25 weeks and 3 days pregnant
This baby has her hands held up in front of her face. In the top right-hand corner, the curved inner lining of the uterus can be seen. Shadows in the image give the impression of hair but ultrasound is not detailed enough to show hair – even if there was any to see at this stage.
Attending antenatal classes together is a good way for your partner to stay closely involved with your pregnancy.
Not all dads-to-be are keen on going to antenatal classes. They might not feel the classes apply to them, and may fear that they will be asked to do exercises that they find embarrassing.
If your partner is reluctant, discuss it with him, pointing out what the classes are for and why you feel that you need his support. You could explain that you want him to be informed about labour so that he is not anxious in the delivery room. He might find it useful to chat to male friends who attended classes when they were expectant dads.
Classes may include some sessions with men and women together and others where the women attend on their own, for example to practise breathing techniques, while the men have a separate session where they can share any concerns. If time off work is an issue for your partner, ask for a list of what topics will be covered each week and pick those sessions that you think are the most relevant for him. If your partner is well informed, he’ll feel more involved in the pregnancy and more confident in helping you during labour and birth.
What you learn at antenatal classes may bring you closer. Try to stay in touch with each other at home, spending time relaxing together and feeling your baby moving.
To qualify for maternity and paternity benefits and leave:
Obtain a MATB1form from your doctor or midwife after week 20 (they won’t give it to you before this time). Fill it in and give it to your employer.
Tell your employeryour expected week of delivery and the date you plan to start your maternity leave.
Your partnershould also inform his employer in order to qualify for paternity leave.
It might seem obvious, but once your baby is born your relationship won’t just be about you and your partner any more. Suddenly there is a tiny new person around, who wakes during the night and who has her own needs. By necessity, after your baby is born you and your partner will pay less attention to each other. There may also be less physical intimacy between the two of you, not least because you both will be very tired.
It’s best to talk about, and acknowledge, these issues before the birth. This way, you and your partner will better accept that these factors are a normal part of making the life change from coupledom to being a family.
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