of parenthood.

It’s normal for joy and anxiety to blend as a couple take the first step in the lifelong adventure of parenthood. Pregnancy and childbirth proceed with less stress when both members of the couple are fully involved and informed.

Help your partner adjust to parenthood by sharing your preparations: attending childbirth classes, reading the same books and articles you find helpful, and fixing up a space for the baby. Talk about the change pregnancy brings to both your lives, from worries to sexual feelings, and your partnership will be strengthened.

Other couples or single parents in the same stage of life can be a great source of support and information. You may find other new parents to talk to within a childbirth class, an online message board, your neighborhood or place of worship. It’s important to have people in your life to share the concerns and excitement of parenthood, now and in the future. 

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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