As the Houston marriage counselor, I’ve had the joy of working with many couples as they go through a pregnancy. This can be an exciting time, but it’s also often one full of stress and anxiety, particularly for the mother. The relationship advice I offer to fathers-to-be is to be supportive in any way they can. It will not only help your wife’s mental health but also be beneficial to the health of the baby and your relationship.

Help out with housework. Has your wife suddenly started to let her usual chores slide? It’s likely because she’s feeling more fatigue than usual. Look for ways you can chip in. Ask if there are any responsibilities you can take over. Consider calling her after work to see if you can pick up anything on your way home. These little gestures can go a long way towards making your partner feel more relaxed during her pregnancy.

Be patient. Your wife’s body is going through a whole host of changes to prepare for the baby, and her hormones are running the show. She may be anxious about every new sensation she’s experiencing, and suddenly everything from eating to exercising is worrisome. What’s safe for the baby? What’s dangerous? Expect mood swings, and do your best not to take them personally or make the situation worse.

Get informed. Has your wife bought a baby book and subscribed to a pregnancy website? Maybe you should, too. Understanding more about what she is going through can help you to be a more supportive partner and find other ways to help her through the process. And who knows? Maybe the next time she frets about a symptom, you’ll be able to chime in with a fact that relieves a little of her anxiety.

Listen. More than anything, your wife might just need someone to talk to about what’s going on with her, especially in the early stages when you may not have told anyone else. Make it a priority to be there for her when she needs to talk. Consider checking in on her during the day to make sure everything’s going alright.

Be positive. If your partner is really struggling with anxiety over finances, the baby’s health, or other issues, do what you can to help ease her mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t share the fears you have, but choose your timing wisely and try to put the focus on solutions rather than problems. Let her know that you are 100% behind this pregnancy. Share your excitement. But also make sure she understands that you’re there for her if anything goes wrong. You can get through it together.

Consider talking to the Houston marriage counselor. Starting a family is a huge life-changing event, and even if you already have a child, adding a new one will put additional stress on your relationship. You don’t have to go through it alone. Call our offices to get relationship advice from the Houston marriage counselor.