It takes two to make a baby. And two can work together to achieve a happy and healthy pregnancy. Although women bear the brunt of pregnancy, an expectant father is invested in the health of his partner and baby. By getting involved in the pregnancy process, fathers can become a critical part of the experience.
What To Expect
As soon as the baby is conceived, hormones flood a woman’s body, increasing over time. These hormones bring morning sickness, pain, swelling and emotions. Fathers should expect their partners to feel fatigued throughout their pregnancy. Depending on the severity of the morning sickness and any need for bed rest, women may be unable to function the way they are used to. Throughout the pregnancy, both the man and woman may experience a range of emotions from excitement and joy to anxiety and fear.
Where To Turn
Although most pregnancy resources seem geared toward women, men have questions and need support as well. Men should accompany their partners on visits to the doctor, with a pen and list of questions in hand. The doctor can relieve his fears and explain the process. Labor and delivery or parenting classes are another place for the guy to attend. He can get the same information as the mother, spending time and bonding with her. He can also meet other soon-to-be dads and share concerns.
What He Can Do
Just as he was an equal contributor to the conception of the baby, a man can participate in the health practices of the pregnancy. He can eat the same diet, encouraging his partner to eat healthy. He can take walks with her or participate in stretching exercises. He can take over domestic duties to let her rest. Men are ideal for taking the lead on hospital preparation so the woman can concentrate on her body and labor. Eventually, she will need her toes painted and shoes tied as well.
When They Need You
The delivery room may be the first place you think for a guy’s support, but the whole pregnancy presents opportunities for the father to get involved. In the first trimester, morning sickness is a common problem. The man can go grocery shopping, do the family cooking or plan menus to ensure his partner is eating healthfully. During the more mellow second trimester, he can read books or rent DVDs to learn about parenting, get the finances in order or work on the nursery for the new life in the family. During the final trimester, he can strap on a sympathy belly and give her a couple of good laughs.
Why They Need You
Even before a child is born, a man can care for his child. By giving up smoking and keeping toxic chemicals from his partner, a new father can protect the little one’s health. Bonding with the child’s mother promises a positive, loving environment into which the child can be born.
- touching abdomen of beautiful pregnant woman image by starush from Fotolia.com