SafeMotherhood
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YOUR ROLE THROUGH PREGNANCY

Understanding your partner

Although it takes two to conceive a child, after it's happened each person will go through a different set of emotions. While your partner will probably be preoccupied with her changing body shape, you will be undergoing your own psychological preparation for fatherhood.

Some men are scared that their partners may have become more fragile. Although women experience many physical changes and discomforts, you must remember that pregnancy isn't an illness. Don't withdraw because you feel it is a medical problem to be dealt with by professionals. Your support will make a real difference to how your partner copes. All you need is a little imagination!

One father described how he felt he could have been more helpful: "Sharon had nausea in both pregnancies, a horrible taste in her mouth. I don't think I was as sympathetic as I could have been, because I didn't fully understand."

If your partner suffers bad morning sickness, try recalling the last time you felt seasick. Now imagine it being worse and lasting for weeks! Some women enjoy being pregnant, but if your partner hates the changes to her body and feels self-conscious and unattractive, she may need some reassurance of your continued love for her.

Some women feel really sexy when they're pregnant, while others may feel too tired and uncomfortable for sex. Sex during pregnancy is quite safe for the baby, but don't forget that there's more to sex than intercourse and there are a lot of other pleasurable ways of being intimate.

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