As the day of delivery comes closer, a plethora of emotions flood fathers-to-be ahead of the life-defining moment of parenthood that they have always been waiting for. The mixed emotions before their little one’s birth are quite natural as they gear up for the exciting-yet-tiring and exhilarating-yet-exhausting months to follow.
Expectant fathers do not carry the baby physically before birth but they are a part of the pregnancy and birth experience. As wholesome as those months are, here are 5 tips that can help men to be an engaged, supportive and loving dad as they prepare for parenthood.
1.Communicate with your spouse about parenting
While quitting unhealthy habits like smoking is a must, communicating with your pregnant partner is as crucial. Talk about how you want to bring up the child, whether or not will it be breastfed, what diapers will you choose for the baby, which parent will work and how will you adjust your work timings, how to play as a team before the baby instead of good cop and bad cop, support your spouse by not keeping a score and instead help them deal with morning sickness, hunger pangs or fluctuating moods and likewise.
2.Decide your approach as a father
While having had a loving and supportive father already tunes you indirectly into becoming one yourself, toxic fathers are no secret. Decide from beforehand on how to build a great relationship from the start with your little one and be a role model so that not a lot is left to be desired.
3.Attend prenatal appointments
The genuine joy of seeing your developing baby in an ultrasound is unmatched and gets you excited for the days ahead regarding what to expect. Plan your work schedule in a manner that you attend even those prenatal appointments that do not involve an ultrasound but are simple routine checks as it will help you to get to know what your partner is experiencing apart from receiving updates about baby’s development.
4.Celebrate and prepare for the new family member
Apart from holding baby showers and shopping stuff for the new baby, it is also important to mentally prepare for a change in your sex life. While sex after pregnancy will take time, it is even better as you now connect with your partner in ways you never have been courtesy the shared experience of becoming parents.
Hence, it is important to not let the jokes about how your sex life is over, or about body changes during pregnancy or emotional complexity of sex and parenthood get the better of you. Instead, take a class on birth or breastfeeding with your partner, put together furniture or paint the room, research the best baby carriers or formula, learn and volunteer to teach your partner how to install and use the car seat, make phone calls about childcare or insurance, preplan your office leaves with your boss, pack the hospital bag so as not to get hyper at the last moment, find some other fathers for your friend group that will help connect on the challenges faced and do similar stuff to keep yourself involved in getting ready for your new family member.
5.Eat proper diet and get enough sleep
Add some fiber-rich and immune-boosting foods to your meals and take naps whenever you can while making sure that the other person can get a break too.
Another bonus tip is to keep your humour intact to help sail through the messy as well as fun parts of parenting.
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