For all those soon-to-be-dads, congratulations on your big bundle of joy that is on its way! Although it is the woman who carries the child within her for nine months, the role of fathers during pregnancy is no less important.
Fathers have an equal responsibility in preparing for the baby and there are many ways in which you can prepare yourself for fatherhood.
During this crucial period, you need to keep your cool and do your very best to be there and support your wife.
What should you expect?
For those of you who are having their first baby, responsibilities that come with the role of fathers during pregnancy could pose as challenging. Most dads may feel alienated and clueless about what should be expected or how they can help their wives.
From the time your wife announces her pregnancy, it is crucial that you are always available and you put a keen interest in her medical check-ups. You must also ensure that she eats nutritious food to keep her and the baby inside her womb healthy.
Apart from being there for the major doctor appointments (think scans and other antenatal appointments) you can also help by being more accommodating to the needs of your spouse.
How can you help?
It is possible for a father-to-be to suffer from anxiety because of inexperienced and lack of knowledge about how to take care of things during pregnancy.
To help eliminate this strain, you should read books about pregnancy, childbirth as well as parental skills. These will give you useful first-time dad tips during pregnancy and helpful advice on husband duties during pregnancy.
What is the role of a father during pregnancy?
Tips on acing the role of fathers during pregnancy include these things:
Accompany your wife to all medical appointments. This allows you to see how your baby is growing. It provides emotional strength to the woman as well.
Attend ultrasounds and other scans with your wife. This will enable you to get a first glimpse of what your baby looks like and you can even get a picture to take home.
Join prenatal preparation classes with your wife to learn how to be a good parent. These classes help you earn the basics of looking after a baby.
Read up as much as you can on pregnancy and birth. This will help you get an idea about the basics of pregnancy and what to expect at labor and birth.
Go shopping for baby items. You will need tons of things after the baby is born. Best to start early.
Prepare a list of baby names and discuss it with your wife what names you’d both prefer, be it a girl or a boy.
Participate in household chores. Understand that your wife is going through a transformation process; she needs rest, support, and lots of understanding.
Communicate with her. This is vital in identifying any anxieties that she (or you both may have). Find ways to support each other and be a source of reassurance to one another.
Create a birth plan with your partner outlining methods of pain relief and where you want to have the baby.
Book a holiday with your wife. It is best to travel in the first and second trimesters when there is less risk of premature birth. Travelling will help her de-stress and helps in bonding.
Enjoy your new role as the expectant father
Identify your feelings
Pregnancy impacts fathers as well and you are likely to feel a gamut of emotions, including fear surrounding the responsibilities of a father.
A baby means new responsibilities and you may feel that you are not ready for it. Discuss your feelings with your wife and try to come up with solutions that work best for you. At times, money and financial restrictions can also be a cause of worry.
The role of fathers during pregnancy includes improving communication with their partner and coming up with a plan or a budget and then sticking to it.
Ask friends and family members how they tackled certain problems in their role of fathers during pregnancy and incorporate their tips to help the situation.
Sex during pregnancy
There’s usually no medical reason to avoid sex, but she may not want or feel like having sex.
During pregnancy, it is normal that:
Her breasts may become tender especially in the early weeks
Best to avoid sex if there is any bleeding or pain
Make sure she is comfortable with it
You may need to try out a few different positions as the pregnancy develops
Here are some additional things you need to ensure as the father:
Be emotionally prepared for the pregnancy. This is a must.
Make her the center of attention
Consider her condition and use the right words when communicating with her
Help out in domestic activities.
Make sure her diet is nutritious. Support her by cooking nutritious meals
Help her stay healthy and hygienic
Encourage exercise as per doctor/specialist recommendation.
Make sure she has a good night sleep
Do some personal shopping on her behalf
Educate yourself and her at every stage of her pregnancy
If possible, take a paternity leave from work to focus on her; she needs your physical presence as well as your emotional presence during the pregnancy.
Plan for the birth of the baby.
Becoming a father and a parent, particularly for the first time, is an emotional experience. The role of fathers during pregnancy entails a lot of challenges.
As an expectant father, learn as much as you can about pregnancy, things a dad should know about pregnancy to make sure the baby is safe, and help the mum-to-be to become happier and healthier during and after the birth of the child.
How to be a supportive husband during pregnancy
On how to be a good husband during pregnancy, find out what are her wishes, be sympathetic, support her birth choices, and reassure her that she looks pretty.
Responsibility of a husband during pregnancy includes:
Her hormones are out of whack, be patient, and a little more loving than normal.
Be mindful of the fact that it is an uncomfortable physical state where she might experience difficulty in sleeping. Help her take naps, encourage her to sleep more, and make the environment distraction-free and comfortable for her.
Ease her aches and pain by helping her take a relaxing soak in the bathtub with some relaxing, aromatic bath salts.
Give her massages like a gentle foot rub, head massage, or a back rub (keeping her comfort and safety in mind.)
As you get ready to start a new chapter in your life, it is crucial to learn to manage the responsibilities of a husband and father. By seeking credible counsel you will be able to understand the significance of the responsibility of husband towards pregnant wife and how to provide emotional support during pregnancy.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.