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What to expect from a pregnant woman

(22 Posts)
BadLad Mon 15-Jul-13 15:07:44

Sister-in-law, who lives in this rather large household (me, DW, DMiL, DSiL, DSiL's P, two very young DNephews, is expecting her third.

Due to the nature of my work, there are going to be times when it's just me and her in the house. And although her partner will have a few days paternity leave, there will be times when it's just me and her and the new baby in the house after it has been born, and just me and her and the nephews and the baby as well.

I have never lived with a pregnant woman, and indeed with a new baby when it has just been me and the mother - last time round DMiL was much more active and able to do more to help.

What sort of things will DSiL need help with? What should I be offering to do? I assume that once the baby is born, I can best help by keeping my nephews occupied (male bonding, if you will).

All comments / help much appreciated.

Champagnebubble Mon 15-Jul-13 15:43:19

How many weeks is her, do you know? smile

Champagnebubble Mon 15-Jul-13 15:43:36

is she (not her!)

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 15:45:48

During the early stages I just needed to sleep a LOT. Suffering from Morning Sickness also made me a bit funny over smells - so piles of dirty dishes, bins, all made ne want to hurl.

Towards the end, the bump just gets in the way. Mainly, changing bed sheets, putting the laundry out (putting the prop under the line mainly), and pusjing a heavy trolley at the shops were all just hard due to the bump.

In the middle of the pregnancy I felt great!

BadLad Mon 15-Jul-13 15:50:04

I don't know, Champagne - DW told me before going to bed and it's not too late here to ask anyone else. But if she has only just told the family, then I assume it's in the early stages.

Thanks for the replies - looks like I will need to be making sure the rubbish is taken out regularly in the early days, and the dishes are done.

Champagnebubble Mon 15-Jul-13 16:00:06

Definitely agree with other posters. General washing up, clothes washing, taking bins out, cooking if she isn't too ill to eat, vacuuming. General helping out tasks. She also might need help entertaining the other children if she is tired and wants to sleep. I'm 9 weeks and I've been really sick, and my other half doing simple things but thoughtful things have helped - cleaning the bathroom (I've spent quite a bit of time there) confused doing the shopping and getting me easy to eat things (sadly not much I want but he's tried to be inventive), putting washing on, changing bed sheets, tidying up, generally being nice smile and understanding when I'm moody/teary/ill. Also ask her what you can do, it will be hugely appreciated I'm sure!!

BadLad Mon 15-Jul-13 16:04:54

Also ask her what you can do, it will be hugely appreciated I'm sure!!

We have a pleasant, but rather formal relationship, so although I certainly will do this, I suspect I will just be told "I'm fine, thank you". But your post was very helpful. Cleaning the bathrooms - she and her family have their won - and keeping the toddlers out of her way as well tidying up after them, or getting them to do it, sounds like the way forward.

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 16:08:54

One example from me is today. I am six weeks pg so capable of doing a Big Shop no problem, but I am now provastinating in putting the food away because the smell of the fridge is making me green.

DH gets in in 1.5hrs and I am seriously considering leaving the fridge stuff out.

BadLad Mon 15-Jul-13 16:25:47

Ah, that's the exactly the sort of thing I wanted to know. Putting shopping in the fridge is the kind of mundane task she might feel strange about telling me that she can't face. Now I can get in there first and volunteer to do it.

Will she find, for example, picking heavy things up more difficult?

Excuse me ignorance.

Champagnebubble Mon 15-Jul-13 16:41:09

I'm OK with heavy things at the moment, but for example carrying the washing outside to hang up or putting in the tumble dryer, it exhausts me to walk up the stairs or outside! So, if you can get there first all the better! Oh and I've gone off strong smells, curry, coffee, fish so if you can try and limit the smells in the kitchen for a bit that would be kind. As she gets bigger lifting and carrying will definitely help.

