Parenting while pregnant with another child is not an easy task, and can be very stressful for women if adequate family support is missing. But how exactly do you get family support during pregnancy—especially from your kids—to make it a smoother, stress-free experience?
Telling Your Kids About Your Pregnancy
Expect that every kid will react differently in this scenario. Some of them might get excited, some may feel a bit jealous and some could have mixed feelings about it. So it’s also important that you gauge the situation and take their age and maturity into consideration when breaking the news about your pregnancy to them.
Take it easy and make them feel how excited and happy you are so that they will feel the same emotions. Toddlers are still very dependent on you for emotional cues, so when you feel ecstatic about something, the tendency is they’ll just absorb your energy and feel similarly, too.
When preparing for the new baby, don’t forget to do something special for them as well. Make them feel loved and appreciated as nothing has changed.
Image source: iStock
Unlike toddlers, preschoolers have a tendency to be more sensitive. So breaking the news to them may be a little tricky.
Try to spend more time with them first and ensure they feel loved and special. When you feel confident that the time is right to tell them, go ahead and do so. Don’t expect them to jump at the idea though. The idea of sharing their parents with a new baby may be overwhelming for them, so make sure that you reassure them if they seem concerned or upset at the news.
Kids 5 and up
At this age, kids generally have a better understanding of a situation. While telling them about your pregnancy may not be an issue, you might need to prepare them for changes after the baby comes, including dealing with emotions like jealousy.
To minimise and/or prevent this from happening, talk to your children about how they too can be involved in caring for their new sibling when he or she arrives. You can also ask them about their feelings related to your pregnancy and help them deal with negative emotions in a positive way.
Other Ways to Involve Your Kids in Your Pregnancy
Family Support During Pregnancy: Your other kids can help in many ways like coming up with a name! | Image source: iStock
1. You can take them to some of your doctor’s appointments or when you’re shopping for the baby.
Giving them a grasp of what’s going on will help them understand the situation better. Taking them to the doctor’s appointments or when shopping for the baby is just one fun way to show them your progress. Ask them to choose a cute outfit for their baby brother or sister!
2. Ask for their suggestions for baby names.
Naming the baby can be a bit stressful for the parents. Why not ask your kids for suggestions? In this way, you get to have fun with them plus you might actually pick a name from their suggestions!
3. Explain to them that you won’t have the same energy all the time.
They will notice the changes, especially through your first 12 weeks. You will feel extra tired and you might not be able to attend to them as you typically do.
Giving them a heads up will really benefit you because then, you could ease in and not give yourself much pressure. It will also make them understand you better. But of course, this depends on your children’s age and level of understanding.
4. But still, try your best to pay attention to them.
Without pushing yourself too much, just try to still be present. Along with your husband, make sure that your kids are still being taken care of. Don’t let them feel neglected.
What’s the Role of Your Husband in This?
Family Support During Pregnancy: Get your husband’s support now more than ever. | Image source: iStock
The experience is different for every mum, so for your kids to fully understand and for you to experience family support during pregnancy, you have to get your husband involved too.
As a husband, there are a number of ways how you can support your pregnant wife. First is, of course, to educate yourself so you’ll know how to help. You will also be the one to guide your kids through the process.
If she struggles with morning sickness, make sure to keep her and your other kids in check. Monitor her dietary intake as well and on top of that, make her feel like she can trust you with house chores, so she doesn’t have to worry about it anymore.
You also need to be more understanding because pregnancy is complicated. Be sensitive to her needs and try your best to be physically and mentally present for her.
Having a stable and strong support system contributes to a healthy pregnancy. So mums, don’t be afraid to keep your families involved! Just enjoy the journey, even when it gets a little tough sometimes. We’re rooting for you!
The Importance of Family and Extended Family Support in Pregnancy
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Dealing With First-born Jealousy Towards a Newborn Sibling