Pregnancy, birth and parenting are exciting, emotional and challenging times in a woman's life. For many families around the country, being in the military can mean that one partner misses parts of these special times. Whether you are in the military yourself or your partner is in the military, there are ways that you can make the transition smoother.
Find out what benefits the military offers and take advantage of them. Take a tour of the hospital that you will be delivering at and find out what services are offered for you, as an expectant mother and after your delivery.
Going to prenatal appointments alone can be stressful and depressing for some women. Find a family member or friend that you trust to go with you. Ask for a detailed report of your progress and make sure to keep your partner informed. Share pictures from an ultrasound and of your growing belly as often as possible. Record the sound of the heartbeat and ask for a video of the ultrasound, if possible. Your partner will enjoy these special mementos of their growing baby. Send your partner a pregnancy book so that he can read about what stage of pregnancy you are in. You might find one that is geared towards expectant fathers.
There is always the possibility that your partner could miss the birth of your baby. Make sure that you have a good support team lined up well in advance just in case this occurs. If possible, stay connected with your partner throughout the delivery via telephone. A support person can talk to him and keep him informed of your progress. There is nothing like hearing your baby cry for the first time and your partner would most likely treasure that phone call. If allowed, videotape the delivery so that your partner can see the birth of their child. After the baby is born, send digital photographs of the baby as soon as possible.
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