Dads play an active role during pregnancy to lower moms’ stress levels and help in making a healthier environment for the growing baby. The foremost important thing for a dad to understand is the terms used in pregnancy. You don’t need a dictionary, it will get added on its own to your everyday use of words in the due course of pregnancy.
A pregnancy is divided into trimesters: the first trimester is from week 1 to the end of week 12. The second trimester is from week 13 to the end of week 26. The third trimester is from week 27 to the end of the pregnancy. Your partner may need your support both physically and emotionally. Here are some ways on how you can support her
First trimester: Help her feel better
The beginning of pregnancy is going to be new and can be tough as well. There are high chances that your partner will be exhausted and she may not feel well. You can have her medicines – doctor approved always in stock and be willing to run out and get it for her when she needs it. Let her know it’s OK if she throws up in front of you. If she’s uncomfortable with that, give her space when she’s sick. But then do come back to her and make her feel comforted.
You’ll notice that your partner may start craving weird foods. She may start choosing foods that will taste good to her and didn’t make her sick. If your partner feels this way, don’t ask what’s for dinner. Be an adult and cook your own food (if you can), order them online or pick them up for her. If the smell of certain foods makes her nauseated, make sure you keep her away from the smell and let her have some good breath or maybe give it up for the time being.
If your partner wants dessert at 3 a.m., get out of bed and go get them. Make sure she gets what she craves for. You were responsible for half this pregnancy, so this is the least you can do!
Starting from the positive pregnancy test, show interest and be involved throughout the pregnancy. Learn as much as you can. There are going to be different terms that you’ll get bumped during pregnancy. You’ll soon add them to your personal dictionary. Accompany her to prenatal appointments. If you are involved and at the appointments, you will better understand what’s going on and what to expect down the road.
Second trimester: Pamper her
You can call this as your honeymoon phase of pregnancy – after her first trimester sickness fades and before the discomfort of the third trimester starts. If you’re looking to get away for a few days, this is the perfect time to take her on a babymoon.
You also can help her friends and family plan a baby shower or a cute party. You may not be interested in the games they play or the gifts she receives. But then, you’ll realise that sooner that you’re going to need more diapers than it exists in the world, so be grateful when you get them as gifts!
Third trimester: Make her feel comfortable
It’s the start of the most uncomfortable phase and your partner is going to start feeling uneasy most of the time. Let her take ample rest, give her a massage, take her to spas for a nice head massage. If you are planning for a movie, pick a seat on the aisle near the exit so she easily can get up to go to the bathroom. She is going to be a frequent user of the restroom so make sure you have the bathroom all for herself.
This is the time of pregnancy that she might be low on her self confidence. She may not feel like herself, so this is a good time to help foster her self-esteem. If she asks how she looks or if she looks fat, make her feel assured that she looks gorgeous and glowing. Make her feel special and wanted. If she’s up for it, know that sex is almost always safe during pregnancy. But preferably, talk with your doctor, since there are very few occasions when it may not be safe. However, she may not be in the mood or she may not feel sexy, and her growing belly can make sex uncomfortable. If she’s not into it, be understanding and don’t make her feel bad about it.
Being where the action is!
If you’ve heard your dad talk on the day of your birth, he may be able to describe the weather or the big story on the television news or the drama and tension outside the labour room. There are less chances for him to talk about your actual birth. But now, the situation is totally different. You’ll be able to describe to your kids the look on their faces, their colour, their cry, the mess they were when they entered the world and how you felt watching them being born. You’ll be able describe their mum’s heroism. She did all the hard work, but you were right beside her giving her all your confidence and strength. And that’s pretty heroic, too.
Plan with your wife and have a detailed birth plan. You should know what kind of interventions she prefers and what she doesn’t, and you should be ready to remind the doctor of her wishes. When the labor starts, you have to be prepared for the unexpected. If the labor isn’t going smoothly, your wife might need an intervention that she hadn’t signed up for, such as pain medication or even a cesarean section and you need to make a decision, your cool head will be essential in helping her decide. And when your child asks about his birthday, you’ll really have a story to tell.
Experts who have studied the role of men in the delivery room, say the hardest challenge is seeing your wife in pain and not being able to do anything about it. Being in a labour room isn’t for the faint-hearted. Some labours can last for many hours, especially if it’s your first baby.
Few things that you need to have in mind post the labour
- When your partner arrives at home with your baby, they’ll both be the center of attention and not you.
- Your house has become extra small, it was always too small.
- And yes, you’re holding the baby wrong. Do it her way.
- By the time you change your baby’s third diaper, it will seem like the most normal thing in the world..
- You’ve been talking, reading, and singing to your baby for months. Now enjoy seeing her responses for the first time!
- Figure out how to share responsibility for the baby. If your partner is breastfeeding, you can participate by bringing the baby to her, or burping him when he’s done.
- Pay attention to your baby’s cues. Over time, babies develop their own ways of telling you want they need—through a particular cry, look, or movement. By spending time caring for and playing with your baby, you’ll start to decode her cues.