How to Support the Dad-to-Be During Pregnancy
It only takes a quick Internet search to find oodles of stories on how husbands can help wives during pregnancy. And why not? She’s the one carrying the load, and she deserves plenty of special attention.
But there’s also a dad in the mix, and he’s every bit responsible for creating this wondrous, lifelong adventure. Without him, there’s no baby!
If you conduct an Internet search on how to assist a dad-to-be during pregnancy, you’ll find very little advice on the subject. We think it’s time to place some focus on him. Here are some tips for supporting dad through those nine months.
Involve dad with shopping
We may be profiling here, but women like to shop. As soon as you confirm the baby’s arrival it may be may be tempting to wave the plastic at every crib, stroller, high chair, and changing table you see. But don’t do it without the dad-to-be. Even if you think he doesn’t care, bring him along to make those decisions. He needs to be happy with the products he’ll be using. And he’ll likely offer some unique perspective you hadn’t considered.
Talk, listen, watch
Along with adorable coos and sweet smiles, the baby will bring enormous changes to your relationship. Men have the same hopes, fears, and dreams as you, and it’s important to dialogue about those emotions. Recent studies have shown that men experience a certain level of postpartum depression, so keep a watchful eye for any warning signs.
We all know how important it is for a dad to feel the baby kicking and let it hear dad's voice. So that should be a steady reminder how touch and speech is paramount to dad, too. Hold hands, give hugs, and give him constant reminders that he’s not forgotten during any of this.
Use pronouns like “we” and “our” in your speech. Remind the world that it's not just you who is pregnant – you are together, as a couple. There are lots of opportunities to do this. For example, through social media posts, formal printed announcements, and simple daily conversation. The more you tell people you’re in this parenting thing together, the more the dad-to-be will feel like the valid, equal parent he is.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery
Are you planning to up your fitness game and take a closer, healthier look at your diet for the better development of the baby? Invite the dad-to-be along for the ride. When you walk, bring him along. When you’re eating a healthy salad, encourage him to order one, too. And when you get that inevitable, sudden craving for a certain dessert or snack, persuade him to indulge (that may not take much convincing).
It’s easy to point the finger when spouses don’t carry their load, especially when it comes to child rearing. But don’t let it come to that. A unified, shared parental approach from the very beginning will foster involvement for a lifetime.
All of which will make those nine months seem like a blip on the ultrasound radar.