Have The Right Attitude:
Always be positive. The right approach will make you strong enough to face the challenges at every stage of pregnancy. Psychologists reinforce that sound mental decorum of the mother has a high impact on the fetus. Prepare ahead, as a well-informed mother can cope with the early laborious days after delivery.
Keeping Everyone Safe And Sound
Men thrive on keeping their women and families safe. For most men, its a top priority. They go to great lengths to try and provide as many safety precautions as possible. They install alarms and fire extinguishers, they check airbag indicators, they put chains on tires for bad weather, and on and on. For husbands and serious boyfriends, this behavior is already second nature. So, when she becomes pregnant, Dad-to-be will increasingly worry about the safety of Mom-to-be and the baby growing inside.
Many women have reported their husbands wanting them to stay at home or give up driving all together as the pregnancy nears its end. For the accidental daddy, this is a whole new ball game. The woman he barely knows is now carrying his child, he might suddenly feel protective over them both and not have a clue what to do about it. These new feelings might drive him a little nutty which brings us to our next secret struggle…
Have A Prepregnancy Parenting Talk
Experts and real moms agree: It’s important to chat with your partner about some of the biggest parenting issueslike how you’ll share childcare, working vs. staying home, and religious traditionsbefore you start trying to conceive.
“But before you freak out over differing opinions on circumcision, public or private schools, or other things that are way down the road, remember that you can and will change your mind about a lot of these issues as you go along,” say Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris, authors of From the Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming a Parent. “The important thing is for couples to start talking about their priorities, expectations, and fears throughout the entire process, especially before you get pregnant.”
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What You Can Do
Going into it, I thought nine months was nothing. I thought the pregnancy would fly on by and I’d be holding my child before I knew it. I was wrong. When you’re waiting for a major life event, and your partner is going through a host of changes right in front of you, nine months feels like forever.
Your role is one of support. The best thing you can do for the mother of your child during this time is to be there for her. Bring her things so she doesn’t need to get up. Rub her feet. Dote on her. She’s going to be increasingly uncomfortable as the months tick by, and she’ll appreciate all the help you can give.
Go to as many OB/GYN appointments as you possibly can. Your partner is going to have lots of doctor appointments over the course of the pregnancy. They’re scattered around at first, with regular checkups and a couple of ultrasounds. By the third trimester, these visits become more frequent .
As the male part of the pregnancy equation, you’re not required to attend these appointments, but you should go to all of the ones you can. Lots of information is transmitted at these things, and it helps to have an extra set of ears. Since you won’t be the one on the table getting your body poked and prodded, you should take notes on what the doctor says.
It’s also smart to keep a list of baby names that you and your partner want to consider. Every time either of you comes up with a new one, write it down if you both agree it’s in the running.
Less Sex More Massage
If you and your partner are used to having sex often and this suddenly stops or drops off in pregnancy, you might feel frustrated or annoyed. Or you might just accept it.
Either way, the trick is to not let your sexual grumpiness get the better of you and to focus instead on building your relationship.
If your health professional has advised you and your partner to avoid sex, or if either of you doesnt feel like having sex, you can be close in other ways. For example, you can still kiss, hug, cuddle or massage each other.
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After Birth: Start Things Off On The Right Foot
Dont be alarmed at the babys appearance. When your baby comes out, he may be wrinkly, covered in mayonnaise-like stuff, and have a cone-head. Dont worryhell change dramatically in the next days and weeks, and start looking less like a weird, eyebrow-less Benjamin Button-like creature and more like a human baby.
Help your wife out with breastfeeding. If your wife is planning on breastfeeding, its best for her to give the baby his first feeding within the hour after birth. So dont have all your friends and family rush in right after the baby is born give your wife some time for a calm first feeding. We called our families a little while after the baby was born, let them know the news, and asked them not to come for an hour.
Despite its image as the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding doesnt come completely naturally . And sometimes it can be difficultand stressfulto get it going. Call me unmanly, but before Gus was born I read a couple of books about breastfeeding, and I was very hands-on in trying to get the positioning and latching right. Kate was much appreciative.
Bathe the baby. You will likely be invited to go to the nursery to give your baby his first bath.
Have the circumcision decision already made. Were not going to discuss the different sides of this issueweve already had that debate. But by the time the baby is born, you should have done your research and made a decision. Dont still be hemming and hawing about it at the hospital.
