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Trying to conceive is something you and your partner do together. Even if your pregnancy was a surprise, both partners played a very equal role in the conception of your baby. Parenting, too, is team work. But pregnancy is something that women do alone. Or is it? What are the ways to get your partner involved in your pregnancy? And how can partners of pregnant women bond with their unborn children?

Pregnancy a joint venture?

Women gestate babies. They carry them around in their uteri for approximately 40 weeks. This is one pleasure that men can not possibly experience. These are the simple, biological facts. But does that mean that your partner can't participate in your pregnancy? Of course not! Most men love coming to prenatal visits, and seeing their unborn sprout on an ultrasound monitor (see, when can you have a 4D ultrasound?). Once you are a bit further along in your pregnancy, your partner will also be able to feel the baby kick. Going to childbirth education classes is not every man's thing (or every woman's, for that matter!) but for some, Lamaze or Bradley method classes are a great way to help couples enjoy their pregnancy together. Your guy does not have to practice labor breathing techniques with you to get involved, though. One great thing that men can do is pampering their pregnant partner as much as possible cooking dinner, giving a nice massage, taking her clothes to the dry cleaner... Whatever it is that you need in pregnancy, while you are busy gestating your baby, get your partner to do other things.

Preparing for parenthood

Decorating your baby's nursery, going baby shopping, and discussing parenting choices are undoubtedly things that expectant parents both men and women together can have an equal share in. Perhaps focusing on the baby that will be born at the end of your nine months, rather than on the pregnancy itself, is the best way to get your partner involved. In my experience, men can find pregnancy a bit of an abstract and foreign concept. And, at the danger of saying something cliche and stereotypical, I'll say it anyway. Men generally love making practical preparations. Whether that means reading parenting or birth books to inform themselves, painting your baby's room, or testing out strollers or baby carriers, there are lots and lots of things that future fathers can get on board with! What are your ways of involving your partner in your pregnancy? Or if you are a man, how do you experience your journey to fatherhood? Also see, how to prepare your older child for a new baby. I am sorry no, that wasn't some kind of pun suggesting that your partner is just a big kid. Really!

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