We all have that stereotypical phrase, the mother is the only one who is pregnant, technically yes, but the father to be has a pivotal role in this, why you might ask? Obviously I passed through this and was one amazing journey, but why not I share with you an interview I had with a midwife’s perspective on this? Choosing Lara as one of my experts on my blog as she was the one who delivered Sophia into this world and she was amazed at the commitment she saw in me with my wife. So, in a nutshell, she was one of the midwives who inspired to start this blog…
So in this section of the blog, I will be asking Lara questions to see a woman’s perspective and also a woman who sees thousands of dad through a year.
MalteseDaddy. What are the first reactions/emotions a dad should expect and how he should prepare himself?
Lara. Started with a tough question I see 😀 having seen a lot of dads to be, they always ask me what are the emotional aspect to be prepared and start bonding with the baby, even though the baby is not born yet, very simple:
- Read about what to expect – Knowledge is key, so be proactive read about your role as a dad and how you can help your wife/partner in this amazing 9-month journey
- Preparing a list of names for the baby – Boy or Girl or you want it a surprise, prepare a set of names you want to have for your child.
- Buying baby products – I know this might be a bit overwhelming as baby products and things tend to be a bit expensive but look on the bright side if you aim to have more kids the stuff you bought might be used with your future children. This will definitely make you closer to your unborn child.
- First movements: Dad can place his hand on mum’s tummy to feel baby kicking (serves as a bonding opportunity for dads)
- Talking to your unborn baby helps baby recognize daddy’s voice
MalteseDaddy. Ok makes sense, but how can I help my wife/partner?
Lara. This is something very important that you mentioned, as teamwork what makes the process fun and easy. If there isn’t a commitment, unfortunately, this will end in pressure and arguments, which is not good for the unborn baby. The dad may help by:
- Discuss your new roles before the birth of the baby
- Encouraging your partner to eat healthy meals
- Do some exercise together
- Help in domestic activities
- Help in carrying heavy bags
- Ideally, stop smoking around your partner during the pregnancy
MalteseDaddy. So far so good, so that’s it?
Lara. Haha, unfortunately, no… Women are more perplex than that 😀 We also need communication (Sometimes, we often do not know what we need) and try to be patient as a father to be plus make sure that all random thoughts are cleared rather than hidden away in your head. So try to:
- Have an honest conversation about what you are feeling or concerns you have during the pregnancy
- Emotional support (due to the increase in hormones, your partner/wife will feel more emotional than usual)
- If possible, take time off work to spend time with your partner/wife
- Speak about the different roles and responsibilities that have to be adapted once baby arrives
- Planning the Birth: especially discussing what pain relief you might consider
MalteseDaddy. What about checkups, is it essential to attend every time, even though sometimes they might be just a 5-minute check-up?
Lara. I don’t want to force dads to be forced to go, but it is basically up to them. I recommend that you attend each and every appointment your partner has, as the baby was done with both of you involved so it is both your responsibility. Being there for your partner is always nice as it shows you are supporting her throughout her 9-month pregnancy. Attending the below are essential to be emotionally ready for your child and trust me hearing the heartbeat of your little one every time is a gift no-one can ever give you:
- Attend Antenatal Classes
- Attend doctor’s appointments with her
- Attend ultrasound appointments with her (serves also as a bonding opportunity for daddy)
- Always be there even through tough times especially during childbirth
- For the day when your baby is coming out to the real word be there for your wife holding her hand and encouraging her that she will do it.
Thank you, Lara, for your time and I am sure I will be back for more questions to ask your opinion on a dad’s adventure through the development of their child.