Many are already familiar with the concept of post-partum depression. There’s also such a thing as “pre-baby” blues. Anxiety and depression can happen during pregnancy. This can result in premature birth or possible weight loss for the baby while still in the womb.
One study conducted in a Scandinavian country of nearly 50,000 mothers determined how spousal support, together with smoking, drinking, and stress, contributes to anxiety to the child-bearing partner. The study finds that a supportive spouse or partner helps to reduce the negative impacts of stressors like alcohol consumption or work-related stress.
Whether pregnant women are from Oslo or Payson, they experience the same kind of anxiety associated with pregnancy. Here’s how you can support your partner during pregnancy:
Data on Anxiety During Pregnancy
More than 19,200 respondents participated in 21 studies in 2004, which revealed that between 7.4% to 12.8% of cases of depression occurred anytime from the first to the third trimester of a pregnancy
The fertility rate provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is at 59.1 per 1,000 women. Given the current U.S. population and the age-sex distribution, there will be about 85.5 million women between the ages of 15 to 54. Given the fertility rate, assuming a one-birth-one-woman ratio, and subtracting the nearly 40% unmarried pregnancies, a very rough estimate is that there will be more than 3.03 million pregnant women in a spousal relationship.
From this, you can extrapolate that cases of depression will be between 224,000 to 387,000. By being supportive, you can help bring down this number.
What Partners Can Do
They feel nauseous. Getting out of bed isn’t easy. The first thing that you need to do as a partner is to recognize that she’s no longer the same. This recognition means that you shouldn’t be annoyed if she harps about how difficult it is to get out of bed. She’d rather be that nimble person she used to be, but she can’t. If she randomly feels withdrawn, give her space, and don’t be needy for attention. This type of hypersensitivity to her needs is going to be the foundation of how you provide emotional support. Here are more ways to be supportive during pregnancy:
- Learn. Expressing empathy is essential. The only way you can genuinely show compassion is if you understand what being pregnant is all about. Read books and blogs about pregnancy. Watch videos on YouTube. Join a social group. Finding out how others are coping might help you in your relationship, too.
- The craving-ready you. A particular cookie in the middle of the night can be a craving. Be ready to head out the door to get her one. Giving in to her desires with no questions asked is essential. While you attached a new meaning to the word “love,” she will feel loved!
- Communicate. You need to be healthy during this pregnancy, too. Timing is crucial, but make sure that you talk to your wife about your needs or what you can fit in your schedule. Don’t keep your sentiments bottled up. Make a decision together, for example, about when to go to the doctor for checkups or if she wants you in the room during delivery.
Finally, being pregnant is a physically exhausting phase in a woman’s life. Make sure that you are both mindful of the need for rest. These are just a few pointers, but they can make pregnancy less stressful for couples.