How to Share in Her Pregnancy

It’s been said that men can feel isolated, distant and insignificant during their partner’s pregnancy. People flock to her, admiring her growing belly and other physical changes, while the father-to-be goes generally unnoticed. Obviously, no dad can understand the day-to-day reality of carrying a child to term, but there are ways he can participate. The following are some pieces of advice for dads during pregnancy:

  • Go to the Doctor.
    First and foremost, attend as many prenatal appointments as you can. Amazing things happen at these appointments, from hearing the first heartbeat to seeing your baby for the first time through an ultrasound. This is also the place you can ask any questions, share any concerns with your partner’s OB/GYN.
  • Discuss Fears.
    You probably look at your partner in awe; she is, in fact, carrying a life inside of her. But, have you considered she might be as nervous about parenthood as you are? Just because she’s managing the health and well-being of your child in utero does not mean she has it all figured out. Talk to your partner. Discuss the fears you have as a dad during pregnancy, as well as your hopes and dreams for the future.  Keeping the lines of communication open helps you to become a stronger team, united in the love of your child.
  • Pay Attention.
    You can’t carry the baby, but you can participate by being an active observer. Keep track of the baby’s growth. Take pictures of the baby bump. Read up on the baby’s progression in each month of development. Share in your partner’s lifestyle changes – eat better, give up alcohol, take walks together. As she is doing most of the heavy lifting throughout pregnancy, show your support by lightening her load everywhere else.

If you are an expectant father, there are several ways to share in your partner's pregnancy. You can be there to feel the baby kick, shop for the nursery, help determine baby names. Take a look at Mercy’s Dad to be checklist. By being involved as a dad during pregnancy, you'll better give her the support she needs when she needs it most. You'll also find it easier to talk about your own anxieties. In the end, your relationship will be stronger, and you'll both be better prepared for parenthood.

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