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  • My Husband And I Want To Enjoy My Pregnancy, So He's Learning To Shop For My Needs

    Dads should be able to at least identify a nursing cover from a postpartum binder, etc.
    by Alex Rey .
My Husband And I Want To Enjoy My Pregnancy, So He's Learning To Shop For My Needs
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    My husband had not been allowed to be with me when we confirmed our pregnancy via ultrasound. So I worry if he can be there for our congenital anomaly scan or in the delivery room with me sans proof of negative swab test results. So, as much as I can, I try to find ways for him to feel more included.

    We can only do so much given the situation. But my husband and I intend to enjoy this experience since we've gone through three miscarriages. So I am wondering how else can he be involved?

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    I thought maybe he can help me shop online for breastfeeding essentials to start.

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    How to teach your husband to buy breastfeeding essentials

    I know it's a huge risk. Hearing about stories of daddies in charge of getting groceries, they don't always get it right. But it's another avenue where fathers can be involved. Dads should be able to differentiate a nursing cover, postpartum binder, breast pump, milk bags, and even a regular cookie from a lactation treat (so they won't finish it all!).

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    The trick is there is no trick. Men have no idea what you're going through physically, even if they read a book or watched a documentary. Don't expect your partners to know what to buy if you don't tell them what to buy for your hospital bag or breastfeeding. You have to communicate openly and have more patience. Here are some things you can try to open the discussion:

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    Take classes together

    Birth and breastfeeding classes have migrated online, so sign up for one together. Invoking an authority is often more effective (and less naggy) than telling your husband what to buy and why. Men are more willing to follow if an expert says so. (You can also use this when your parents or in-laws.)

    Suggest reconnecting with daddy friends

    No need to force him. Just suggest that he strike a conversation with his dad, in-law, even colleagues or high school barkada who are already dads. This way, he can have a boy's perspective on things. Many dads are too shy to admit they need help, but they're more likely to ask their bros.

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    Schedule a date when when you shop online

    Surprises are pleasant, but they still need some guidance. If your husband is anything like mine, he'd like to be told what I want straight rather than second-guessing. Having him by your side when window shopping online or showing him something you want to purchase can open the discussion about the price and, more importantly, why you need it.

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    Sometimes I ask my husband's opinion of something I am undecided about, such as breastfeeding-friendly coffee brands. It's my call, but it makes him feel like he has a voice on the matter and therefore involved.

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    Give your husband a detailed list

    As a last resort, give him a detailed list. Your husband may not have any idea how to estimate your binder size or breast pump flange size, so you really have to spell it out.

    Do your homework, mommies, so your husband really just has to add to cart. Be as specific as you can about brand, size, or color. Jot down alternatives, say, if an item is out of stock. Be as specific as you can be and try to avoid giving your husband a hard time deciding what to buy himself. He'll either get nothing or everything.

    Hopefully, once he's seen nurse your child, the breastfeeding essentials will stick to him, and he'll not have a hard time (or give you a hard time) when he's tasked with shopping for your essentials.

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