Ease her discomfort with a little (no) a lot of what she fancies
Congratulations, at week 33 of the pregnancy you are now approaching the home straight. However, the final few weeks before delivery can see your partner feeling heavy, emotional and in considerable physical discomfort. She may feel even worse if she has a pregnancy related condition such as symphysis pubis dysfunction (or pelvis pain to you and me).
The hormones are back in town – just as a rage of hormones helped her to get pregnant, stay pregnant and grow your unborn child, another seismic hormonal shift will help the baby come out and as these hormones swoop down you may experience a return of the those early days symptoms, such as fatigue, mood swings and griping about pain.
However, soon there’ll be baby for you to cope with, so by helping your partner now not only can you alleviate some of her discomfort you can also develop the kind of mentality to help you hit the ground running when you finally reach fatherhood.
Here are some of our top tips for reducing the amount of pain and discomfort experienced by your heavily pregnant partner as she nears the due date.
Feed the beast
Firstly, we’re not suggesting that you call her this. It is simply that if she is hungry and her blood sugar levels are dropping she is only likely to feel both more discomforted and more crotchety.
You can help her manage her blood sugar levels and general feeling of wellbeing by regularly serving her healthy meals and well-timed snacks.
Frankly, at the moment her belly is likely to be so big that even if she feels up to it she is probably unable to actually reach the kitchen worktop or the back of the fridge for that matter.
Let her save her energy for more restorative activities such as a short walk in the park or a visit from friends.
Help make her comfortable
It is hard for blokes to imagine just quite how cumbersome mothers-to-be feel in the later stages of pregnancy.
Do what you can to help her put her feet up and relax (this will help reduce any swelling she is experiencing in her feet). Whether it is by bringing her a footstool, propping her up with cushions, vacating your usual position on the sofa or creating a comfortable and convenient environment in the bedroom, you can take the pressure off and help her feel cared for.
Take her swimming
Swimming has long been a recommended exercise for pregnancy, even during its later stages. Being in the water gives your partner a welcome break as she will be more supported and will feel the relief of relative weightlessness – it will also help cool her down.
There are numerous other benefits, too, from improved circulation to reduced swelling, increased muscle tone and improved sleep. In fact, swimming is probably the ideal exercise for the third trimester of pregnancy, particularly as it is low-impact, meaning that is easy on both your baby and your partner’s joints.
It’s also a bit mind-blowing: while your partner is swimming, your child is swimming inside her!
Make her a hot water bottle
Make her a hot bottle whenever she needs it. She will probably find the most relief from placing this at the small of her back.
Exercise your hands
One way to ease the aches and discomfort your partner is experiencing is to give her regular massage.
Not only does massage knead out knots in her muscles, it also releases endorphins which can promote feelings of well-being while also suppressing the experience of pain.
It is also an intimate act that affirms your bond and relationship. It may also lead to…
If she’s in the mood – some mothers-to-be are in the third trimester – and she is having a healthy, pregnancy uncomplicated by a condition such as vaginal bleeding, cervical insufficiency or placenta previa, she may be receptive to the large scale endorphin release and time out of mind that comes with sex.
You may have to improvise and be imaginative with positions and it may not be convenient to engage in penetrative sex, but there is plenty you can do; only be sure to put her pleasure first!