In modern societies, the couple expecting the child and available health services do their best to ensure a safe delivery of baby by a healthy mother. In addition to these, traditional societies have institutions and customs which provide care for the expectant mother until and after delivery. Families, the community and even the church join the parents to celebrate birth in both traditional and modern societies .
I however wish to hammer on a few things a husband can do to ensure his wife goes through pregnancy and delivery safely and smoothly, while strengthening their marriage.
If he and his wife already share a close relationship, whatever the husband does right is deeply appreciated so he is encouraged to do more and better. Such a man makes his spouse know that next to God she is the most important person in his life. He makes sure his attitude toward his wife is affectionate and thoughtful most of the time.
If there is any problem or the slightest disagreement between them at any point of the pregnancy, this must be resolved soonest. Where they cannot resolve the issue themselves, the couple must agree to seek professional counselling which must be Christian for those who share the Christian faith.
Pregnant women can be so sensitive and emotional that the slightest problem can upset them very much. This may seriously and dangerously affect their health and that of the baby in the womb!
Of course the pregnant wife must eat healthy foods as well as take advice and medicines prescribed only by her obstetrician. And her husband, without being authoritarian, must keep an eagle eye on her so she does the right thing. Or he can politely prompt her when she fails to follow her doctor’s instructions.
Accompanying his wife to antenatal clinics ( where possible) makes her know more intimately that her husband cares about her. Also through this , the man can learn what changes are going through his wife’s body and mind. When she has morning sickness vomiting at ungodly hours, he will understand. Food cravings and dislike of usually favorite dishes will not be strange to him. Neither will mood swings say from calmness to sudden tears surprise him. The husband may rather sympathize with her situation and even pamper her, assuring her the situation will change for the better soon.
His wife will deeply appreciate it when her husband takes her out for dates, visits , church services and other functions when she is well enough to go. And definitely, sharing a common faith which for me is Christianity does go a long way to make things easier during pregnancy.
Some wives become so sick and weak,especially during the early months of pregnancy, that they need all the help they can get to run their homes. Some women are not able to go to work and require sick leave from their doctors to rest at home or in hospital. Where the husband is able to help with or take over household chores including cooking and child care, he will endear himself to his wife for the rest of their life together. If he cannot physically help, he can plan with his expectant wife to seek help from family and friends or find paid help. I know it is not easy to afford paid help in some countries.
The husband who insists his pregnant wife serves him hand and foot despite her poor health and avoids giving assistance of any sort or encouragement to her is being unreasonable. He is not using this fine opportunity to endear himself to his wife in a way she can treasure long after the birth of their baby.
What is also very terrible is when a husband neglects his pregnant wife and withdraws from her because he thinks she is no longer attractive. Some husbands are even wrongly afraid they may hurt the baby in the womb if they have sex with their wives. Where the wife desires sex and her obstetrician agrees with her, her husband’s refusal can be an unpleasant situation for her.
It can be a very solemn time and an occasion for bonding when the husband goes into the delivery room with his wife to provide support and even hold the new baby! (I have heard a few men have collapsed before the arrival of their babies)!
And I must not forget to mention that plans for the baby’s care and needs must be made before she is born. Finding an efficient and caring nanny or the right daycare must be decided early especially where the mother has to return to work after maternity leave. Where paternity leave is available, the husband can request for the privilege so he can help with care for the new baby.
Fathers who are able to help their wives care for their children from infancy receive the bonus of becoming close to their offspring for life. These children are more than willing to spend enjoyable time with, and resources on their aged dads.
Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, ……. . So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself -Ephesians 5: 25, 28 (NKJV).
ADDENDUM THIS BLOG DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. PREGNANT WOMEN MUST CONSULT THEIR DOCTORS AND OBSTETRICIANS.