So, you are going to be a Dad! This is an exciting, hopeful, and wonderful time to plan and prepare for your new role and the baby that will be arriving soon. As a Dad, whether you are romantically involved with the mother of your baby or not, there are many ways you can still be involved and helpful. Being a Dad doesn’t begin at birth, it begins at conception. This 3-part series of Helpful Dads will give you some ideas for ways to be involved during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, and after the baby is born.
- BE PRESENT: This is the most important thing you can do. Be available for as much as your baby’s mother wants you to be. Attend prenatal visits, doctor appointments, and childbirth classes.
- BE SUPPORTIVE: Realize this is a time of several different emotions, such as excitement and happiness, but also fear and anxiety are very real feelings as well. Sometimes just listening is all she needs. Be willing to share your emotions with her also. It helps build a stronger bond. You are in this together!
- HELP WITH PLANNING: There are many plans to make such as the baby’s name, who will care for the baby if/after Mom returns to work. Will there be a birth plan? Where will the baby be delivered? Be a part of these decisions.
- CHECK YOUR WORK BENEFITS: Review your insurance benefits regarding the birth and adding baby to your health care plan. Do you have paternity leave available?
- HELP GET THE NURSERY READY: Plan ahead. Find a safe crib. This can be a used crib to save money, if necessary. Help Mom decide on a theme for your baby if she chooses, then help decorate the room. Prevent Mom from using any paints that could be harmful to her and baby.
- HELP WITH HOUSEHOLD CHORES: Get the house ready. Have you been wanting to declutter but have been putting it off? This is a great time to prepare because those tiny babies seem to accumulate lots of stuff! Help with the cleaning and be sure Mom avoids any harmful chemicals. If you haven’t yet, this is the perfect time to make the switch to safe cleaning products. Vinegar and baking soda are just two examples of natural, yet effective and safe, cleaning products, not to mention the price savings!
- HEALTHY EATING: Help Mom stay healthy or get healthier. Pregnancy is an important time to make healthy eating choices. Encourage Mom to make healthy choices and help prepare meals or prepare them for her. Eating and preparing whole foods is more time consuming than popping processed, chemical-laden foods in the microwave, but the health benefits to mom, baby, and you are immeasurable!
- REGULAR EXERCISE: Help your partner stay active. Encourage her to get regular exercise, and if possible, join her. It is a great way to keep each other motivated and spend time together. It is also a great stress release. A gym membership is not necessary. Just get out there and go for a daily walk and get some fresh air, all year long.
- REST: Protect Mom’s rest. It is so important to get the necessary rest for a healthy pregnancy. Helping her with her necessary chores, like laundry and housework, will provide her some extra sleep time. It will be great for both of you and a rested pregnant woman is a happier pregnant woman! A win-win for you both!
- GET CLEAN: If there are substance abuse or addiction issues with either Mom or you, this is the time to get the help you need to break the addiction. Give her that encouragement and support. It is hard, but you are both responsible now for another human being, so this is the time to change your life and start your family free from this burden.
When should you start? As soon as you know there’s a baby on the way! By the time the baby makes his/her grand arrival, Mom and Dad will both be healthier, better prepared, and have some good health habits already established. Don’t forget to enjoy this special, but short, time in your lives. It will go by fast!
Other posts in this series:
Additional resources available to you:
Lisa Zartman RN, RNC-MNN
Call 717-394-1561 to schedule an appointment today.
You may need to disable content blockers in order for LiveChat and ChatBot to work on your device.