All the to-be-Dad’s out there who have read or watched “What to expect when you’re expecting”, will know that nothing can really prepare you for joys and challenges of fatherhood. However, getting the right advice and support will surely help you embark on this new and exciting journey.
- Becoming a Father –
Having a baby changes your priorities. Both men and women face similar issues on becoming new parents. However, men tend to focus more on financial responsibilities. Their joy is often mixed with anxiety. Remember that you are not alone in your doubts and fears and that it’s completely normal to have mixed emotions. Talk to your partner and discuss the life changes that lie ahead.
- Supporting your partner during pregnancy –
Pregnancy can be exhausting both physically and emotionally for your partner. But your support can help ease the process. Get more involved with the house chores so that your partner can get adequate rest. Your partner would have her set of doubts as well. With the emotions running high, pregnancy, especially for the first-time moms could get a little scary. She would fret about things like, Is the baby doing ok, what would the labour be like or would she have to undergo a C-section. Be the hand she can hold onto and the shoulder she can cry on.
- Accompanying your partner to the Doctor’s appointment –
Make sure you keep aside time to accompany your partner for the doctor’s appointments. This goes on to show that you will be with her all the way in the pregnancy. You will also know what’s going on in the pregnancy and will help you be better prepared. Lastly, it will help you connect with your unborn baby.
- Help her get some sleep –
Falling asleep gets difficult and uncomfortable as the pregnancy proceeds. Getting her a full body pillow that will make side sleeping a bit more comfortable by helping support the back and cradling the belly is definitely a gift she would appreciate.
- Be patient –
Pregnancy affects hormones. Your partner may feel fantastic one minute and may be an emotional wreck the other. Try to be patient, understanding and loving.
- You’re in it together –
Support her by adding or dropping habits that she has to because of the pregnancy. For example, giving up alcohol and coffee. Exercise is crucial for the mom and baby, go for a walk or hit the gym together.
- Tell her she’s Beautiful –
Your partner will be undergoing some serious body transformation during pregnancy. Make sure to tell her that she is beautiful and that you love her.
- Help her through the morning sickness –
Affecting about 75% of pregnant women, morning sickness is quite possibly the worst part of pregnancy. Its symptoms include headache, excessive sleepiness, nausea and vomiting. Morning sickness may begin from about a month after conception and go on until the twelfth or fourteenth week of pregnancy. Some women may experience it during the entire duration of pregnancy. The name ‘Morning sickness’ can be deceiving as most women experience the symptoms throughout the day. Be willing to take those trips, even at midnight to help her be at ease.
- Quit Smoking –
If you’re a smoker, now is the time to stop. Cigarette smoking can be dangerous for babies. If you do decide to continue, make sure you don’t do it near your partner, you don’t offer her or leave your cigarettes lying near her.
- Be prepared for birth –
Prepare a checklist for the final weeks before the birth of your baby. The few things that could go into it will be:
- Making sure you can always be contacted.
- Deciding how you’ll get to the hospital.
- Packing a bag for yourself, including snacks, a camera, your phone, charger and other essentials.
- Find a Paediatrician –
Start looking for a paediatrician about 3 months before the birth of your baby. Ask for recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbour, co-workers with kids or your obstetrician. If possible, schedule a prenatal consultation about 2 months before your due date.
In conclusion, on average, a woman having her first baby can have labour lasting anywhere between 12 to 24 hours from her first contraction to delivery. Spend this time together and helping her feel at ease. The pain she is experiencing is far beyond your imagination. Stay focused on her. Finally, there’s no way to anticipate every possible scenario, but the birth of your child is a life-changing event. Cherish It!