Father family friends support

In some earlier societies, and in some other cultures today, pregnant women and new mothers were and are much more cherished than in the Western world.

Women still try to do it all, and can find it too much. We all need to help them.

Partners have a big role to play. If they can be supportive and considerate, this will help the mother and their child, both during pregnancy and after the baby is born.

Therefore partners can help their future child while he/she is still a fetus, by supporting the mother. This can range from simple tasks, such as helping with everyday chores, to actively engaging with the mother to talk about any worries or concerns she may have. Similarly, partners may wish to accompany the mother on prenatal visits and to antenatal classes, in order to learn more about how the pregnancy is progressing and what to expect.

There is also an important role for other family members and friends. Indeed, if a pregnant woman has a strong support network to rely upon when she is feeling down, then she is more likely to be able to manage and alleviate her own stress.

Employers should also consider the needs of pregnant women, and maybe take steps to ensure their workload is less demanding and more flexible, thereby reducing the risk of new sources of stress arising during pregnancy.