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Guide to Being 40 Weeks Pregnant

What Your Partner Should Know

So you're nervous about your impending delivery. So is your partner. That's normal. One of the best ways to reduce anxiety is to know what to expect. Suggest books or Web sites to learn more about the stages of labor and delivery. Talking to friends about their experience may also help both of you stay calm.

Your partner should be prepared in case your labor is long. Along with your hospital bag, have your partner pack a few personal things as well, including something to read, a laptop, a change of clothes and a toothbrush. And don't forget phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your family and friends, to announce the good news.

It's important that your partner stays calm, because you're going to need support and encouragement. You'll also need empathy. Understating your discomfort or wincing during delivery won't make you feel better. Reminding you that the baby is almost here and encouraging you in your efforts will.

And be sure to let you partner know that, although you might get testy during delivery and even say some things you shouldn't, your love is unwavering.