There are heaps of materials out there to help mums-to-be cope with the unfamiliarity of pregnancy, childbirth and their journey to motherhood. Here’s an essential guide for new dads to know more about pregnancy and some suggestions on how to keep you and your partner fit and healthy.
Finding out you’re going to be a dad is big news! Take some time to digest this news and get clear about your feelings. Think about what becoming a dad means to you. You might have mixed feelings about the changes ahead but that’s normal. Finding out what to expect can help. Discuss your thoughts about being a dad with your partner/friend/someone who’s been there/family member.
In the early weeks of pregnancy, your partner can feel tired or sick. She’s expending a lot of energy building a baby’s body, so it’s common if all she might want to do is sleep. Her senses are heightened, so certain smells and taste might make her nauseous. Her hormones are raging, so she might be easily irritable about things that may seem minor. Take comfort knowing that morning sickness is usually over by week 14 and her energy level will most likely resume then too.
You may feel rejected if she doesn’t want to be intimate, which is common in pregnancy, it varies from woman to woman. Be mindful that her breasts may be very tender in the early weeks and she is feeling very fatigued.
It’s also the time to be making decisions on your obstetrician and choosing a hospital. If you have a particular obstetrician in mind, give them a call to make an appointment.
The choice of where you have your baby can have a big impact on your partner’s birth experience. If you want your partner to have a longer support from midwives and physiotherapists to help her recover in the best possible way, a private hospital is able to provide this level of service as you relax and bond with your new family.
Things that you can do:
- Go the extra mile by helping around the house – whip up dinner, do the dishes, take the trash out, do the laundry. She’s growing a whole person inside her so she’s going to need your help to look after her.
- If certain smells and tastes make her sick, you might want to do the cooking. If you are, make sure she’s eating healthily. You’ll want to pass the nutrients on to your child. Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables and make sure you meats all the way through. Food poisoning can have dangerous consequences for the baby.
- Offer to accompany your partner for doctor visits and for her first scan. If she is worried about anything, be sure to talk it through.
- Even if all she wants to do is lie on the couch, encourage her to take a short stroll around the neighbourhood with you. This can help give her a lift.