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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Michelle LIM Associate Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital


Pregnancy is a shared experience between you and your partner — a life-changing journey you're both undertaking. But at the end of the day, the physical changes are happening to you alone. So as you enter week 11 of your pregnancy, how can you share the challenges and joys with your partner?

1. Suggest Fun Roles and Tasks

suggest fun roles and tasks

The dad-to-be can be your designated researcher, scanning through books and credible websites to read up on all things pregnancy-related. That means that should small hiccups surface, like leg cramps or odd food cravings, he will already know what to do to help.

Related: Pregnancy and Diet

2. Share the Moments

share the moments

From visiting the doctor to picking out maternity clothes, these simple chores are much better when done together. Not only do they allow you to make sure you both bask in important moments that will become treasured memories; they also mean you're both able to tackle any challenges that arise, because you'll have experienced those crucial moments together.

Related: Parenting Together: Partners in Love

3. Don't Bottle Up Feelings

dont bottle up feelings

If you're experiencing doubts or irritations, no matter how small, bring them out into the open. Negative feelings that don't have an outlet can often become larger issues.

Related: Managing Negative Emotions

4. Gamify Communication

gamify communication

Nervous about airing your needs and wants? Lighten the mood with a small game — both of you can come up with three conversation-starting questions that must be answered honestly (think “Truth or Dare” without the “Dare”).

For example, your partner could ask, "What's one thing you're nervous about when the baby is born?" Even if your answer is lighthearted (like "I'm worried we won't be able to agree on a name right away!"), the conversation will allow you both to share your dreams and worries in a safe space.

Related: In the Mood for Love (During Pregnancy)

5. Communicate Positively (and Physically)

communicate positively

If you have a gripe to share, start with a positive note. (For example, “I love that you are already buying such high-tech baby equipment, but can we check if we have the budget for it?”)

Lastly, don't forget that body language speaks volumes. A light complaint can be soothed instantly by a touch on the arm and a smile.

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References

  1. Tan, T., Tan, K., Tan, H., & Tee, J. C. (2008). The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth.. New Jersey: World Scientific.

  2. Health Promotion Board. (2013). Healthy Start for your Pregnancy.. Singapore: Health Promotion Board.