A Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy – First Trimester
When a pregnancy is announced, everyone wants to talk to the mom-to-be, and about the changes that lie ahead; but, what about dad? Guys tend to stumble through a pregnancy with whatever they can glean from skimming their partner’s books on the subject (and even then, usually just the captions to the pictures). However, there are a few things that men need to consider at the start of the road leading to the baby’s birth.
Many doctors explain that while the external changes are minor, a woman’s body is involved in a great deal of unseen work in the first trimester. She will frequently be very tired, even if she is sleeping well.
Martin Downs, author of An Expectant Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy, notes that while everyone is talking about the changes the mother’s body will go through, less is said about the changes your home will undergo. There will be a lot more “stuff” to fit into what was once your private castle: strollers, high-chairs, and of course the baby will need somewhere to sleep. If there needs to be any redecorating, guess who is responsible for doing it? “Pregnant women are cautioned to avoid paint fumes,” reminds Downs, “so of course all the painting they want done falls to you [the father].”
However, don’t get so hung up on the house that you forget that your partner is actually going through a lot. Many doctors explain that while the external changes are minor, a woman’s body is involved in a great deal of unseen work in the first trimester. She will frequently be very tired, even if she is sleeping well. It’s normal, and a good partner should make allowances for this by providing extra help where possible so she can rest.
One of the more obvious early signs is morning sickness, and while every woman experiences something a little different, aversions to some foods is very common. It may mean you have to eat at different times, or even change the menu a little to ease her discomfort. Be flexible, and if you must have that steak, eat later when she is in bed or head to the grill down the road.