Hesperian Health Guides

To the Partner

In this chapter:


a man touching a pregnant woman in a caring way

Showing your pregnant partner that you care about them can help them both physically and emotionally. Make sure you help with the daily work. If you cannot do this yourself, find someone else who can. Help your partner eat healthy foods and go for prenatal care. Get tested and treated for STIs, including HIV. If you have HIV, use condoms during penis-in-vagina sex. Find ways to express anger that will not harm your partner.


You can help your partner have a safer labor and birth by:

Throughout pregnancy, birth, and after, be alert for danger signs in your partner or baby. Seek help if you think there is a problem.

  • making sure there is enough water and food in the house.
  • bringing the midwife or health worker to the house for the birth and organizing transport in case of emergency.
  • taking care of any other children.

If you help during the birth, you can give both emotional and physical support. Encourage your partner during labor. Say things like “You are doing great!” Offer water to drink. Help with walking or squatting during contractions or rub your partner’s back when it aches.

After birth

a man bathing a baby while a woman sleeps nearby

The first 6 weeks after giving birth are the most important time for a person to feel strong and healthy again. A lot of healthy foods and plenty of rest are needed. You can help your partner rest more by doing some of their work—like fetching water or fire wood, taking care of your other children, or preparing meals. If you cannot help, try to find someone else who can.

When you take time to hold and care for your baby, your partner will have a chance to sleep and you can be close to your new child.

Do not have sex until bleeding stops. This will prevent womb infection.

Family planning

To have healthy families, it is best to wait at least 2 years between pregnancies. Using a family planning method will help you do this. Visit the family planning clinic with your partner and decide together which method will work best. Then share the responsibility for using it.

This page was updated:13 Nov 2023