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How to include your partner in your pregnancy journey

While it’s your body that is hosting your baby for the next 9 months, it goes without saying that your partner will crave ways to be included in your pregnancy journey. After all, they are half of the reason you got here in the first place! For first-time dads especially, making them feel part of the pregnancy is so important. Luckily, there are many ways to help your partner feel like they’re more than just a shoulder to sleep on during your pregnancy. From planning your doctor’s appointments to helping select important nursery gear, we have compiled a list of the top ways new parents can support each other through pregnancy and help partners feel as though they are an important part of the process, even when they’re not the ones giving birth.

Share a calendar 

Expecting moms will be the first to tell you that their schedules are loaded with reminders–whether it be important doctor’s appointments or just shopping for maternity clothes, there’s a lot to pack in during those nine months. The best way to help your significant other feel as though they’re going through it with you is by sharing a calendar. Whether it’s an old school wall calendar or a digital version, like Google calendars or iCal, make sure to add every pregnancy-related to-do so your partner can decide if they want to join.

It takes two to make an announcement 

The time is here to announce the big pregnancy news to friends and family! Write your message together and better yet—create a new email address for you both to send and receive baby-related emails (for example 

Eat the same healthy foods

Pregnancy means saying no to many foods that are not so great for your health anyway. This is the perfect time for pregnancy co-pilots to cut out–or cut back on–alcohol, caffeine and other fatty foods that don’t do your body any favors. Go grocery shopping as a couple and map out your healthy pregnancy meals together. Foods that are good for that baby inside your belly, are also good for grown-ups. Find healthy pregnancy meals that you can cook together and you can even plan your splurge meals to coincide with date night or a party you will be attending. 

Choose your child’s pediatrician together 

Sometimes quality time together does not only mean going on picnics and taking vacations. Researching and interviewing potential pediatricians for your child can actually be fun. Ask friends for referrals and do your own due diligence by cross checking against your own wants and needs. Create a list of your criteria and include things like location, credentials and bedside manner (if that’s important to you). Come up with a list of questions for the doctors and then make appointments to interview them. 

Get your steps in as a team 

Walking remains one of the safest and healthiest ways to get your exercise in while pregnant. Walking has been shown to have benefits for pregnant women, including improved sleep, reduction of back pain and even constipation relief! Make it a team effort and plan evening or morning walks together. You can use this time to talk about all the things on your to-do list that you use your partner’s help.

Register together

Putting together a baby registry is no easy task. There are the essentials that every expecting parent needs, but there are also the smaller items that are more personal to your style. Crafting the ideal baby registry definitely takes a team effort. Spend some time together as a couple reading reviews on the big gear, such as strollers, car seats and cribs. The fun part comes when you go to the baby gear store together to test drive some of your baby registry items in person. There’s something about running up and down the aisles with a jogging stroller that lifts the mood. 

Feel baby’s first kicks together 

That first moment you feel your baby move inside your belly is almost indescribable. Those soft flutters are pure joy. Each time your baby moves, text your partner an emoji if they’re not nearby. But if your partner is around, bring their hand to your belly so they can revel in the tiny kicks and jabs your baby is making in the womb. 

Go on a babymoon 

This may very well be the last time you can enjoy a kid-free vacation for a while. Make the best of your second trimester (between 14-27 weeks)–which is the best time for a babymoon–and plan a little vacay. The most popular babymoon destinations are often beach vacations, but romantic cities like Paris should not be off the table either. If you don’t feel like getting on an airplane for your babymoon, book a hotel nearby for some relaxation time. Watch movies and order in room service. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the full benefits of a babymoon. 

Create your birth plan together 

While it’s not realistic to expect that your birth plan will go, well, according to plan. You and your partner can–and should–spend time deciding who you want to be at the hospital during the delivery; who you will invite to come visit you in the hospital after the baby is born, and which recipients should receive the email announcing the birth. You will also want to discuss who should be responsible for watching any siblings or pets while you’re giving birth. 

Pack your hospital bag together 

Enlist your partner in helping you pack your labor and delivery bag. Tell them to surprise you with something special in the bag that you wouldn’t necessarily pack yourself. You can also ask them to create the playlist to play while you’re in labor. Of course you will also want to pack the essentials–toiletries, pajamas and clothes for the baby to come home in. 

In the name of love

Choosing a name for your baby can be fraught with emotion. This is not a decision to be made alone. Come up with an initial list of your favorite baby names with your partner. Make is a shared document that can be added onto on a daily basis. Going through the baby naming process is fun and daunting for new parents. This is your child’s calling card, their first mark on the world. You and your partner should try out the baby names for size and say them aloud. Look into their meanings and make sure this is a name that you can both agree on!