Here are some common complaints during the last few months of pregnancy.
If the first 12 weeks have not been good, then after 13 weeks things usually improve. Between about 13 weeks and 26 weeks, most women feel pretty good. They may have a small bump, feel the baby moving, feel less sick, less tired and less grumpy!
Indigestion and piles are still a common complaint but if this is the case, then hopefully your wife will not leave the house without her friends Gaviscon and Anusol in her bag!
After about 26 weeks, and for some women, closer to 30 weeks, your wife may start to feel more uncomfortable as her internal organs, especially her bladder and stomach become squashed to accommodate the growing baby.
These organs will no longer function as efficiently as before and she may be weeing much more frequently and really suffering with indigestion.
She may be short of breath as the growing baby squashes her diaphragm. She may find it harder to walk as fast or as far as usual, so be patient if she has trouble keeping up with you!
She may be getting some lower back pain as the growing baby pushes her tummy out and her spine curves in. if she complains of pain you can remind her to keep good posture, sit upright properly and hold her tummy muscles in. A yoga ball can be helpful for her posture, especially in the evenings after a meal. Encourage her to lie down for an hour a day if she can, and run her a warm bath after work. You could offer her a massage. For more on this, see section on “Hip and Back Ache”
You could empty the dishwasher from time to time so she doesn’t have to bend down. Help her with the shopping so she doesn’t have to carry heavy bags. She is of course capable of doing both these things, but pregnancy means she releases more of a hormone which relaxes all her joints, meaning she is much more likely to injure herself whilst lifting or straining.
Look again at this and remind yourself of why your wife is feeling uncomfortable!
She may be starting to freak out towards the end of the pregnancy as the reality of the situation becomes more apparent and the impending birth gets closer! She may start to become afraid of the pain she may have to go through and how she will cope. You can help her by reading around the subject of labour and birth – and let her know that you understand the process and how you can help and support her when the time comes.
Please have a look at our section on Stages of Labour.
She may start to worry about how you will both cope as parents and how she will cope with the huge change in her life. You can encourage her by letting her know you understand that huge changes are about to occur but you are ready to embrace them and that she will make a fantastic mother. If you are a Party Animal, or a Drinks with The Lads type, perhaps curtail your late night drinking sessions- she will not be feeling overly confident or happy about a husband who seemingly spends his free time and money at the pub! She wants to know that you are there for her and will support her.
If she has signed up for NCT or other ante natal classes and you are required to go along to one or more sessions, accept gracefully! She will be annoyed and probably upset if you make a fuss about going. Above all, she wants to feel supported and like you are in this together! Most of these groups end up organising nights out for the fathers, so its not all bad!
The Car Seat for the baby is your domain! Make sure you have a car seat before the baby is born as some hospitals will not let you leave unless they see the baby in one. Please make sure you know how to install said car seat as leaving the hospital with your baby for the first time can be an emotional and tiring one and the last thing you want is an argument in the car park because you don’t know how to install and secure the seat! Practice before the big day!!
Click here to read about how you can help during Labour.