Parents (USA)

Pregnancy

Team up with your partner.

- by JEANNETTE MONINGER

Learn together.

As your pregnancy progresses, one way for the two of you to bond is through prenatal classes. Although not all may be in person yet, online options are available. It’s ideal to attend as many prenatal classes as possible, so search online or ask your ob-gyn. You can also download pregnancy apps to get ready for breastfeed­ing and prepare for newborn care. In addition, the two of you can listen to the Parents podcast That New Mom Life, which explores the first few months of parenting, and discuss what you’ve learned. Since your unborn child can hear, it’s never too early to start reading, singing, and talking to your child! Research suggests that infants remember the rhythms of both parents’ voices after they’re born. You can also work together to compile a list of questions to ask at each of your doctor’s appointmen­ts.

Divide and conquer.

There are so many decisions to be made that it’s often helpful to split them up. For example, when planning your baby registry, your partner can spend hours researchin­g the best crib and car seat, while you look for the best stroller, crib sheets, and postpartum mama items (and then share what you’ve found with each other). If your partner enjoys building things, you can put them in charge of assembling the crib and other baby furniture. Sharing responsibi­lities is a great way to show you trust each other’s judgment. Remember to work together when you’re figuring out how to use the car seat and stroller—because you’ll both need to know.

Have a date night.

You might be short on time and energy, but life certainly won’t calm down after your little one arrives. Ask your partner to plan some special quality time for the two of you. Although it probably won’t be an exotic babymoon, consider a romantic dinner together. Order takeout from that cool new restaurant, and snuggle up while streaming a new film or your favorite Netflix series. This might be a perfect, low-key time to bounce around baby names as well as to share your worries, hopes, and dreams for your new family. Sources: Joyce Gottesfeld, M.D., an ob-gyn at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, in Denver; Parents advisor David L. Hill, M.D., author of Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro.

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