Champagnebubble Mon 15-Jul-13 16:45:51

Oh but do remember every lady is different and some are fine in the early weeks. I've suffered with hyperemesis so I'm sick a lot every day (think constant stomach bug!), but she may not have much sickness and may just feel a bit tired/hungry. It really depends.

Claire5517 Mon 15-Jul-13 17:13:35

Pretty much what everyone else has said. It's the 'small' things that people wouldn't think twice about doing that actually help i.e washing up or taking children out for an hour.

Please can I just add though, how thoughtful you are in the first place to think about different things you can do to help?!! She will be impressed and grateful that you have thought anyway smile Not many people would have this subject cross their mind nevermind even posting on here about it! smile

enormouse Mon 15-Jul-13 17:21:07

My DP does heavy lifting for me - carrying laundry upstairs, putting bins out. and fielding our lively, bouncy toddler. If he's jumping on me he'll just pick him up and say 'let's be a bit gentle with mummy today" or take him out if I look tired. Intervening when she's being pounced on by toddlers would be welcome, I think.

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 17:57:20

Lifting heavy things - I am fine with, and it.sort of annoyed me in the last pg when people would insist on lifting anything that weighed more than my handbag and wouldnt take no for an answer.

Stepping in and doing certain things will help. So dont stand and argue with her aboyt who should bring the shopoibg in from the car (she is pregnant not invalid grin ) but just start unloading and putting it away. Something a friend/family.member would do anyways if they were there.

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 17:58:53

Oh and if you see her eating/drinking specific things, remember to pick them up if you do a shop.

Agree - you are very thoughtful and considerate"

Mogz Mon 15-Jul-13 18:09:46

The other replies have it all covered I think, I just wanted to say how fantastic you seem for wanting to find out the best ways to help your SIL. What a gentleman you are, I'm sure she'll really appreciate it.

Lj8893 Mon 15-Jul-13 18:46:37

Think everything has been covered.

I just wanted to say how thoughtful and nice you sound!

Also I don't know if its been mentioned but just being an ear to her pregnancy moans will help alot! As happy as I am with my pregnancy, I sure do like to have a bit of a whine about how tired/achy/hot i am and its so nice to have someone sympathise with me!

Quodlibet Mon 15-Jul-13 23:59:57

Ahh how thoughtful.
I would say at least in the early stages - deal with anything that has a smell. Bins, compost, gone-off food, nappy bins, ashtrays, petrol, cat poo in the garden etc.

She may also suffer from exhaustion, so I would imagine that strategic toddler wrangling would be pretty welcome.

BadLad Tue 16-Jul-13 04:01:47

Excellent, thanks very much for all the replies - lots of helpful advice.

My nephews are very much into trains, so I'll take them to the station when they seem to be pounding her.

It never would have occurred to me that pregnant women might be sensitive to smells. So I'll keep my nose peeled.

Apart from that, I'll try to think of things the bump might get in the way of.

Much obliged to everyone who posted their insight, and congratulations if you are pregnant at the moment.

DaveMccave Tue 16-Jul-13 10:00:05

Some women don't suffer from sickness or smell aversions and they can be entirely different each pregnancy. It's best to ask her relevant questions and I'm sure she'll appreciate the interest. Ask her to let you know if there are any smells she is sensitive to so you can avoid them or take over any jobs that might make her queasy.

The lifting heavy things isn't really to do with bump size, as lots of people think, even from the beginning the excess progesterone causes all your ligaments and muscles to stretch very very easily and become damaged so any heavy jobs offer to do.

Just let her know that if she is feeling tired and wants a nap you are happy to take the boys out if you aren't too busy.

Once she gets bigger, pick up anything she drops! It's impossible to breathe whilst bending down with a big bump. I appreciate it when people offer me a hand when I'm getting out of a chair or standing up from anywhere too.

DaveMccave Tue 16-Jul-13 10:02:07

Oh and if you are just generally interested,
There are lots of free pregnancy apps that give you weekly updates of the fetus and things the mother may be suffering from at that stage and tips to help.

ZingWidge Tue 16-Jul-13 21:52:20

a baby?

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