Part of having an excellent pregnancy is having a supportive partner.

There are so many ways that you, a pregnant woman’s partner, can be helpful and positive during this special time that might be just a bit challenging for her.

In these tips, see which things a partner should do during pregnancy that can make a pregnant woman feel awesome. These are the ways Dan “took care of me” in all of my trimesters, and ways that you can try, too.

Work out together

Yes, you heard me right! Dan and I started going to the gym together every night during my third trimester and up until the night I went to the hospital.

Sure, not every pregnant woman wants to be on a treadmill hours before contractions start (I was), but you can start working out together as soon as first trimester nausea ends and until third trimester is too difficult.

There are lots of ways to work out together, and it’s great to keep your pregnant partner moving! I liked biking (although doing this together isn’t for everyone), and I sure loved yoga.

Why not do a prenatal yoga class … together? 😊 Especially if your pregnant partner needs a pick-me-up, there’s nothing like a suggestion of some activity you can both do like a brief hike or some walking in a park. Or, if she suggests it first, go along with it to be supportive.

Attend birth classes together

I was very happy that Dan supported us and my pregnancy (well, obviously — it’s our baby) by attending virtual pregnancy and birth classes with me. We learned a LOT together, and when it got too hard for me to handle (I’m not one for medical topics), Dan watched the class and I went into another room.

Doing a birth class together, whether in person or on Zoom, is one of the top ways to support a pregnant partner. This is because pregnant women bear a LOT of the stress during pregnancy. Even if it’s an easy pregnancy, there is still the emotional and physical aspect of it all. Support your partner by putting in an equal load with birth classes, because she’ll need you at her side when that moment comes.

Offer to cook meals

Dan offered to cook a lot of my meals as the third trimester approached. While we were working from home during the day, he’d cook me a nice lunch, if he had time.

And for dinner, I’d tell him what I was craving, and he’d make me something like a Thai curry from scratch, or a shakshuka. Then, we’d eat together, and because the baby was pressing on my stomach, I could only eat half!

Even if you’re not the better cook between the two of you, being supportive and offering to cook is one of the most thoughtful things to do for a pregnant spouse or partner.

Think up cool dates to go on

Some memories I have of my pregnancy are going hiking, just the two of us, and taking photos of my baby bump. I also really enjoyed our babymoon.

When I asked people what I should be doing in the weeks leading up to our daughter’s birth, they said, “Go on all the dates!”

While I’m full of ideas, I appreciate if someone else is, too. Therefore, a supportive partner can think of fun date ideas to go on, like trying new restaurants or doing something like visiting a new nearby city for some walking and a coffee.

Be a shoulder to cry on

Hormones can get the best of you when pregnant. There are a LOT of hormones when a woman is pregnant. There’s also the frustration with all the things you can’t do when you’re pregnant and the fear of missing out of things you used to do.

I would get teary looking at something silly, like newborn babies, or whatever else at the time made me emotional. Sometimes, thinking about giving birth made me scared — frightened, even. I needed a shoulder to cry on.

As a pregnant woman, I just wanted someone to tell me everything was going to be OK and we were going to have a beautiful, healthy baby when my time being pregnant was over. It was a lot to handle, especially knowing that our lives weren’t going to be just the two of us any longer.

With all of this going on in my mind, and for any pregnant woman, the best way to be supportive is to lend a hand to talk about feelings, and to help her relax.

Tell your pregnant wife she looks amazing

If I could scream this from the rooftops, I would.

TELL YOUR PREGNANT WIFE SHE LOOKS INCREDIBLE!

This is something we, pregnant women, want to hear repeatedly, because truthfully, it’s really hard to deal with a body that is changing every week over 9 months. It’s really difficult to see your body change, especially if you spent years working on your appearance or physique. Pregnancy is really challenging in that regard.

So anyway, to be a supportive partner, tell your pregnant wife she looks beyond gorgeous. Tell her she is carrying her baby bump gracefully and beautifully. Tell her she looks great in her maternity clothes (and everyone knows: maternity clothes are something to groan about). These compliments were one of the best parts of being pregnant for me.

These are the best ways to support her well-being and confidence, because physical appearance is one of the most difficult things to resign to during pregnancy.

Come to ultrasounds and appointments

During a first pregnancy, everything is exciting! Dan came to as many of my doctor appointments as he could (until they got repetitive). He would wait in the waiting room, and I’d be able to brief him about the developments with my pregnancy and our baby, as soon as I could.

Because my 20-week ultrasound was at a hospital, Dan couldn’t attend, due to policies, but I was sure to take photos of the sonogram print-outs and send them to him immediately. He wanted support me on this medical and physical journey as much as he could, and it made me feel loved.

Figure out health insurance

It’s not that insurance is a man’s (or non-pregnant partner’s) thing to figure out — it’s just that in my third trimester, I was too tired to use my brain. Plus, we were both on Dan’s insurance plan.

We knew that having a baby would be considered a life event, so we got to choose a plan all over again based on our needs. Dan took care of this completely, and it was a great support to me that I didn’t have to put in any effort toward making the actual change. It also made me know that this was going to support our young family.

Create reassurance and emotional support

There’s a lot of nervousness with pregnancy. There are health complications, worrying about giving birth and being in labor and fear of the unknown.

Try to be a grounding force — this is what any pregnant woman wants from a supportive partner or husband. Tell her the life change is going to be OK, and reassure her that you’re in this together.

Be proactive about baby prep

For us, I took the reins on collecting newborn-sized clothing, bassinet sheets and rattles for our newborn. Dan took the lead on bigger baby products like strollers, car seats and the bassinet. He did an AMAZING job.

Dan spent nights researching stroller brands, and how to get a good deal on the upscale stroller we got, the UPPAbaby Vista with the bassinet attachment. He found out how to use our Amazon registry discount to get it on sale, and assembled it in the days leading up to my giving birth.

He spent an hour putting together our massive HALO Swivel Sleeper Bassinet, and when he was done, it looked great! I never could’ve done that while pregnant, nor did I want to!

He also installed our car seat. He watched videos on YouTube and became a pro at how to do it. These were all things that I needed to be taken care of without me lifting a finger, and I appreciated that he was proactive about getting them all done before we found ourselves going to the hospital.

Helpful Tip

To prep more for what’s to come, check out a similar list of how to support a breastfeeding mom, for partners.

Ask her if she has everything she needs

Pregnant women have all sorts of pregnancy experiences. I was pretty active and with-it for my entire pregnancy, but some women are not as lucky.

I was grateful when Dan asked if I was comfortable, or if I was on the couch and needed my pregnancy pillow. I appreciated when he asked if I had remembered to eat enough, or drink enough, or if I should consider taking a nap. Sometimes it’s that second perspective that really helps, when you are pregnant!