Choose Your Place Of Birthing:
You should plan the place hospital, nursing home, etc. where you would like to give birth. It is important to choose a place that is best for you and suits the needs of your family. The hospital should be determined by the expertise of your doctors, their credibility, hygiene, and other factors such as the distance from home and the surroundings of the birthing place. Selecting a place well in advance and making visits there should make you comfortable for your D-day .
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Do Take A Multivitamin
Eating a balanced diet thats rich in vitamins and minerals is the best way to provide your body with all of the healthy nutrients it needs to support a growing baby. A healthy diet alone, however, may not be enough for pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins contain higher levels of certain nutrients that expectant mothers require at higher doses, such as:
- folic acid
These vitamins assist with proper development of the fetus and help prevent birth defects. Your doctor can help you find a multivitamin or a series of vitamins that are best for you.
A multivitamin will usually include DHA, EPA, or both. These are omega-3 fats that are important for your babys proper brain development.
Dont take more than one dose of multivitamins, though. Some vitamins in higher amounts can be harmful to the baby.
Be Careful About Toxic Substances
Exposure to toxic substances and other harmful materials at work or at home, such as synthetic chemicals, metals, fertilizer, bug spray, and cat or rodent feces, can hurt the reproductive systems of men and women. They can make it more difficult for a couple to get pregnant. Exposure to even small amounts during pregnancy, infancy, childhood, or puberty can lead to certain diseases. Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from toxic substances and other harmful materials at work and at home.
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Really Not Into The Pregnancy
Perhaps the pregnancy is unplanned perhaps you dont want the pregnancy at all but the mother has decided to go ahead.
This is a very difficult situation, and its normal to have strong emotions. Its good to take some time to think about what youre feeling. It can also help to learn more about becoming a dad.
If youre no longer in a relationship with the mother, its usually best for your child if you can still be involved. It might help to learn more about co-parenting.
But just reading and thinking probably wont be enough. Have a conversation with someone you can trust, like a friend, family member or your GP, or ring MensLine on 1300 789 978 to talk about your situation. Its a free, confidential service.
Pregnant Woman Fact #: We Are Hormonal Fine We Admit It
The crazy amount of hormones needed to grow a baby might be affecting our moods. Yes, perhaps were ecstatic one minute and sobbing the next. Maybe were struggling to concentrate, walking into doors, and having near-breakdowns each time you make a mistake. But please dont blame us, blame the hormones. And please be a little more understanding than usual it really is the hormones.
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‘pregnant Sex’ Is A Wonderful Thing
Pregnant sex is a wonderful thing. And you should definitely check if she is ready for it at that moment.
Sex is not harmful for the baby – unless the doctor advises against it. But that doesnt mean your wife will enjoy it!
So, consider your wifes changing sexual needs. Some women get hypersexual while pregnant. Others lose interest. This knowledge should help you both sail through till the baby is born.
Within six months after your baby is born, you’ll resume some semblance of a sex life.
Labor And Delivery: What Not To Say
Theres no way around it: Labor and delivery can be scary for partners. Youve gone to the classes and read the books, but nothing can prepare you 100 percent for whats coming. You may be nervous, but remember that its nothing compared to how your partner is feeling. Though you cant take away her pain, you can stand by and support her.
In TV shows and movies, dads say dumb things to women during labor and delivery. Well, theyre not exaggerating much. When my wife went into labor and I was driving her to the hospital, there was road construction and we kept driving over big bumps. I was so nervous and couldnt help laughing. I thought she was going to hit me as she exclaimed, Why is this so funny? Why are you laughing?
Here are a few other things Ive heard over the years that I recommend not saying to your partner while shes giving birth to your child:
- Gross. I dont care if what youre looking at is the most disgusting thing youve ever seen. Dont say this. Ever.
- Oh, the pain cant be that bad. It is. You cant even imagine. Dont try to empathize with her pain. Dont try to minimize it. Just let her experience it, hold her hand, and do what she asks and needs you to do.
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Understand What Happens During Childbirth
I have a post that helps you understand what happens during pregnancy, have a read of that post and familiarize yourself with what you should be expecting.
Within the post, I run through what happens to the baby and, more importantly, what you can expect your wife to be doing during pregnancy.
