Dads - We Need Your Support
When a woman becomes pregnant, so does the father of her baby. While he may not be physically carrying or giving birth to the child, the father of the baby should be very invested in the pregnancy. As a father-to-bee, the partner to a pregnant mother, there are many things you can do along the way to make the sometimes crazy feeling world of pregnancy easier for your expectant spouse.
Be Actively Involved
As the spouse of an expectant mother, an expectant father yourself, being actively involved in the pregnancy is perhaps the best thing you can do in support. Be pro-active, learn, and support by doing things such as the following:
Go to Prenatal Doctor Visits: Start attending all prenatal doctor visits with your wife. Not only does this give her company and support, but it brings about a feeling of being cared for and enhances your relationship. By attending the prenatal visits, you are also already building a relationship with your unborn child. You will get to hear the baby's heartbeat, see the baby on ultrasound, listen to what the doctor has to say, hear your wife's questions, and ask questions of your own.
Do What She Does: If your wife changes her eating habits to be healthier for the baby, do this yourself as well. If she quits smoking or drinking, support her by joining forces and stopping those, too. Join her in baby-appropriate exercise on a regular basis, as this will not only benefit both of you physically, but emotionally as well.
Educate Yourself: Stock up on information about pregnancy right away. Read articles, browse websites, check out books, and talk to experienced fathers about what is going on with your wife and baby on this pregnancy journey. Being informed about what pregnancy entails, you will be more confident in your role and therefore better equipped to support the expectant mother in your life.
Brace Yourself For Mood Swings--Hers and Yours
Pregnant women face huge hormonal changes from the moment of conception to well after the birth of the baby. These hormonal changes can bring about serious mood swings. There are several points that can be kept in mind to help you deal with such mood swings:
Understand that emotional outbursts are normal-not only are pregnant women often very emotional, but they can often be very irrational as well. In helping your spouse cope with these feelings, try to keep your calm and soothe her through the particular issue at hand. Rub her feet without being asked, cook a meal while she relaxes, sit beside her with your hand on her belly, all of these are things that show you care and are trying to understand as best you can.
She may be feeling very vulnerable- being out of control with another person growing inside you can bring many feelings of insecurity and even fear to the expectant mother. This can bring bouts of sadness and worry that you may have to reassure her through many times in the course of the pregnancy. It is important that you are aware of the possibilities of such feelings and can encourage and support her when you see it is needed. Sometimes she may not even realize how sad or stressed she is, but if you are alert and aware, your support will be there when needed.
As the dad-to-bee, you will experience mood swings and issues as well. Not necessarily in sympathy of your wife, but because having a new baby brings many new worries and stresses to a dad. There are ways to help you through this time as well:
Take Time to Seek Out and Talk to Experienced Dads: Nothing like talking about the women in their lives to bond men together! Talk about what you are going through, your worries, and expectations. Experienced dads will be able to sympathize and put your mind at ease in many ways.
Exercise Regularly: Whether with your pregnant spouse or in addition to that, be sure to get plenty of exercise to feel better and stay in good shape, to be the support to your wife that you want to be.
Having a baby is an exciting time for both expectant parents. By being fully present both physically and emotionally, you can be a wonderful support to your wife and unborn child. This will make for a happy and healthy pregnancy for all of you.