How can the father of my baby support me best through pregnancy and birth?
During pregnancy, noticing that the father of your baby cares about you can help you both physically and emotionally. He should make sure you have help with your work. If he cannot do some of your work himself, he should get someone else to help. He also can make sure that you eat healthy foods and go for prenatal care. He should also get tested and treated for STIs, including HIV. If he has HIV, he should use condoms during sex.
The father of your baby can also help you during labor and childbirth by:
- making sure there is enough water and food in the house.
- bringing your midwife or health worker to the house to help with the birth, and making sure transport is available in case of an emergency.
- taking care of the other children.
Tell the father of your baby that the first 6 weeks after birth are the most important time for a woman to feel strong and healthy again. During this time you need a lot of healthy foods and plenty of rest. He can help you rest more by doing some of your work - like fetching water or fire wood, taking care of your other children, or preparing meals. If he cannot help, he can try to find someone else who can.
If the father of your baby takes time to hold and care for your baby, you yourself will have a chance to sleep and he can be close to his new child.
He should know that it is better not to have sex until the bleeding stops to prevent an infection in your womb.
Last but not least, to have healthy mothers and babies, it is best to wait at least 2 years between pregnancies. One of the most important ways the father of your baby can help your family be more healthy is by using family planning. Talk about this topic and decide together which method will work best. Then share the responsibility for using it.