As I waddled around Target, pregnant with baby #6, all I could think about was ‘When am I going to have my body back?’
My feet ached, I couldn’t sleep well, and indigestion commonly came to visit.
But pregnancy doesn’t come without its perks. When people saw me coming, the moved out of the way, opened doors for me and told me how good I looked pregnant. As someone who likes the limelight, I relished the praise and attention.
What (or should I say ‘who’) most people forget when they notice a pregnant woman is the figure behind her…carrying the bags, lifting the heavy objects and giving the occasional, but much-needed foot rubs.
Even though the rest of the world was looking at me while I was pregnant, it’s important that a pregnant woman doesn’t forget to pay attention to her husband during this exciting season.
Here are seven actions to take when you are pregnant to ensure you STAY married well past the baby phase!
Marriage problems during pregnancy? How You Can Protect Your Marriage During Pregnancy
1. Have Sex
I know. It’s the last thing on your mind when you feel like a beached whale, but jut because you don’t feel sexy doesn’t mean your husband doesn’t think you are.
Sex is a vital part of marriage. It’s the only thing that differentiates marriage from a friendship.
Unless the doctor or midwife has told you to abstain, it’s important to keep the fires in the bedroom burning.
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During different seasons of my marriage, I’ve found scheduling sex for certain days helps me to remember my husband’s needs.
Sex during the last stages of pregnancy is especially difficult, so here are some positions (with illustrations) on how to accomplish this task!
Even if you only have sex for his pleasure (though it’s better when both of you can enjoy it), realize that there will be a six-week period where NO VAGINAL SEX will be occurring post baby. So, you can think of it as “paying it forward.”
Speaking of the “no sex after baby season,” this is ALSO a time to discuss what you will do during this time. Six weeks is a long time for a marriage to go without some sort of physical affection, so make sure you prepare for it.
2. Have Fun
You know why married women sometimes get into relationships with other men even though they LOVE their husbands?
It’s fun. (Though I don’t recommend it).
Think about it, marriage is FULL of stressful conversations about spending money, emotional issues and raising children. On the other hand, a relationship with a new person doesn’t have all that baggage. It’s only got excitement.
For both of your sakes, make an effort to have more fun.
I know you have responsibilities.
The grass needs mowing.
The house is a wreck.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
But guess what? The grass will still be there (and needing to be mowed every other week until Jesus comes back) and unless you have company coming, no one is going to be judging your dishes.
Drop everything, go out and do something fun!
3. Respect Him
I have a vivid memory of something I did before my husband and I got married that I quickly learned to never do again.
We were with a group of friends at Austin, Texas’s famous Kerbey Lane Cafe enjoying pancakes and coffee when I told a story of something my husband did wrong. A story that I thought was quite funny, at his expense. I loudly declared his mistakes and got paid in a table full of laughter.
When we got into the car, he expressed how disrespected he felt to be called out in public. He said he felt like a fool and politely asked that I wouldn’t do that again.
I swear, that man is something special for putting up with me all these years!
In Shaunti Feldman’s book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men, she writes that a survey was done in a room full of men and women. The question was asked:
“What would you rather how, respect or love?”
She was shocked to see that men said they would rather have RESPECT over love! Because to them, respect meant they were loved.
Remember, respect doesn’t just happen in public, it’s an overflow of your private marital lives.
4. Show Him Appreciation
We often joke that women get the hard part of having a baby, while men put in their “5 minutes” (which was all fun and games) and don’t have to deal with much else.
Us moms get the morning sickness, the backaches and the heartburn…not to mention the actual labor!
Often, women are treated like the heroes in this birth thing and men are just our trusty sidekicks.
Our husbands aren’t going to force their way into the limelight, so it’s up to us to put them back up there!
When someone gushes over your pregnant belly or asks if you are excited, take the opportunity to gush over your husband’s helpfulness or tell them a story of a sweet thing your husband did that shows his excitement.
It’s always nice to be praised in public, but it’s equally important to do it randomly throughout your pregnancy when no one’s around too!
Even if your husband isn’t the most helpful, it might be tempting to find reasons he’s NOT doing what he should, but resist the urge because it usually doesn’t end well. Find anything he does to show you appreciate his efforts.
If you struggle with giving your husband appreciation, try remembering one of my favorite quotes:
“No man has ever crawled out from under his wife’s criticism to be a better man—no matter how justified her condemnation.” Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet
It’s easier to catch flies with honey instead of vinegar! I believe the best way to inspire your husband to greatness (which is much needed once that baby comes!) is by being grateful for his presence.
5. Get Him a Gift
Push presents. Baby-moons. And baby showers (or baby sprinkles as post-first-baby showers are called). There are a thousand ways for a new mom to be celebrated with gifts.
Most people honor the mommy-to-be with lotions, prenatal massages or post-baby hospital flowers.
And we are thankful.
But what about a little something-something for daddy?
Most guys would probably say they don’t need or want anything, but the Bible says:
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 NKJV
It’s nice to be reminded that you matter by means of a small (or large) token of your affection.
Maybe it’s a new television that he can watch while holding the new baby. Or something on his Amazon wishlist.
Whatever your gift is, think about your man and get him something that shows that he is important too.
6. Try to Look Nice
I know you feel like crap. You’re miserable sometimes. Fat. Generally uncomfortable. And the last thing you want to do is to put on makeup or wear something other than yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt that’s so soft and old that it’s got holes. But ladies, let’s get real. Your hubby married a hottie…I don’t care what you look like, your husband married, in part, based on your looks. He wouldn’t have married you if he thought you were ugly. Maybe there is a rare exception to this rule, but I doubt it.
Remember how you looked before you were married. How did you dress when you were dating? Did you wear makeup? Jewelry?
We must remember that though he agreed to love us through thick and thin (sometimes REALLY thick if you are having a rough pregnancy), he still would appreciate it if you put some effort into yourself…and yes, that means EVEN WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT!
Obviously, this doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable and it doesn’t mean that when you are barfing that you should worry about your appearance, but when you can look nice try to make an attempt of doing something a little extra for yourself and your husband.
The benefit of working on your appearance is that it might help you to feel a little better about yourself as you are dealing with the difficulties of pregnancy.
In the End, the Best Action for Your Marriage Is….
7. Pray for Your Husband and Marriage
I’m a HUGE proponent of treating my husband like a king. I cannot sing his praises enough. He’s a great dad and husband.
But more than any one thing you can do during your pregnancy for your husband, the best action a wife can EVER take for her husband is to pray for him.
Most husbands have an innate sense of duty to provide for their families. This is a big burden. Prayer can lighten his load. Prayer can pave the way for the Lord to work on his behalf.
Prayer is the smallest actions we can take that has the biggest results for our husbands.
If you haven’t been praying for your husband, I suggest checking out the VERY popular book Power of a Praying Wife during this season of expectation.
Praying for your husband is something that every wife, no matter her situation, can accomplish for the sake of her marriage, whether she is pregnant or not!
What about you? What do you like to do for your marriage when you are pregnant?
Leave a comment below and share your story.