Here are a few things you should know about the next nine months as the dad-to-be. By Kim Bell
Her breasts are no longer your breasts
At least, not at the moment. If one of the side-effects of pregnancy you were looking forward to was your partner’s increased chest size, then you are in for huge disappointment. Yes, they may seem beautiful and voluptuous, but that increased size is due to hormones and the start of creating a food source for your baby-to-be. It could be a case of look but don’t touch, because they are bound to feel sensitive.
It’s not that she’s not into you
She really is tired (or has a headache). Your partner is growing a baby and that takes a huge amount of energy on her part. Not only is her body shifting and changing to accommodate your growing child, but there are bigger doses of progesterone that are now pumping into her body, which can make her tired. So, if she’s suddenly snoring on the couch at 8pm, it’s really not you or your company.
She may not get enough
On the other hand, while some moms-to-be are left drained and exhausted, others may have a new lease on life and are a little on the frisky side. During pregnancy, there is an increased blood flow to the genital region.. This may peak late in the first trimester and into the second. Enjoy this time, while it lasts.
No, you won’t hurt the baby
No matter how well, erm, sized you are, you will not come into contact with your baby. Not only is she safe and snug within the placenta, a thick, protective mucus plug seals off the opening to the cervix.
Don’t panic if she gags in your presence
She hasn’t developed a sudden aversion to you, but rather your body odour. Pregnancy truly heightens her sense of smell, and that deodorant and body wash she thought were so delicious a month ago, may be anything but now. If this is the case, change to something she can stand, or turn to fragrance-free products. (And whatever you do, make sure you shower after your run or gym session, before giving her a hug.)
Have fun and experiment with your positions
As your partner heads into month four and beyond, the missionary position is one that may need to be shelved, as the weight of her uterus may put pressure on those important blood vessels. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy sex – you just need to find a position that works for you both. And this may change as the pregnancy progresses.
Keep complimenting her and telling her she is the most beautiful woman in the world
As her pregnancy progresses, and she gets bigger and bigger, her confidence may take a knock. Your baby has, quite literally, taken over her body. She may be anxious about the birth, she may be concerned that her tummy and breasts (or other parts) may never be the same again, and she may worry that she will no longer be attractive in your eyes.
Time to cuddle
While sex is generally safe during most healthy pregnancies, there may be times when your gynae or midwife will caution against it. This is particularly true if there is a risk of preterm labour, placenta previa or a dilated cervix. Sex may also be a no-no if your partner is cramping or spotting.
Keep up the contact
If you are both going through a dry spell, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some intimacy and contact or some romantic times. Run her a candle-lit bath, or offer to massage her shoulders, lower back, legs and feet. She will thank you for it.
Overdue? A bit of frisky business may be the answer
If it’s time, and your partner just wants the baby out, yet she seems set on staying in, sex may be just the answer. According to the experts, semen contains a hormone called prostaglandin, which helps to stimulate the cervix, and may bring on those contractions she’s waiting for.
Kim Bell is a wife, mother of two teenagers and a lover of research and the way words flow and meld together. She has been in the media industry for over 20 years, and yet still learns more about life from her children everyday. You can learn more about Kim Bell here.