By Dr Chandrika Anand
Pregnancy and childbirth are wonderful events for a family. There is often a belief that pregnancy and childbirth are exclusively a woman’s concern, which is untrue. For many couples, it is a life-changing journey. Every effort should be made to make that journey pleasant and joyful for the mother. Understanding each other’s roles goes a long way in making the whole experience a memorable one.
1.Why should partners be involved?
An involved and supportive partner during pregnancy will find the transition to parenthood smooth. Such involvement also has a positive effect on the child and mother. Various international agencies like UN, WHO, and national programmes have stressed the importance of partner involvement in mother and child care. There are efforts to mainstream partner involvement in pregnancy and childbirth.
2. What role does a partner have during pregnancy? Pregnancy is associated with significant physiological changes. Early pregnancy can be an emotional time for a woman. The involvement of the partner must start as soon as the woman is pregnant. Listening to the partner and offering support can help a woman adjust to pregnancy-related changes. Partners can be present for some aspects of antenatal care such as ultrasound scans and other screening tests. They can take time off to accompany their partner to clinic appointments. It is reported that men react objectively and cognitively, without allowing themselves to become emotionally involved in decisions involving medical procedures during pregnancy. Partners can help in making informed choices with medical problems.
Simple tasks such as eating healthy meals together, and making sure that she gets plenty of rest to improve wellbeing. Exercise during pregnancy is also important. Such involvement will go a long way in maintaining healthier maternal behaviour and preventing adverse outcomes. Men can choose to attend antenatal education classes, find information about pregnancy, and participate in decision-making. Psychological support is very much valued by women in the form of emotional expressions of caring, empathy, and sympathy.
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