This kind of listening, of course, is not just a skill for the father-to-be. Your Pregnancy for the Father-To-Be insists that both partners practice listening because both are under duress. It is important the father tell his partner that he needs assurance she will be okay; that their baby will be okay; and that together they can make a nurturing family. At times, it will be the father appealing with his partner to be patient as he attempts to transfer what her female body is going through to his own male perception of it.
Pregnancy Support through Touching
Intimate contact during normal pregnancy is important to both partners, but it must be something mutually desired. It is important, however, that sexual behavior be limited to positions where the pregnant mother does not have to lie on her back, particularly with her male partner heaving directly atop her swelling belly. Not only discussing but also exploring novel sex positions with partners lying on their sides can only enhance sensuality and the affectionate pleasure associated with it.
Good massage techniques can be helpful during a partner's gestation period, during actual childbirth, and during physical recovery afterwards. Your Pregnancy for the Father-To-Be cautions several times that after 16 weeks of pregnancy, a woman should never lie on her back. It is equally important that no direct pressure be applied to her abdomen. Massage to reduce her tiredness and fatigue or more erotic massage before and during sex can be an intensely sensual release for both partners. Your Pregnancy for the Father-To-Be explains the importance of locating books or renting videos that show various types of massage, which can be practiced and mastered during pregnancy and then continued throughout life.
During actual labor, massage is known to help women feel better as they endure their contractions. A partner can massage the neck, forehead, feet, and particularly the lower back. Although I'm sure the kneading of various muscles feels good and provides some distraction from painful contractions, what might be most comforting is the feeling of connectedness brought about by the touching and caressing of a loving partner.
"One study showed that women who were massaged for 20 minutes every hour during active labor felt less anxiety and less pain."
Young fathers-to-be out there, older fathers-to-be out there, I would highly recommend you read Your Pregnancy for the Father-To-Be. This book is filled with advice but is not encyclopedic to read. You can follow its suggestions in a realistic way. It not only teaches about pregnancy and the huge changes going on in your partner, it also explains the emotional and sometimes physical changes you will experience, as you work with your partner toward that date which will make you a king — a father.