When you stroll into the hospital knowing what to expect, it will give mom some confidence, which means less stress for her! Less stress is best, especially when you are about to go through the tremendous pain of childbirth!
Even after soaking up a vast amount of knowledge from books, friends, and medical experts, I was still not fully prepared for childbirth.
This is because somebody cant know everything that could happen during childbirth.
As long as dad learns what is common for childbirth then he is as prepared as he can be!
Your Birth Support Role: Vaginal Birth
Basically, you are the rock.
Youll be the one giving non-stop emotional and physical support, encouragement and reassurance.
Youll also be guiding your partner through breathing and relaxation techniques and reminding her of other information she learned in pregnancy and birth classes. You can also offer massage and help her get into comfortable positions.
Lots of men find that their partners are pretty blunt about what they do and dont want during labour and birth. Dont be surprised if she tells you to do different things at different times.
Itll also be your job to speak up and make sure she gets what she needs. If shes in the middle of a contraction or getting very tired, she might not be able to speak for herself. If you find yourself in this situation, try to stay calm and polite when youre talking to staff theyre doing their best to look after your partner and you.
For example, if your doctor or midwife suggests an unplanned medical procedure or pain medication, ask for information and time to discuss it with your partner, unless its an emergency.
Some men can feel strange, unsure or upset about their partner having a vaginal examination. It might help to know that this examination helps the doctors or midwives find out whether your partner is in labour, how far her labour has gone, and what position your baby is in. With this information, they can tell your partner when to start pushing and what positions or movements to use so your baby can be born.
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Prenatal Visits Are Important:
This is the most essential things when we talk about what men should know about pregnancy. Maybe for you the prenatal visits are nothing but a waste of time. Dont tell her that. Just hang around with her as she rejoices and sheds a few tears while watching the little one inside her tummy during a scan.
First Trimester: Help Her Feel Better
The beginning of pregnancy can be tough. Your partner likely will be exhausted and she may not feel well. Offer to run out to get her medicine physician-approved of course. Let her know its OK if she throws up in front of you. If shes uncomfortable with that, give her space when shes sick.
Your partner may start craving weird foods. My wife ate cheese sticks, boiled eggs, and raspberries for about the first two months of her pregnancy. Thats what tasted good to her and didnt make her sick.
If your partner feels this way, dont ask whats for dinner. Be an adult and cook your own food. If the smell of certain foods makes her nauseated, give it up for the time being.
If your partner wants pickles at 2 a.m., get out of bed and go get them. You were responsible for half this pregnancy, so its the least you can do!
Starting when you get a positive pregnancy test, show interest and be involved throughout the pregnancy. Learn as much as you can. Read the pregnancy books. Accompany her to prenatal appointments. This can be especially important if a problem develops during the pregnancy. If you are involved and at the appointments, you will better understand whats going on and what to expect down the road.
Attend prenatal classes. This can be helpful during labor and delivery when shes in pain and forgets some of the things she learned. You can help her remember what she can do to manage her pain and whats coming next.
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Bring Her To Choices Pregnancy Center
If you live in or near Redwood Falls, Minnesota, there is more help available at Choices Pregnancy Center. We offer classes in childbirth, pregnancy, and parenting. Well be happy to walk this road with you, answering questions and helping you provide what you need for your childs arrival with free Baby Bucks.
to find out how we can help youbecome the father you really want to be.
Do Not Worry About Having Sex
Dont worry about it. It probably isnt going to happen. It might happen once or twice.
During the 1st trimester, things are a little fraught, and her body is just not going to feel up to it, so you need to respect that.
A mixture of worry and a massive boost in hormones will take over, and sex will probably be one of the last things on her mind.
Women tend to go into overdrive during the 2nd trimester when your chances are likely to arrive. But, when it does, dont worry about hurting the baby it just isnt going to happen, man.
If anything, the good hormones released during sex will make the baby happier in the womb. Try to use that line when you can!
The 3rd trimester is unlikely to bring you any sexy time. For a start, she is going to be huge. You have to remember that she may not look huge, but in her mind, she is HUGE.
There is a fable that sex brings on labor, it isnt true, but it is well worth suggesting. It might be your last chance for a while.
A friend once gave me this advice.
When you first meet a girl, put some money IN a jar each time you have sex. After childbirth, take money OUT of the jar each time you have sex. You will soon realize that the jar will never be empty.