Pregnancy brings on hormone changes, which might cause mood changes in your partner. These can come with little or no warning to you or her.
It’s easy to take your partner’s mood swings personally, but they’re probably more about hormonal changes than about you. Also, you can expect emotional ups and downs when you consider that your partner is adjusting to a major change in her life. And your partner might be dealing with feeling unwell and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.
If you’re concerned about your partner’s mood changes or finding it difficult to cope with them, try talking to a friend or an understanding family member.
It might help to know that these pregnancy moods will probably pass pretty quickly.
If your partner has moods or emotional changes that last longer than two weeks and are getting in the way of your daily lives, it could be antenatal depression in women. You also need to watch out for signs of antenatal depression in men. If you notice these signs in your partner or yourself, make an appointment with your GP or antenatal clinic.
For some men with pregnant partners, the mornings have a whole new feel about them. The sound of your partner vomiting isn’t the ideal way to wake up.
Morning sickness is usually at its worst early in the day, but it can happen at any point during the day or night. If your partner has morning sickness, try to work as a team to find out what helps.
It could be as simple as being sensitive about her food likes and dislikes. If she’s told you she can’t stand the smell of something, don’t buy it or eat it near her.
This is a time when your partner will appreciate your support. It might help you to know that morning sickness, like many other aspects of pregnancy, can’t always be easily solved. Sometimes you just have to put up with it.
If your partner is doing it tough, it might be a cue for you to tell her that she’s doing a great job of growing a beautiful baby. She might not be up to smiling, but just hearing your encouraging words can help her to cope.
Severe morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum. Symptoms include repeated vomiting, weight loss and dehydration. If your partner is vomiting very often, see your GP, antenatal doctor or hospital, because she might need treatment or hospitalisation.
Things you can do
- Try not to take your partner’s mood swings personally. Talking with a friend, family member or another expectant dad is a better way to deal with it.
- If your partner has morning sickness, avoid buying, cooking or eating things that make her feel sick.
- Ask your partner how you can help with morning sickness. Does she want to be left alone? Does she want you to rub her back while she throws up? Should you keep a supply of dry crackers handy to curb her nausea?
- If your partner has morning sickness, encourage her to eat small amounts often. Nutrition Australia recommends carbohydrate-rich snacks like cheese and crackers, toast, cereal or fruit.
- If your partner is vomiting very often, or you’re worried about her physical or mental health, go to your GP, antenatal clinic or hospital.