#1—Prenatal visits and ultrasounds. Ultrasounds make this whole experience seem so real—for the both of you.
1. Prep the nursery.
Work on baby's nursery together. Set up the crib, wash and put away their clothes, fix up a bookshelf and so on. Your little one's room will be a special place for them (even if it's not right away!), so adding those extra touches will be a fun activity for the two of you.
2. Share your weekly update emails.
Forward your weekly Motherly update to your partner to loop him in on all the wonders going on inside you. It's amazing to learn about how your baby is growing and developing each week—he'll love it.
We're so lucky to be able to experience the miracle of pregnancy. Sure, there's the back pain, the growing belly, the stretch marks—but it's all worth it to get to create and grow your baby inside your body. It's a feeling that's hard to describe, try as we may to our partners. Even though they can't feel exactly what it's like, there are lots of ways to make them feel included in the process.
3. Discuss baby names.
Dreaming out loud about what your baby might look like, or what their personality will be like—and then coming up with names to potentially match up—is lots of fun and also very necessary. The baby needs a name (!), and you may find it hard to agree on one, so the sooner you start discussing, the better.
4. Feel those magical kicks.
Before you go to bed, let your partner take some time to feel around for kicks. Your baby may be more active than usual at night, or you might be better at noticing the baby moving more because you're lying still. Either way, this is a good time for your partner to get a chance to feel your little one's movement. This is another beautiful way to connect.
5. Write to your baby.
Start a journal, keepsake book or email address for your baby and write them letters, emails and little anecdotes (about them/mama's pregnancy in general) to share one day. What a cool gift to give them when they're older!
6. Attend prenatal visits + ultrasounds together.
Include them in as many prenatal appointments as they're able to get to, especially when you'll have an ultrasound to see your little one. Ultrasounds make this whole experience feel so real—for the both of you.
7. Tour the hospital or birthing center.
Go on a tour of your hospital or birthing center together so that you both know what it looks like and can familiarize yourselves with the environment before the big day. You can also write your birth plan together so you're equally informed of the overall game plan. This will help empower your partner to be an advocate for you during labor and delivery.
8. Take maternity photos.
Such an amazing moment in time should be documented, don't you think? Whether you hire a professional photographer or set up a tripod and timer, consider taking photos together during your pregnancy. Down the road, you'll be happy you did.
9. Go to classes together.
Once you choose your childbirth education class or classes—or any other baby-related classes (breastfeeding, newborn basics, etc.), attend them together so you're on the same page and you don't have to relay all the info you learn. Plus, it'll be a good bonding experience for the two of you as you get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.