What should partners do for their pregnant wife or girlfriend?

Usually, there are two people involved in a pregnancy. However, sometimes partners may be unsure of what they should be doing while their wives or girlfriends are pregnant. If you've been finding that your partner isn't stepping up and helping you the way that you would like, it might be because he or she doesn't know what to do. It may be helpful to encourage them to read up on tips for how they can help make your pregnancy less stressful. 

Head to the doctor - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that partners go with their pregnant wives or girlfriends to their prenatal visits. Visiting the doctor can be an emotional thing for a pregnant woman, because it's where she learns many important things, such as the sex of the baby and whether it is developing properly. Women need their partners to go to the doctors with them in case anything major arises. 

Forget the routine - WebMD spoke to Paul Woods, M.D., a family doctor (and father of four) in Hibbing, Minn., who explained that even if two people have only been living together for a short period of time, they have probably settled into a routine where each person does their own share of the chores. This is something that people need to forget when their partners get pregnant. 

"Expect that things she used to do are no longer easy for her to do; and even if she's willing, she won't be able to do as much," Woods told WebMD. "You'll willingly need to step up to the plate and do more things around the house than ever before."

Be active in planning for the baby - It shouldn't be left entirely to a pregnant woman to have to decorate a baby's room, baby-proof the house and make sure that there are plenty of diapers for when the baby arrives. Partners are the ones who should be stepping up and painting the nursery, seeking out cribs and changing tables and setting up a fund to help save for the baby's future. 

Support her choices - There are some choices that partners should make together regarding their baby, such as where to send him or her to school, what to name him or her and a number of other things. However, there are some choices that pregnant women have to make and their partners should support them. For example, some women feel very comfortable breast feeding, while others can't or don't wish to do so, and partners need to respect that. Furthermore, while sex is allowed during pregnancy if there aren't any complications or reasons, partners need to understand that pregnant women may not be comfortable having sex for a number of reasons. They can be too tired, nauseated or feel uncomfortable, and partners need to be able to respect that and wait until their wife or girlfriend feels ready. 

Learn about the birth plan - Finally, women spend a lot of time creating a birth plan that is right for them. This could mean giving birth in a hospital or at home with the help of a midwife. Whatever a woman decides, her partner should learn everything about  what he or she can do to help during it, whether it's being present in the delivery room or assisting with the birth in other ways. This is an important experience, and a woman's partner should be there. 

What things did your partner do to help you out while you were pregnant? What things do you wish he or she had done? Comment here!