Tips for Dads-To-Be: A Father’s Side of Pregnancy

So, you’re going to be a father. Becoming a new dad is an exciting time in a man’s life but can be confusing as well. Not only is your wife’s body going through changes but so is your home and your life.

You’ll notice all different kinds of changes in your mate. For one thing, her moods can change from happy to sad to scared. These emotions are a natural part of the pregnancy process. Be sensitive to your mate’s emotional changes and offer comfort as you can. Don’t feel as though it’s your responsibility to always cheer her up when she’s feeling blue. Just be there for her, let her talk out her fears and worries, and share your own.

As for physical changes your wife’s body will go through many. Of course her belly will get much larger over the course of 9 months, but will be barely noticeable in the first trimester. During the first few weeks your mate may experience morning nausea, fatigue or nausea.

In the mid-trimester your mate’s belly will grow noticeably. She may experience back aches, swollen and tender breasts, and may have trouble sleeping at night. As the pregnancy continues your mate will likely get up many times in the night because of the pressure, from the baby, on her bladder.

Some men experience what some people call “sympathy pains” during the mate’s pregnancy. Many men have symptoms which mimic those of pregnancy, such as back or stomach pains, morning sickness, food cravings, and weight gain. These symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks but may last throughout the course of the pregnancy.

One of the questions men frequently ask, while their mates are pregnant, is whether or not sex is safe for the mate and the baby. Doctors say yes, up until the last couple of weeks. At that time a physician may or may not recommend abstaining until after the birth of the baby.

Most women take courses, along with their mates, to help them understand and get through the pregnancy and birth. These classes will simulate the labor and birth while the instructor gives advice on breathing techniques for the woman and suggestions for helping your mate during the ordeal.

A few weeks before the due date of the baby is a good time to start getting things in order for the day of the birth. Your wife can pack a bag with a few things she may need and you can make a list of phone numbers you’ll need. The first number should be your mate’s physician. Call him if your mate goes into labor or if her water breaks. Other phone numbers to list may be your parents, her parents and friends. Be sure to mate to the hospital before calling everyone.

During labor your mate could say some things she’ll later regret – pain makes people do some unexpected things. Pain medicine will likely be administered – if your wife has asked for it. Some women prefer a “spinal tap” where medication is injected into the lower spine to numb the lower portion of the body. Your mate will no longer feel pain if she chooses this route, but some women experience later side-effects. As the baby’s head begins to show the physician will often make a cut, to prevent tears. This cut is stitched after the baby is born.

Sometimes there are complications with the birth and a woman must have a Cesarean Section. During this procedure the woman undergoes surgery to deliver the baby. The dad is often allowed in the operating room during this procedure.

The whole birthing production can be extremely traumatic for any man. If you feel faint, nauseated or shaky tell the nurse. You won’t be able to help your mate if you pass out on the floor. There’s no shame in telling someone that you’re feeling bad – it happens to many men.

After the birth the baby and the mom will stay in the hospital a few days. Within 24 hours the mom will be encouraged to get out of bed and begin walking a little each day. This will help her to work the sore muscles so they will heal faster. You will be allowed to visit and see the baby and mom often. Some hospitals allow the dad to stay the entire time, in the room with the mom and baby. The baby will be taken often to the nursery so the nurses can check to see that he or she is doing fine.

Upon the release of the baby and mom from the hospital it will be helpful if you or another family member can help. It’s a big adjustment to have a baby in the house. Your mate will need your help and understanding during this trying, tiring time.

Although having a baby is a wondrous time in a man’s life he may also experience feelings of being ignored because of the baby. It’s natural to feel this way. Talk to your mate about these feelings. Interact as much as possible with the baby and your mate. Your mate and you should make arrangements to leave the baby, on occasion, with family members so that you can have alone time.

Your mate will likely bleed for about 4 to 6 weeks after the birth. She and the baby will have a check-up around 4 weeks after the baby is born. At this time the physician should tell you and your mate whether or not it’s okay to begin having sex again. Having a baby is a thrilling yet exhausting time in a couple’s life. Get as much rest as possible, eat well, and take vitamins to stay healthy for your family.

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