We’re Pregnant! Advice for First-Time Fathers
With Father’s Day around the corner, there are many first-time fathers preparing for this life-changing event. Hearing those two words, “We’re pregnant!” can trigger an emotional spiral that can result in odd responses and behavior.
It’s common for expectant fathers to feel alienated during this joyous occasion. It’s important for dads to realize that they play a critical role during pregnancy, delivery and after birth. Providing support and communicating with your partner enables a stronger bond making it an easier transition to becoming a confident new dad.
Here is some advice to help dad feel more connected.
Conquer Your Fears
There are a number of potential fears and emotions that expectant fathers experience during pregnancy, birth and the baby’s first year. Most common concerns are financial security, safety and health of the mother and baby, medical procedures, caring for a newborn or feeling replaced by the baby can be an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and stress. Talk about your fears with your partner, seek reassurance and work through the issues together.
Support Your Partner
Becoming a first-time dad can be daunting, but embrace the moment and take pride in your upcoming role. Accompany your partner to doctor’s visits – not only does it add comfort and support; it allows you to be more in involved in the experience. Spend quality time together and assist her when she needs help with housework.
There are number of resources available that provide valuable information. Enroll in a couples’ prenatal class to gain a better understanding of the birth process.
It’s not unusual for new dads to suffer from a condition known as “couvade syndrome” or sympathy pregnancy which includes insomnia, nausea, mood swings, food cravings and “labor pains”. Rationalize the cause and take action to counteract it so that you can provide the support she needs.