Dad’s Corner: Moms-To-Be Need Romance, Too

The First Trimester (The Queasy Months)
This is an incredible time. Amidst preparing the nursery and dreaming of the future, there’s your partner, the woman you love, the mother of your future child. Romance and love got you where you are today. Just because she’s pregnant, that’s no reason to ease up on the romance. Actually, it’s all the reason to turn the dial of romance up a notch or two.

Romance is making your partner feel special and cared for. Some dads-to-be aren’t sure how to pull this off. During pregnancy, a woman needs romance more than men often realize. She needs to know she’s special, that you care for her.

Just because your partner’s not showing yet, doesn’t mean she’s not changing. Hormoes are flying. Emotions are unpredicatble. Lethargy is a way of life, and nausea can be her worst enemy. A night on the town, an intimate evening, or a 4-course, home-cooked meal may have been on your romantic repetoire. Today, your partner may feel too tired to go out, too uncomfortable for intimacy, and the smell of your cooking may leave her running to the bathroom.

Women tell me that, now, more than ever, they feel romanced when their men pick up where they leave off. She doesn’t have the stamina she once had. She may get tired easily. New mom, Christine M. explained that her husband, “…did not pressure me to keep the house clean or have the cupboards full of food. If I wanted to lay on the couch all day, that was okay, that was okay with him. That showed that he cared and loved me…”

You doing the dishes, tackling those dirty dishes, or grocerey shopping for the week lets her focus on herself. “The most romantic thing my husband ever did for me, “says Jennifer C., “was to take care of our other children for a few hours so I could have a break. It gave me time to pamper myself, read, or just get some much needed rest.”

Helping around the house may seem far from romantic, but during this three month window, it absolutely makes her feel cared for, which is what roamnce is all about.

Walk your partner through this trimester. Be there for her. Help her when she doesn’t ask for help. Rub her back when she gets sick. Late her sleep in. She will appreciate it all and won’t forget it. You’ll have a happier partner on your hands, which means a happier, healthier pregnancy for her and your baby.

As your partner’s pregnancy changes, romance will need to evolve. We’ll cover romance during the second trimester next month.

The Second Trimester (The Easy Months)
Last month we defined romance as making your partner feel special and cared for. During pregnancy, making your often-emotional, hormone-riddled, partner with the morphing body feel special and cared for takes on new forms. And, with each trimester, romance has a new face.

I call the these the “easy months” because during the second trimester most women tell me that they feel their best. The morning sickness has gone, and the swollen, and sometimes clumsy, stage has yet to cast its uncomfortable shadow. Dads, enjoy this time, while it lasts.

We all know that during their second trimester pregnant women often show increased appetite. But, many men are surprised that there can also be an increased sexual appetite. Many women find that with their new bodies emerging and the onset of motherhood, libido increases.

Some men find this increased sexual drive, along with the addition of a rounder partner, incredibly enticing, while others are a bit uncomfortable with physical intimacy during pregnancy. Reasons for the latter include their partners’ changing bodies, uncomfortableness with intimacy in the “baby’s presence”, and the very common fear of injuring baby.

Midwife and doula, Jill Dozier, assures men that there’s no biological fact that sexual intercourse will harm baby. “Baby can’t get hurt during intercourse. Just let Mom call the shots.” Besides, Jill tells nervous dads-to-be, the babies enjoy the rocking motion.

So, once you can get over the intimacy obstacles, make sure you make Mom feel sexy. Let her know she’s beautiful pregnant. Over one-third of the women surveyed for my new book on romance during pregnancy found it romantic when their partners let them know they were beautiful. How does a man do that? Tell her… everyday… for nine months! Touch her. Hold her hand, hug her, and kiss her in public. Rub her belly and tell her how gorgeous it is.

Also, fellas, show off Mama-to-be, and spend some quality, one-on-one time together. Thirty five year old, associate director, Lynn S. voices what many pregnant women feel: “Taking me out to a fancy dinner would have been romantic. I still want to be the sexy girl he met and fell in love with, even if I am about to be a ‘mom’.”

Surprise her with a weekend getaway or a stay at a local bed and breakfast. Let her know you still want to be with her and that she’s attractive. Give her the opportunity to let her libido lead the way, because the last trimester can be a bit more cumbersome.

But, do not worry, gentleman, romance still exists. It just has a new face… again. We’ll discuss the face of romance during the third trimester next month. Until then, treat the mother of your new baby like the gem she is.

The Third Trimester (The Uncomfortable Months)
It’s coming down to the wire. Your bundle of joy will soon be arriving. With all of the excitement and happiness expected with your baby, you also must be prepared for a change in your romantic relationship. You’ll no longer have the time you’ve always had for one another. Romance evolves. This is not a bad thing. It’s merely a new thing. But, until your baby makes her debut, enjoy this time with your wife. Use it to make her feel special and cared for, because that’s simply what romance is.

As you start to see the end of this path that you’ve been traveling, it’s inevitable that the light in which you see your partner will take on new illumination. You will respect her in ways in which you never could have imagined before. She will show you a strength you never knew existed. Yet, along with all of these changes you will also need to pick her up when she has fallen. You’ll need to encourage her when she becomes discouraged. You will need to be her rock, her pillar of strength, when she doubts her abilities.

“I had been an only child and was not used to small children,” remembers property manager Valerie S. “(My husband) made me feel confident and unafraid during my pregnancy, that I could handle childbirth, and we would stumble together, learning how to raise a child.”

Doubting her skills of motherhood or second guessing her ability to get through delivery is common for women during these final months of pregnancy. When doubt rears it’s hideous head, it’s Dad’s job to put a bag over it. Remind her how strong she truly is and how wonderful a mom she’ll be (or already is). “Understand that (pregnancy) is an emotional rollercoaster,” reminds new mom Rebecca H., “and we need support and lots of cuddles and kisses.”

…As well as lots of touching. During these final, often clumsy, months sexual intimacy can be a difficulty. But, Mom still wants to be loved. One way to express this love is through touch. Mom’s feet may be sore and swollen. Her back and neck may be aching from carrying that extra weight. Of the women polled for my new book on romance during pregnancy, 62% mentioned touching, rubbing or massaging as being specifically romantic during this time. “During pregnancy, “ says mother of two, Mary L., “my entire body would ache. Sometimes it was my shoulders, or my back, or my feet, or my legs, and any kind of gentle touch would soothe me.”

So, soothe her. Offer a gentle massage. Arrange a day at the spa. Brush her hair. Rub her palms. Consider effleurage (gentle circular touches on her tummy). Ask how she wants to be touched, then do it. Watch the mother of your baby as she closes her eyes, as the tension leaves her body, and as she’s transported to a relaxed state. She will feel romanced. And, if you’ve taken my advice during these three trimesters, she’ll never forget the love she felt while she carried your baby. That’s an investment that will reap dividends for a lifetime.

Leon Scott Baxter Lewandowskiis a parent of two girls. He’s been happily married for eleven years to his college sweetheart. Leon has written articles on a variety of subjects as well as six screenplays and a number of books. Leon is known locally as the Romance Guru for his expertise in the subject of romace. He’s written a book for men, Out of the Doghouse: A Man’s Secret Survival Guide to Romance, and is currently working on another book for men about how to keep romance alive during pregnancy. If you are a mom, mom-to-be or a new mom, and would like to contribute to his newest book, please go to our Romance During Pregnancy Questionnaire – If you are a man in a relationship, visit Leon’s site,

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