Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting and heartwarming yet confusing or even scary times in life. With all the hormonal and physical changes you may be going through during pregnancy, it can be helpful to nurture your relationship with your partner as relationships during pregnancy can be more challenging.

One way to strengthen your relationship with your partner during pregnancy is to find ways to include them more in the process. It is common for partners of pregnant people to feel left out of the pregnancy, so finding ways to include them can feel supportive and helpful for both of you.

Dr. Kalea Wattles, a Naturopathic Physician who specializes in women’s health, fertility, and functional medicine, states that partner involvement in pregnancy can be especially important, “Pregnancy is an incredible experience, but it can be a time where you feel like your partner can’t understand what you’re going through. I always encourage partners to be as involved as possible. The transition to parenthood is a big deal and it’s so nice to have a foundation of great communication and partnership!”

So, how can you include your partner more during the journey of pregnancy? There are many steps involved in pregnancy like doctor’s appointments, picking out a crib, or creating a birth plan. These steps can be even more enjoyable if you do them with your partner and can also bring you closer together and help you feel less alone in your pregnancy. Keep reading for 10 ways to include your partner more in your pregnancy.

1. Go Shopping for the Baby

There is much shopping to be done during pregnancy to prepare for the baby. Decorating the nursery, buying a car seat, nursing materials, baby clothes, diapers, etc. are all important to do before your baby arrives. Doing this shopping together can help your partner feel more involved in the pregnancy and help both of you share the responsibility (and excitement) of preparing for the baby.

2. Do Wellness Activities Together

Pregnancy can be stressful, so it’s only right to destress with your partner. A couples massage or a spa day with each other can ease the stress and provide some enjoyable quality time.

3. Brainstorm Baby Names

Whether you’re honoring someone in your life or choosing a name that feels right to you, one of the most fun parts about pregnancy can be coming up with baby names. Doing it together can help both of you be involved in that fun and exciting process!

4. Attend Prenatal Doctor Visits

This is one of the more obvious and common ways that pregnant people involve their partner in the pregnancy, but it doesn't make it any less important! Experiencing finding out about your new baby together, like hearing the heartbeat for the first time or learning about the baby's development can foster love, excitement, and bring you two closer together in the process.

5. Take Some Time for Yourselves

During these nine months, it can be easy to put all your focus on preparing for the baby. Yet, it is also important to nurture your relationship by carving some time out for the two of you to enjoy each other. Planning fun date nights and activities together can help recenter your focus on one another and increase intimacy during the pregnancy.

couple cuddling looking at ultrasound picture

6. Celebrate Pregnancy Milestones

Tracking your baby’s development can be very exciting, and there are even apps many couples use during their pregnancy to do this. Celebrating weekly or monthly milestones together is a great way to involve your partner more in the pregnancy and make them feel more informed. Sharing the growth of your baby together can bring you closer together.

7. Create a Birth Plan

Having a plan in place can ease some of the normal anxieties that may come up in the process of labor and ensures that your needs will be met while you are delivering. Doing this together can help both of you feel informed and prepared. During the process, you may choose to hire a doula and/or a midwife together, which can help support the mother in the pre- and post-natal process.

8. Take Childbirth and Postpartum Parenting Classes

Preparing for parenthood can feel intimidating for both of you, so taking a parenting or childbirth class can also help you feel more informed and prepared for your new baby. There are many types of classes to choose from, like classes on labor basics class or postpartum healing. Having your partner attend these with you can make both of you feel safer and more ready for whatever the next few months bring.

9. Have a Couple’s Baby Shower

Couple’s showers (also known as Co-Ed showers) are becoming more popular and can be a more inclusive way to celebrate your pregnancy news with your loved ones. Having a baby is a joint effort, so many feel it's only right to have a joint couples shower!

10. Explore Counseling Services

Pregnancy is a time of huge significance and it can be extremely helpful to find a professional counselor to make sense of everything. Even the healthiest of relationships can benefit from counseling, especially during pregnancy which can be a very exciting and stressful time.