After helping my wife through 4 very difficult pregnancies I’ve learned a few things that have help give her rest and provided me with a better outlook on what she has to go through (Hyperemesis Gravidarum is the real deal people). Though these are focused on the time surrounding pregnancy I’m sure there would be no complaints if they continued throughout your marriage!
1) Ask her what needs to be done around the house: I wouldn’t classify myself as being overly observant when it comes to household needs. Dirty clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink, trash filled to the brim, clean laundry waiting to be folded, these aren’t things that pop out to me as tasks that need to be completed. It isn’t a matter of purposely ignoring chores around the house it’s more that I simply don’t make that connection naturally. I know I’m not alone but it doesn’t mean this behavior is right. Explain your shortcomings in this area and let her know you want to work on them but need some help seeing what needs to be done. What does this look like in my house? I take a quick scan of the house and make a list then run that by her to add or subtract from as she sees fit. I then identify the time when I’ll do it and set an alert on my phone. It may be forced but it’s what I need to do to be effective in this.
2) Send her to bed: If your wife is anything like mine she likes to get things done and often works until she can’t anymore. This isn’t a bad thing in normal times but can wear her out quickly during pregnancy. Send her to bed with a laptop/book/tablet and tell her to rest while you take care of kids/dinner/chores. This isn’t a command but an encouragement for her to rest up.
3) Pre-cook meals: I never expect my wife to have food prepared when I walk through the door but she typically already has a meal prepped or in mind. Connect with her and find out how you can help. If you are comfortable preparing food (I love to cook) then take some time on the weekend to stuff Ziploc bags with easy meals (if you aren’t I’d recommend having her give some direction). There are a million recipes out there for cheap freezer meals that are easy to prepare and delicious to eat.
4) Take her/the kids out: If you already have children at home it can get a bit chaotic as she tries to chase them around and clean up after them through the day. Some times she needs time out of the house on her own to clear her head and run errands, other times it’s more helpful for you to take the kids out of the house for a few hours while she rests. She knows her body/needs better than anyone so ask what would serve her better.
Every woman (and pregnancy) is different so communicating with her your desire to help in any way possible is key.