These middle weeks of the pregnancy can be trying for our partners, too. While they obviously don't experience the physical symptoms and bizarre side effects of pregnancy, they may share your worry and anxiety about the birth or adjusting to parenting, and they may also wonder how best to support you. Here are some pointers for partners to keep in mind this week:
She may feel fabulous one minute and lousy the next. Don't be afraid to ask what she needs -- and try not to get too frustrated if she seems annoyed by the question or has a different request every three minutes. Intellectually, we understand that billions of women have given birth before us, but when you're the one who's pregnant, it's easy to feel like you're the only person who has ever experienced this level of excitement, exhaustion and itchiness.
You can't take on the physical burdens for her, but you may be able to take some weight off her mind by taking the lead on any number of little things that remain to be done before the baby is born. Can you research pediatricians? Register for baby gifts? Schedule childbirth classes? (If you haven't already, now's the time!)
If you're hoping or planning to take paternity leave, be sure to discuss your options with your boss or your human resources department. Many companies now offer this benefit, and even if it's not specifically provided, you may be able to use personal time or vacation days if you plan ahead.
Of course, just when you think you've got a handle on this week's set of challenges, we come along with a list of some more things for you and your partner to think about.