How to care for a mum-to-be
With all of these, you should aim to do them before she suggests them or before she hears that other dads-to-be have done them. Very often the fact that you're treating her (without being bullied into it) is appreciated more than the treat itself. Also, some are one-offs and some should be done more often but be careful - a treat's only a treat when it's occasional.
|Tidy up||Not exciting but important, especially before she starts moaning at you. You see those piles of newspapers and magazines? Get rid of them!||A few - more if you do it without her asking.|
|Do the housework||Washing up, cleaning, laundry - boring and the worst part is you could still get moaned at for not doing it more often.||Pitiful for the effort involved but still worth doing.|
|Arrange a beauty session||There are some health spas, hotels and resorts that have treatments and pamper days especially for pregnant women. This is probably appreciated most if she can go with a friend (or several).||Loads but it doesn't come cheap. You also have to be careful that she doesn't think it's your way of saying she looks rough!|
|Buy her flowers||It happens to us all: 'So and so's partner bought her some flowers. When was the last time you bought me flowers?'. Prevention is better than cure - get her some flowers and preferably not because it's a special day or you've just had an argument! For flowers online, try eden4flowers.co.uk.||Several but only if you buy them "just because".|
|Buy something for the baby||Reassures her that you're positive about the whole thing. It should be something quite mundane, though as she'll obviously want to be involved when it comes to buying exciting stuff like clothes and prams. Stick to nappies, sheets, first aid kit or book, etc.||Fairly high and no need to spend too much. In this case, it really is the thought that counts.|
|Buy something for her: 1||Something to help with the pregnancy. My recommendations are a pregnancy pampering pack, a relaxing CD, scented candles, v-shaped pillow, good pregnancy-related book.||Limited only by your generosity but a little goes a long way.|
|Buy something for her: 2||Something to forget about the pregnancy. Should be something completely unconnected with babies to remind her she's still a person in her own right and not just the mother of an unborn child.||Lots if you buy wisely. Check with her mum or friends to be safe.|
|Give her a massage||I don't know any woman that wouldn't appreciate this but in pregnancy it's especially worthwhile to ease backache. Not all types of massage are suitable, however. An easy but effective one is to sit behind your partner and slide your hands slowly but firmly from the shoulders down to the lower back with thumbs either side of the spine. Do this several times, sometimes circling the thumbs as you go. Finally, move down the back with your fingertips doing light "pit-a-pats". At the very least, treat her to a foot rub while watching TV. Heh, heh, works every time!||Tons and tons. And cheap.|
|Buy a magazine||Ideally a baby or pregnancy magazine, but alternatively you could just research baby information. Bringing home leaflets on baby vaccinations, for example, shows admirable enthusiasm.||Quite a few and a safe option.|
|Go clothes shopping||Clothes for her, that is. Once she's regained consciousness at your suggestion, she'll be excited for days about all the things she can get you to pay for.||Women and shopping - need I say more? Bonus points if you encourage her to be fitted for nursing bras, which is more of a necessity than a treat.|
|Book a holiday||An expensive treat but it's your last opportunity as a couple. Just be careful to book somewhere she'd like to go. A weekend break that happens to coincide with a major sporting event, well, the consequences just don't bear thinking about...||Maximum points if you get it right. Minus points if you mess it up. A lighter wallet either way.|
|Bake her a cake||Try Delia Online for some reliable recipes.||Only if you tidy the kitchen when you've finished.|
|Spend time with her||Either at home or out together for a walk as you won't get much time for quiet conversation in future. There's so much to worry about during pregnancy I recommend concentrating on discussing how good life has been as a couple and how good life will be as a family.||Lots of warm, fuzzy ones.|
|Light some candles||Quick but effective. A good tip is to put some in the bathroom when you're running a bath for her, along with a couple of drops of essential oil (e.g. lavender) and a relaxing CD on.||Some but they wear off quickly.|
|Compliment her||Although I don't like the fact that the role of a dad-to-be often gets overlooked, I must admit there is a good reason for it. To me, being pregnant looks like a nightmare and she deserves your encouragement and kind words.||More than money can buy.|
You'll notice I haven't mentioned going out for a meal. This is because she'll be very quick to tell you her cravings and is likely to have strong opinions on what, when and where you eat. Let her be the boss.
One additional tip is to put together a labour treat pack. Contrary to what Hollywood tells us, you don't rush to hospital at the first signs of labour. You should contact them initially but you're likely to spend most of the labour at home, so a good way to help her is to arrange for little treats every hour or half hour of labour. This may sound patronising but if she's in constant agony for hours it probably won't be her main concern.
N.B. DadCafe does not accept responsibility for the success or failure of these tips. The value of brownie points may go down as well as up. Please consult a professional (i.e. a female) if you have any doubts.