From a Dad’s Perspective During Pregnancy

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Hey, is pregnancy all about mother and baby?

What happened to the third integral side of the triangle? Dads may feel left out at this time, and it’s a tough role to fill when your partner’s moods are up and down like a yo-yo for months, and your relationship undergoes a palpable shift.

“Being a father doesn’t start when the child is born it starts when the mother is pregnant.”

Here are some things Dads can ruminate on while Mom is busy throwing up or having a nap

Names

Whether you’ve always wished you’d been named something else and want to gift that great name to your son, or you want to honor a family member by sharing their name with your progeny, it’s never too early to start thinking about it.

Many new parents can’t decide on a name until after the birth (talk about pressure), but it’s a lot easier if you know it before nursing. If you don’t have a preference and want some ideas, search the Internet for a baby name database and have at it!

Sex! What—No?

It seems to be feast or famine when it comes to copulating with a pregnant woman. She may be cold as ice and avoid intimacy with you, or she may want to jump your bones twice a day. There’s no predicting what her hormones will be doing to her libido, so you’ll have to adjust.

Whatever you do—don’t take it personally. It is what it is, and things will get back to normal at some point.

The “C” Word

To circumcise or not to circumcise, that is the question. This is a big decision for many men. Do you have strong views about this procedure? It was originally performed as a preventive measure if the foreskin of a baby’s penis was deemed to be too tight to allow for adequate cleanliness. Still, it’s become a religious edict for some folks, and also an “I want what he’s got” kind of decision so a son will resemble his father.

Many uncircumcised men claim their penis is a lot more sensitive during sex when it’s otherwise cloaked all the time. You’ll want to weigh these things, do some research, and discuss with the mother so you can agree because you’ll be signing a consent form when Mom goes into labor.

Boy or girl; didn’t get what you wanted?

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The best thing to do is decide right from the beginning that you’ll get what you’re meant to get. Being too attached to the yet unknown sex of your unborn child can lead to disappointment and regret. A baby is a gift, and no matter what you think you want, when the moment comes that you first behold your baby, you will be so relieved that baby and Mom are safe and the three of you are about to start an exciting and rewarding life together, that you won’t want to change a thing.

Money Matters

If you’re the primary breadwinner, you may be wondering how you can efficiently provide all the “stuff” you’ll have to get for your baby. Remember that babies grow quickly, and it’s not necessary to buy everything new, or even top of the line quality.

Hand-me-downs and gently-used accessories are perfectly okay and plentiful if you know where to look. Talk to friends and colleagues. They may have cribs, playpens, bassinettes, high chairs, and strollers they’d love to get out of the basement or the garage.

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You can also check the Goodwill stores, St. Vincent de Paul, church rummage sales, Craig’s list, garage and yard sales, and the second hand or consignment stores. Don’t forget about the family, either. Quite often, they like to contribute by purchasing something useful that will take a load off your wallet and your mind.

If you haven’t already, pay off all your debt as quickly as possible so you can breathe more relaxed when the additional expenses around your growing family come along.

Many women find that when it comes time to go back to work, that they just can’t face leaving their baby. Pregnancy and childbirth forge a powerful bond between mother and offspring and for some new mothers, just the thought of separation is cause for tears and anguish.

This is where a real soul-searching about the economics of pregnancy and parenthood can come in handy. If you took measures to pay off debt, reduce your monthly expenses and increase income, you may have the luxury of rethinking your decision to go back to work—at least for a few months, until you’re emotionally ready to part with your baby and reenter the workforce.

Mom and Dad will have to discuss the options if there are any. It’s something a mother has to come to terms with in her way, in her time, for the best of all concerned.

Blue Skies Ahead

If predictions can be made at all, Dad, usually the first and third trimesters are the most challenging for a couple. At first, Mom’s hormones are running wild, and she may be giddy one moment and in tears the next, for no apparent reason. Don’t try to make sense of it, and don’t assume you need to do anything to make it better. There’s nothing you can do other than remain positive and supportive and flexible to whatever whims your partner may be feeling.

When the second trimester arrives, you’ll get a respite and can relax and enjoy the pregnancy and the company of your partner for a few months. She’ll feel more stable emotionally, probably won’t be experiencing morning sickness any longer, and her belly won’t be large enough to be a nuisance yet. Enjoy it while you can.

Pitching In

One of the most significant contributions you can make to the pregnancy process is helping your mate deal with the day-to-day drudgery of housework, laundry, cooking, and other household chores in any way you can. Her body is working overtime, and no matter how healthy and well-nourished she is, she will be tired.

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Sometimes, she’ll need you to step up and do what needs to be done. It’s not forever—it’s just for now, and it will go a long way toward strengthening your partnership. If you don’t have the time or energy either, perhaps consider a little housekeeping help.

If you have a cat, you’ll need to clean the litter box, so Mom doesn’t have to. There’s a possibility the feces contain a parasite that can cause a condition called toxoplasmosis that can harm your baby.

Set the Tone

Studies show that the more affection a mother-to-be receives during her pregnancy, the more love and hugs she will pass on to her newborn baby, so be sure to shower your partner with lots of love and hold her often.

The most important factor in your pregnancy is a positive attitude, and a deep trust that all will unfold for the best and highest good of you, the mother, and the baby, and its key for the mother to echo this belief.

A Place for the Baby

Time flies when you’re having fun, and if you haven’t done it already, while Mom gives the baby a place to live now, Dad can prepare the nursery for later—painting, assembling furniture, and hanging mobiles, curtains and pictures on the wall.

Use water-based paint, of course, and keep the door closed and the window open so Mom won’t be exposed to any fumes.

Pack your Hospital Bag

She got all the essentials in the hospital bag, but trust us, you need a bag too. You can pack toiletries, camera, batteries, iPad, magazines, and books. This can be done several weeks before the due date.

Creating Memories

Despite the discomfort and occasional feelings of terror and panic on the part of both Mom and Dad about the impending reality of suddenly becoming parents, if you thought through the change in lifestyle, you’ve nothing to worry about.

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Be sure to take lots of pictures of Mom at every stage because she’ll cherish them later.

Listen

Pregnancy and childbirth are not simple for the mother. You must not only share your experience but also listen to her concerns and feelings.

Things you should Know

It’s a good time to explore the childbirth classes available in your area. It’s helpful for both expectant parents to attend; there’s so much to learn, and it’s a valuable support group.

Going to the doctor with your partner, and learning about the baby’s development can help you bond better with your partner and your baby.

Prepare the List

She’ll be busy when the big day finally arrives. So, you should be prepared with a contact list of friends and family members to announce the big news. You can text, email, tweet your contacts or even ask a friend to help you call the near and dear ones.

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