When you first find out that you’re going to be a dad, you will likely find the news shocking. Many men don’t know how to react to such big news. When your partner tells you that she is pregnant, you’re whole world will change. Up until now, you have been an individual. You are about to become a family. That means that you need to learn the ropes before you begin. For many, the prospect of being a father can be intimidating. Don’t panic, you will soon get the hang of it. Right now, you need to focus on the pregnancy process. Remember, your role in this process is as important as your partner’s role. Here are eight vital things that every dad-to-be should know.
Know how to support your partner
The first thing that you must know when your partner becomes pregnant is how to support her. Pregnancy is a roller coaster ride for both you and your partner. Many people make the mistake of thinking that this period will be easy for the man. That is not the case. You are on this journey with your partner. As such, you will experience the same ups and downs that she does every day. One advantage you have is that your hormones will be stable. Remember, there are many hormones surging through your partner during pregnancy. Those hormones can cause mood swings, headaches and pain. Make sure that you are ready to give your partner the love and support she needs during this hard time. Be patient and try and help in any way that you can. There is no such thing as being too attentive.
Recognize your feelings
Sometimes, when a couple is expecting a child, the man can get left behind. You need to take the time to recognize your feelings. Having a baby is a huge life change. It is natural that you will feel a mixture of emotions when you are expecting your first child. Make sure that you express your thoughts and feelings to your partner. Take the time to talk things through and make sure that you listen to one another. You are going on the journey of parenthood together. That may sound a little sappy, but it’s the truth. You need to be clear with each other and make sure you are equals in the relationship.
Research pregnancy and labor
Few people know about pregnancy and labor before they have children. Why would you bother learning about something that isn’t happening to you? You are going to be a dad soon, and so it is important that you find out what will happen. Understanding pregnancy will help you attend to your partner’s needs. Look at a pregnancy resource online so that you can begin to understand the process. When you understand what your partner is going through, you can work to make the period easier for both of you.
Take on an active role
Once you understand pregnancy, you should try and take an active role. That means you should attend birthing classes with your partner and learn about the labor process. You and your partner are in this thing together. That means that you need to support one another. Make a point of going to doctor’s appointments and attending classes with your partner. You should never distance yourself from your partner during this period. You need to be there for her, and you need to take part in the process. Doing so will mean you feel close to your unborn child.
Learn some basic skills
Before the baby comes, you should take the time to learn some basic parenting skills. You can’t expect to learn everything at once, but you can start to pick up a few tips ahead of time. Look into simple things like how to change a diaper and how to prepare a bottle. You might think these things are easy, but it can’t hurt to practice. You might want to consider attending a parenting class together when your partner gets pregnant. Doing so will mean that you have the basic parenting skills you need to start.
Make a labor plan
You will likely be your partner’s birthing partner. That means that you will be there during the labor, and you will help her through the process. Before your partner goes into labor, you should make a plan of action for when she does. Who are you going to call when the contractions start? How are you going to get to the hospital? These are all things you need to begin thinking about before your partner gives birth. When she goes into labor, everything will be a blind rush. Having a plan now, will help you when the big moment arrives.
Create the perfect birth kit
Before your partner goes into labor, you should also take the time to create a birth kit. You can take the kit with you to the hospital so that you have everything you need. When the moment comes, you won’t have time to pack a bag. You need to pack this bag in advance and leave it in a prominent place so that you can grab it as you leave. Pack a bag of essentials, such as a clean change of clothing, toiletries, baby clothes and diapers. Having these essential items with you at the hospital will make things much easier.
Ask for help from other dads
When you find out that your partner is pregnant, you might not know who to talk to. Women are great at talking about their feelings. Men are not. That means that you might have loads of things to talk about, but you’re keeping them all to yourself. Don’t be afraid to talk to other dads about what you’re going through. You likely have friends who have kids, who you can talk to. If you don’t know any dads, talk to your dad about the process. You are not psychic, and you don’t know what having a baby entails. If you need advice, just ask.